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Australian web filter to block 10,000 internet sites
Australian Herald Sun
Thursday, November 13, 2008
FLASHBACK: Australia To Enforce Mandatory Chinese-Style Internet Censorship
AUSTRALIA’S mandatory net filter is being primed to block 10,000 websites as part of a blacklist of unspecified “unwanted content”.
Some 1300 websites have already been identified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Communications Minister Senator Conroy revealed details of the Rudd Government’s proposed web filter as he called for expressions of interest from internet service providers (ISPs) for a live trial of the technology, the Courier-Mail reports.
ISPs will test ways to filter the web using volunteer subscribers. The trial will start before Christmas and is expected to last six weeks.
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“The pilot will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as filtering of other unwanted content,” Senator Conroy told Parliament today.
“While the ACMA blacklist is currently around 1300 URLs, the pilot will test against this list - as well as filtering for a range of URLs to around 10,000 - so that the impacts on network performance of a larger blacklist can be examined.”
Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Colin Jacobs said his civil liberties group was concerned at what would be deemed “unwanted content”.
“Conroy said the list would contain illegal and unwanted content but we still have to see what would end up on that list.
...you can create an encrypted tunnel through your ISP to the United States. Now when you surf the internet, it looks like your computer is in the US rather than Australia. This means you can access US-only content... It also means you're bypassing any content filtering performed by your Australian ISP, and there's nothing they can do about it.
VPNs were once expensive and complicated beasts, but now there are several sites that offer them for free. [...]You don't need to know anything about networking and there's no messy configuration, you run the installer and they just work.