Australia's Slippery Slope Of Censorship Gets Even Slicker With Plans To Filter Bittorrent

from the why-have-an-internet-at-all? dept

It's no secret that plenty of folks are up in arms over Australia's plan to censor internet connections. From the beginning, it was clear that this was quite a slippery slope, and that slope appears to be getting even more slippery. A bunch of folks have sent in the news that the country's Broadband Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy is already talking about using the system to filter and block file sharing and BitTorrent as well, falsely claiming that the technology exists to do so effectively.

It might just be something of an off-the-cuff statement, but so far Conroy and others in the Australian government appear to have been incredibly tone deaf to the complaints about the filtering system. It is worth noting that Conroy claims in a blog post that he's monitoring the complaints on various websites and social networks -- even to the point of following certain keywords on Twitter. That, at least, shows a surprising (but good) recognition of where he should be reading about the protests. Unfortunately, though, so far it doesn't appear that any of those complaints have resonated.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Wait for it...

    ...coming soon, ¬°Epic Fail!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Some other guy, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 1:02pm

    They better be sure not to mess with Blizzard's revenue-stream, big BT users that they are.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Icabod Crane, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    Villany...

    A quote from Sleepy Hollow comes to mind...

    "Villainy wears many masks, none of which so dangerous as virtue... "

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Grammar Nazi, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Villany...

    That would be an incredibly literate and accurate comment, if only you could spell with greater accuracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    that's a good point, with all the legit major league bit torrent users, if Australia makes even one misstep they'll probably be slapped with a lawsuit faster than they can blink.

     

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  6.  
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    Bradley, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Some other guy

    That was my first thought as well - all the major patches downloaded from Blizzard's World of Warcraft use Bittorrent, and I'm sure a decent size population out of the 11 million players are in Australia.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 2:23pm

    Hook Line and Sinker

    It sounds to me like Conroy has swallowed the recording industry's myths hook, line, and sinker. He is clearly on a mission, and he probably won't be deterred until he gets a serious smack-down.

    It should be interesting to watch. My prediction is that he will succeed in getting some type of small and totally ineffective filter in place. He will then put out a press release that claims to have vanquished piracy, ended online child pornography, and cured bad breath. Following his announcement the mainstream media will swallow his press release hook, line, and sinker.

     

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  8.  
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    abba12, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 3:04pm

    Being australian, this is worrying me a lot. I'm very concerned we are on the edge of losing it all. In my mind, this will go one of two ways. It'll either be an ineffective, symbolic, filter (at this point looking unlikely) or, we are on the edge of losing the internet.

    It's interesting to note the Australian media is keeping very quiet, and the government isn't making too many announcments. Most Australians don't seem to even know it's happening other than a vague mention of it by the last political party, who began this endeavour in the first place.

    If it's such a great idea, why are we keeping it so quiet? I think there will be more than illigal content banned here.

    Australia is supposed to be a first world country, up there with America and the UK. Why the hell are we about to go to communist, third world, strategies of breaking freedom of speech.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 3:05pm

    Time will tell...

    Best case scenario: Such an epic fail that it will be a lesson to all others.

    Worst case scenario: Somehow, fail or not, used as a precedent to try to coerce other countries into doing it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    ubetido, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 4:41pm

    Stupid is as stupid does !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Paul`, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:23pm

    I foresee popularity of torrent app's with encryption enabled goes through the roof.

    This crap is so easy to get around why are they bothering...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Joe, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:26pm

    Don't be too hard on comrade Conroy he is just following instructions given him by his political masters the MPA.

     

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  13.  
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    Adam, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:39pm

    the reason it can go ahead

    Australia is an aging society, like you always hear, and if you ask anyone that didn't grow up with the internet, the first words out of their mouth about censoring things is "oh well that's good." It's not a part of their world, they don't care, and they're easy to lie to so the government can claim some moral high ground.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Some other guy

    There will be blood if I can't get my patches.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Rebecca Cannon, Dec 23rd, 2008 @ 8:11pm

    Someone should be tracking Conroy's share portfolio - this is stupid to the point of corrupt.

     

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  16.  
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    hummingbird, Dec 24th, 2008 @ 2:20pm

    I didn't think they had any technology to monitor P2P bittorrent either until I read a legal website about Comcast and Verizon where they had a device that identified this protocol and had shut down consumers that were using the protocol or shaped them for their uploads ...... I've just got my tech diploma but I didn't know it existed..... wont be a problem obviously if you encrypt but has anyone else heard about the device they are talking about ?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Dewey, Dec 28th, 2008 @ 8:45am

    Conroy a saint among thieves?

    I am confused about these kinds of policies. If illegal content is so "widespread" that it requires a general filter, then this is lazy law enforcement (like closing the roads to prevent speeding). It also indicates that a good chunk of the population of Australia is criminal. Are we seriously being asked to believe this?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Lisaa, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 5:03am

    hi

    The information you have provided is new to me. Thank's for it. Lisa11 Sydney Dating

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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