Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Internet Filter is a joke.

I am not a particularly political person. I believe our political parties have both become so conservative that there is only a minimal difference between them. More than anything I just find politics boring.

That said, as an I.T. professional, I find the whole Internet filter issue extremely frustrating. Forget the potential for political censorship and a reduction of freedom of liberties. I just plain cannot see how it can work effectively!

We filter Internet usage at my place of employment. We maintain a blacklist and download updates to it from various sources. There is also the ability to block sites based on keywords. The problem is that as soon as a blacklist is saved it is out of date and keywords can give false positives, after all ass can mean a donkey type animal. It is easy to move a website to a new address and substitute offensive words with similar in-offensive words. Then there is the software that will allow you to bypass the filter all-together.

I imagine that most of the very illegal stuff done over the web is not website based. Websites can be tracked after all. Most of it would be peer-to-peer stuff that would make it a whole lot harder to find and how does an internet filter control what goes on in a messaging or chat type environment?

It's enough to make you think the Government is more interested in the potential to control Internet access than it is about protecting it's citizens.

The only effective path for controlling Internet access we have here at work, is to advise everyone of the rules and that we will be reviewing the usage logs. If you step outside the rules then we have grounds to instantly dismiss you.

Flinthart has had a number of posts on this subject and his latest informs us that Stephen Conroy (Communications Minister) will be on the ABC's show Q&A this Friday. I want to echo Flinthart's call for you to submit a question to the show on this topic, just follow this link.

Here's the question I submitted:

Why are we wasting money on an Internet filter that will be completely ineffective? Why not direct that funding to increase Police resources to identify and prosecute those that post or access illegal material on the web?


  1. Will following this one up. Thanks.

  2. Yeah, it seems like a waste of time considering its advertised purpose.

    Buy the QLD coppers a chopper instead.

  3. DD - It's worth following up on.

    Moko - Yep a complete waste of time. Hmmmm, are you wanting to transfer to the airwing once you are in and have done your time? < insert appropriate flying pig joke here >

    Therbs - cool.

  4. Just read that another secret black list has just been leaked.

    ExCommunications Minister Stephen Conroy has again denied it is a government list but has again threatened to arrest anyone releasing the list.

  5. I don't really understand this stuff - but it sounds plain wrong - these Labour fuckwits are as bad as the Liberal fuckwits

  6. Our work has an internal intranet and they are always updating and blocking sites what you can see and what you can't see. It is my mission to go on my mates PC and try to get to the sites by back doors to keep you guys on your toes. Work is a place to relax and surf not to work!

  7. BBA - It's wrong on both level, the secret blacklist and that it just won't work.

    Lerm - They are all just political fuckwits.

    Mr Stu - See it doesn't work. The only answer is to say that if we catch you on a site that could harm the company then you can be sacked.

  8. It has started... Just read an article which is disturbing:

    "POLICE have raided the home of the website domain owner of the site that published alleged web censorship lists from Australia, Thailand and Denmark.

    Theodor Reppe owns the German domain registration for "wikileaks.de", one of the many URLs used by the whistleblowing website."


    So much for freedom of speech.