Kevin Rudd has just committed political suicide.
In a move which puts Australia’s internet access on par with China and Iran, MANDATORY filtering is to be forced upon Aussie ‘net users by their ISPs.
Filtering at the ISP level is utterly trivial to circumvent with Tor or VPNs. Great biz opportunity for anyone who wants to set up a VPN service with a port in the USA…
MORE: If there ever was any question that this is going to SERIOUSLY piss off the internet using Australian public, the fact that the DBDCE website is presently crashed tells you everything you need to know. Wait until a YouTube video makes the blacklist! The ISP censorship plan is detailed here, should the DBDCE site ever come back up… Until then, the censorware plan is mirrored here.
From the Enex report:
Other related findings
While not a formal participant in the pilot, Telstra undertook its own testing of ISP filtering of a blacklist of up to 10,000 URLs using a ‘domain name server plus proxy server’ filtering solution. No customers were involved in the Telstra trial and testing was conducted using Telstra’s test environment (which is a replication of its network and used by Telstra for testing its products prior to release). Telstra found that its filtering solution was 100 percent accurate at blocking a blacklist of 10,000 URLs. Telstra also found there was no discernible performance degradation.
No customers involved in the Telstra trial means no degradation, yep, got that.
Telstra did not test circumvention, because it considers that filtering can be circumvented by a technically competent user.
Yes, we all know that bypassing the censorware is utterly trivial. Makes sense that this is reason enough not to bother testing for performance degradation, because the bypassed route will always be faster. Wouldn’t wanna make the filter look bad, would we?
Telstra found its filtering solution was not effective in the case of non-web based protocols such as instant messaging, peer-to-peer or chat rooms. Enex confirms that this is also the case for all filters presented in the pilot.
As anti-censorship advocates have told Rudd & Conjob all along, ISP level censoring will not do a damn thing to stop the trade in child pornography (the last reason given for the censorship) as most of it moves via P2P. Clearly, not stopping CP via P2P must be the reason to filter http traffic!
Telstra reported that heavy traffic sites could overload its trial filtering solution if included in the filtering blacklist. This is also the case for all filters presented in the pilot.
Duh. Wait until the first YouTube file is filtered. KEEE-RASH!
Testing revealed that the three ISPs filtering only the ACMA blacklist had no noticeable performance degradation that could be attributed to the filter itself.
This is doubtless due to the fact that no content on high traffic sites like YouTube was filtered.The first time that YouTube makes the censorship list, the filtering system will absolutely crash and access times will skyrocket.
A technically competent user could, if they wished, circumvent the filtering technology.
The definition of ‘a technically competent user’ would be any 8-year-old who can search for and install Tor.
Testing was also undertaken against a list of content, prepared by Enex, considered to be innocuous and which should not be blocked by a filter. All participants experienced some level of over-blocking in this test (i.e. blocking of some legitimate URLs).
This is what anti-censorship advocates have said all along.
All filters blocked less than 3.4 percent of such content.
Apparently, 3.4% overblocking is acceptable to the Rudd censorship scheme. Google indexes over 1 TRILLION URLs. 3.4% is 34 BILLION unnecessarily blocked URLs.
Filtering of additional categories of content enabled ISPs to implement measures which made some common circumvention techniques difficult. For example, a third party website which hides the origin of the requested content (proxy site) can be included in a wider list of URLs to be blocked.
Thusly, you can expect the government to try to block popular, publicly known proxy sites.
The cost to implement filtering of the ACMA blacklist and additional lists of content is influenced by a number of factors including:
• the nature of the filtering solution adopted;
• cost of the filtering hardware/software;
• the extent to which updates of the blacklist are automated;
• ISPs implementing ACMA blacklist-only filtering can expect minimal, if any,
customer service costs; and
• fees associated with commercially provided lists for maintaining up-to-date
URL lists and handling customer enquiries on filter settings.
You can also expect your internet service to cost more, for a filter no one needs nor wants.
I’m setting up my VPN now. Hope Rudd & Conroy enjoy sniffing my securely encrypted packets.
EVEN MORE: An SMH poll on the issue is running 96% against Rudd’s censorship system.
The Greens had better busy themselves finding candidates for all the Labor seats that Rudd’s giving up.
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