[clug] OT: Protesting the proposed clean feed?

Sam Couter sam at couter.id.au
Wed Oct 22 21:08:54 GMT 2008

Chris Tuckwell <christuckwell at grapevine.net.au> wrote:
> The proposed legislation will take away common carrier status from the  
> ISPs.  Which will then open up the legal channels for the ISPs to be  
> sued for their innability to filter the content 100% correctly.

Given that those in charge are the policy and legal experts, I think
they'll have this covered. The only entity with scope to sue will be the
government, probably through ACMA just like the current Internet
censorship regime.

> I gather that the mechinism for filtering the 'bad' content is to have a  
> list of md5 hashes supplied by the police to ISPs.

MD5 hash of what? Why do you think the police would be involved?

> But any one can  
> generate a file to hash to a target md5 if they dont care about it being  
> openable.  So this could the possibly be abused to send a bunch of junk  
> files which appear on the 'bad' list to someones email address where you  
> wish to have them investigated by the police.

I haven't heard anything about police investigating as most of the
blocked content won't actually be illegal. This is about creating a
kiddynet so adults can't see adult stuff like medical information or the
history of nukular weapons or any one of hundreds of legal subjects.

Also I haven't heard anything about filtering email, just the web.

> Also if I wish to send a file that is on the 'bad' list, I can make  
> subtle changes to the content (change a couple of pixels in an image,  
> and some noise at the end of audio) and the file has a new md5 hash.

They're not going to use file hashes for filtering. You can't check the
has of a file before it's downloaded, and at that point it's too late.
They will block based on destination server or URL or some other aspect
of the request, not based on the response.

> I think this will just provoke more people to use applications that  
> encrypt communications to circumvent the filtering.

I doubt it. Most people will be far too apathetic.
Sam Couter         |  mailto:sam at couter.id.au
OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C
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