Australian Goverment Releases Paper Detailing Filtering Pilot

Ban.This.URL, a blog documenting and examining online censorship in Australia, reports that Australia's The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has released a paper detailing the technical specifications of Australia's proposed Internet filtering plan.

In the paper [PDF], the filtering pilot is detailed:

"To the extent possible, the aim is to test a range of different types of filtering including:
• ACMA blacklist filtering only (for a blacklist of up to 10,000 URLs); or
• ACMA blacklist filtering plus the filtering of other content using different approaches
to filtering which would, for example, include:
- Index filtering of different sized blacklists;
- Dynamic analysis filtering;
- IP versus URL filtering;
- DNS poisoning.
The Pilot seeks to test a wide range of filtering solutions and is deliberately flexible."

The paper also addresses the issue of circumvention:

It is acknowledged that filtering can be circumvented by motivated people with a
sufficient level of technical knowledge.

The Pilot will seek to test the ease with which different filtering solutions can be circumvented and the capacity of filters to detect and provide warnings on circumvention attempts.

You can download the paper here.


Don't get sidetracked by the "child pornography" excuse. The great danger is political suppression. Governments, such as Australia's government, want to control the web in order to suppress political speech. They want to smash dissenters and whistle-blowers and anyone else who opposes any policy of the government. This is why the Australian government's list of banned sites would be kept secret and would not be subject to legal review or public discussion. Meaning, the government would decide, without public review or oversight, what IT wants to ban. We can easily see that this would result in viewpoints being banned, particularly viewpoints regarded as "offensive" by various government personnel, including free-wheeling criticism of them or of their favorite policies. They only criticism "allowed" by our rulers would be "criticism" that the government approves as being "proper, managed, temperate criticism, approved by a responsible, government-vetted gatekeeper," often the very bureaucrat to be criticized, or his or her colleagues. They will tell the adults in the country what discussion may and may not consist of, on pain of fine or imprisonment.

Don't like some Aussie policy? You won't be able to blog about it anymore - government will determine what it is "permissible" for you to communicate.

This is A GOVERNMENT OF TYRANTS, ruling a nation of people they consider children at best and beasts of the field at worst.

I would remind any government that speech suppression does not suppress political opposition. Instead, it merely drives opposition underground. Popular discontent denied freedom of expression does not diminish the threat of revolution; the arrogance of a government's denying freedom of expression increases that threat.

"Banning kiddie porn" is the thin entering wedge of the tyrants, their excuse. Internet filtering does nothing to affect kiddie porn. It does everything to give the government the power to gag adult dissent.

If the government will act as an "overseer" of adult material (including heterodox political discussions), who will "oversee" government?

Who will protect us from our protectors?

If this filtering scheme goes through, I wouldn't shed a tear if everyone responsible for it were killed, their throats slit and their bleeding corpses hanged in a public place, a la Mussolini's corpse. I do not advocate this and I strongly condemn all acts of violence, but I am saying that if some maniac committed such a violent atrocity, I would not feel emotionally moved to the point of crying.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson, author of the American Declaration of Independence, 13 November 1787.

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