Sunday, June 28, 2009

F**king Censorship

The ominous clouds of censorship are descending upon the online Australian community, and not surprisingly, it is not being reported because well, it’s being censored.

At the beginning of this year, the Australian Gooferment began trials of web filtering technology with six participating ISPs, or so we were told. The number of ISPs being conscripted for this “trial” seems to grow by stealth at any given time. Shortly after the six companies involved were identified, iiNet announced it was pulling out of trials, but iiNet was not one of the six listed ISP companies that were disclosed.

It went almost entirely unnoticed that one of Australia’s largest ISPs, Optus, commenced trial participation on May 22. And the number of ISPs working for our oppression continues to expand under the radar, there are now apparently nine. It would appear that the technologies under consideration for managing the looming end to our freedoms, are also being silently upgraded, probably due to the great blacklist leak cock up.

If this article is correct, “trials” now utilize an appliance-based product which through signature-blocking, is capable of filtering peer-to-peer (P2P), instant messaging, anonymous proxies and online gaming.

And speaking of online gaming, the Gooferment is reportedly now promising to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for ages 15 years and under.

Australia is the only developed country in the world without an R18+ classification for games, meaning any titles that do not meet the MA15+ standard, are banned from sale. To date this has only applied to physical copies of games, but the Minister’s office for communication suppression, has suddenly confirmed that this fucked up state of affairs will be under the "filtering plan" extended to downloadable games, flash-based web games and sites which sell physical copies of games.

WTF? Australia’s “filtering trial” is now a “filtering plan”, a concrete one by all indicators, and what happened to this trial, now plan, being all about stamping out child pornography and therefore a necessity to our best interests?

Colin Jacobs of Electronic Frontiers Australia says: "This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping".

One critic says extending filtering to computer games would place a cloud over online-only games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life that have previously been exempt from such nonsense. ISP engineer Mark Newton says: “It'd only take one game user anywhere in the world to produce objectionable content in the game environment to make the Australian Government ban the game for everyone”.

Minister for communications suppression, Senator Stephen Conroy, has been nominated for the annual internet villain award in Britain for these acts of bastardry.

Related articles:

Australian web filter blacklist

iiNet pulls out of govt trials

censor this!

Russian Mob hacks Dentist

technical ways to get around censorship

1 comment:

AdamS said...

"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program" - Milton Friedman

It's chilling what they're doing to your internet, kind of smashes the 'it couldn't happen here' mentality that we have when looking at Chinese censorship.