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.

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Comments on “Australia's Slippery Slope Of Censorship Gets Even Slicker With Plans To Filter Bittorrent”

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18 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

abba12 says:

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.

Adam says:

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.

hummingbird says:

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 ?

Dewey says:

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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