Sunday, April 11, 2010

How to subvert the firewall

When the Australian Minister of National Enlightenment and Propaganda fires up the Great Firewall of Australia, the website of pro-euthanasia group Exit International will be among those blocked from access because of its "RC" content.

Exit International approached the Pirate Party of Australia and asked if they would kindly prepare instruction suitable for 70+ year olds in the art of bypassing the filter. The Pirate Party gladly obliged, the result can be seen here at

The slide show also includes general info of interest.

Think about that for a minute.

Minister Conroy claims that testing undertaken by Telstra, showed that every single website you visit being logged and checked against a blacklist, slowed internet performance by less than one seventieth of the blink of an eye.

The blink of an eye? Who’s eye? How fast could this eye blink?

In the "pilot test" that the Government commissioned, the performance results were apparently not so favourable; otherwise Conroy would be quoting them and not Telstra. In these tests by the way, it was reported that "testing criteria" was decided after commencement of tests (they made it up to produce results they quite liked), and they were carried out using a blacklist of around a 1,000 URLs.

If 0.0001 percent of www pages (of which there are about 25 billion indexed) contained content reviewed and categorized RC by Australian authorities, the blacklist would contain 25,000 URLs. I suspect that the hindrance on performance for that number may be significantly greater than one seventieth of the blink of an eye (whoever that eye belongs to).

If the URL blacklist should be less than 25,000, why is Minister Conroy so keen to spend $44 million implementing a filter for the purpose of blocking access to even less than 0.0001 percent of known indexed website pages?

Suppose that was some how good value, Minister Conroy and the Government, by their own admissions, know the internet filter will not work. Conroy claims:
"The Refused Classification Content list cannot be made public because if it was, it would simply be a catalogue to direct people to specific URLs that are Refused Classification."

If the filter was other than an elaborate joke, the URL blacklist would be safe to publish publicly, because if the filter worked, nobody would be able to access them.

How to subvert the firewall – Pirate Party Australia

1 comment:

sandeep said...
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