[clug] OT: Protesting the proposed clean feed?

Jacinta Richardson jarich at perltraining.com.au
Thu Oct 23 00:16:30 GMT 2008

David Tulloh wrote:

> Once it's implemented there will be some initial pain, some protest and
> bad press, a bunch of people will opt-out 

As was pointed out in the press recently
(http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;1399635276), there's no way the
opt-out will be a real opt-out.  It'll be a move from a very restrictive filter
to a slightly less restrictive filter.  It doesn't make sense otherwise.

	"Users can opt-out of the 'additional material' blacklist (referred to
	in a department press release, which is a list of things unsuitable for
	children, but there is no opt-out for 'illegal content'"

Of course, once such a filter is in place "illegal content" can be broadened or
not as industry pressures require.

One thing in our favour is that the government will have to (sooner or later)
start working on the basis that the blacklists are public.  These addresses will
need to be provided to the 200-odd Australian ISPs and it only takes one
employee at one of those ISPs to post the list to wikileaks or similar and it's
out.  Even if the addresses are provided in a non-human readable form, the fact
that a site was rejected and which address that corresponded to will probably
appear in a human readable form in the logs.  If the addresses are too much
obscured, then they may actually fall prey to trivial attacks.  For example
"www.example.com" and "example.com" and "web.example.com" all have different
hash signatures, and those hosting websites might be all to willing to add a
"web." prefix if it helps more people reach their site.

If the list *is* public, then there will be people combing through it to see
what forms of censorship we're being subjected to.  More importantly though, the
Australian government will be guilty of publishing a clearly defined list of all
the *nasty* sites it can find on the internet.  I'm sure other governments will
appreciate our government making life that much easier for those looking for
child porn, amongst other things.


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