• By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 23 Dec 2008
    Trials of mandatory internet censorship will begin within days despite a secret high-level report to the Rudd Government that found the technology simply does not work, will significantly slow internet speeds and will block access to legitimate websites. The report, commissioned by the Howard government and prepared by the Internet Industry Association, concluded that schemes to block inappropriate content such as child pornography are fundamentally flawed. If the trials are deemed a success, the Government has earmarked $44 million to impose a compulsory "clean feed" on all internet subscribers in Australia as soon as late next year.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 22 Dec 2008
    After a thaw during the Olympics, China's reimposition of censorship on websites run by the BBC and other news organisations is a matter of international concern. The relaxation may have been an opportunistic response to the protests of western journalists, never intended as a permanent change. Web censorship inevitably gets more publicity than China's equally serious internal clampdown on dissent such as Charter 08's call for multiparty elections and the protection of human rights. But this does not alter the fact that China's repressive policies towards bodies such as the BBC and the New York Times are self-defeating and wrong. China's economy has benefited greatly from the free flow of trade. The country has very ambitious plans to use the internet to attract western buyers to purchase Chinese goods directly from domestic websites instead of shops in London and New York. In this way China could capture the profit margins arising from transportation, wholesaling and retailing at considerable cost to western economies.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 22 Dec 2008
    The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF - www.iwf.org.uk) was set up as a kind of internet police officer, a place where people could go to report illegal content they found online. Its main focus is child pornography. It acts on tip-offs sent in by members of the public, but one recent tip caused uproar last week. It concerned a page on Wikipedia.com, about '70s rock band Scorpions. Their album Virgin Killer featured a distasteful picture of a naked girl, and it was this that caused the report to IWF.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 22 Dec 2008
    Previously thought to be limited to HTTP and HTTPs web traffic, the touted Australian Internet filter will also target P2P traffic. In response to a comment posted by a user on his department’s blog, Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy has admitted that BitTorrent filtering will be attempted during upcoming trials.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 18 Dec 2008
    Last week, an obscure quasi-non-govermental agency called the Internet Watch Foundation was catapaulted into the spotlight on the news that they'd classed an image from Wikipedia as child pornography and that as a result, the page was blocked for 95% of the internet users in Britain. That's because the IWF is charged with creating a secret blacklist of child-porn URLs that it distributes to subscribed ISPs, who then block those links for their users.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 17 Dec 2008
    The Motion Picture Association of America is urging the incoming Obama administration to adapt internet filtering technology to block illicit file sharing of motion pictures and television shows.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 17 Dec 2008
    Hundreds of Aussies turned out to protest against government plans to filter web content. The anti-censorship movement Digital Liberty Coalition (DLC) organised demonstrations on Saturday in seven cities including Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. According to reports, up to 300 protestors gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall to voice their opposition against the Rudd government’s planned internet filtering scheme.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 17 Dec 2008
    The UK's second largest ISP, Virgin Media, will next year introduce network monitoring technology to specifically target and restrict BitTorrent traffic, its boss has told The Register. The move will represent a major policy shift for the cable monopoly and is likely to anger advocates of "net neutrality", who say all internet traffic should be treated equally. Virgin Media currently temporarily throttles the bandwidth of its heaviest downloaders across all applications at peak times, rather than targeting and "shaping" specific types of traffic.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 17 Dec 2008
    M2Z Networks' proposal to build a free wireless broadband network is not the only controversial part of its business plan. Just as contentious is its intention to filter the content delivered over that network to block any material deemed inappropriate for children.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 16 Dec 2008
    The Chinese government has quietly begun preventing access again to Web sites that it had stopped blocking during the Olympic Games in China in August, Internet experts said on Tuesday.