Mandatory filtering

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manwe
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Mandatory filtering

Post by manwe » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:36 pm

So the Labor government has announced its plans to require ISPs to filter all traffic for porn for all customers except those who are willing to opt out and potentially be on some public pro-kiddie porn list.

One thing I am wondering though is just how feasible it is without slowing the net in Australia down to a crawl and what impact is this likely to have on internet service prices.

Is this likely to just be grandstanding to appease the religious nutters, which will never be put into practice based on the practicalities of such a system?

Is this likely to be anything more than a website blacklist that the ACMA will maintain and provide to ISPs?

Klaas
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Post by Klaas » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:54 pm

It will be virtually impossible for any ISP to implement any sort of traffic filtering, given the way traffic is currently delivered, and the ease of working around any filtering by consumers.

To me, this is political point scoring of the worst kind. The previous government rightly decided that ISP based filtering was too difficult and expensive, and promoted client side filtering (www.netalert.gov.au) instead - although this too, is easily defeated by a determined person.

The only filtering that has any real power is active parental involvement in what their children are doing on the internet, in the same way they should be monitoring their TV viewing habits.

ForumAdmin
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Re: Mandatory filtering

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:19 pm

manwe wrote:So the Labor government has announced its plans to require ISPs to filter all traffic for porn for all customers except those who are willing to opt out and potentially be on some public pro-kiddie porn list.

One thing I am wondering though is just how feasible it is without slowing the net in Australia down to a crawl and what impact is this likely to have on internet service prices.

Is this likely to just be grandstanding to appease the religious nutters, which will never be put into practice based on the practicalities of such a system?

Is this likely to be anything more than a website blacklist that the ACMA will maintain and provide to ISPs?
It's a mindless piece of stupidity that could only be promulgated by someone who is insane or terminally stupid - probably both.

Goodness knows what non-prescription drugs that bunch of dimwits (the Australian Federal Cabinet) were on over the Christmas break but to come up with that total nonsense they must have been truly mind destroying.

(not a major task I suppose given the lack of 'mind' they had to start with).

austdata
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Post by austdata » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:23 pm

I would have thought it would be no real problem at all. If it's porn block the IP Address. If any customer gets porn, ask them to supply the URL and block the IP Address.

It wont stop porn sites that really want to get around it but that's a problem ICH industry association and the government will have to get together and deal with.

Anyone know the URL for the ICH industry association? :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Cheers,

Mike

PS: I think the honeymoon period for the Rudd Labour Government is over.

Country Bumkin
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Labour Internet Censorship

Post by Country Bumkin » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:48 am

This policy seems well discredited here http://www.efa.org.au/Issues/Censor/man ... cking.html

I suspect political slime - in this case contrived spin for a token gesture to win Family First Party support in the senate.

Regards C Bumkin

pjb42
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Re: Mandatory filtering

Post by pjb42 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:43 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:
manwe wrote:So the Labor government has announced its plans to require ISPs to filter all traffic for porn for all customers except those who are willing to opt out and potentially be on some public pro-kiddie porn list.

One thing I am wondering though is just how feasible it is without slowing the net in Australia down to a crawl and what impact is this likely to have on internet service prices.

Is this likely to just be grandstanding to appease the religious nutters, which will never be put into practice based on the practicalities of such a system?

Is this likely to be anything more than a website blacklist that the ACMA will maintain and provide to ISPs?
It's a mindless piece of stupidity that could only be promulgated by someone who is insane or terminally stupid - probably both.

Goodness knows what non-prescription drugs that bunch of dimwits (the Australian Federal Cabinet) were on over the Christmas break but to come up with that total nonsense they must have been truly mind destroying.

(not a major task I suppose given the lack of 'mind' they had to start with).
Quite right! But it's much more than just blocking porn (which at least *sounds* like a laudable endeavor)! It's about control and gathering data on internet users in Australia. Call it "The thin edge of the wedge". Australia is fast becoming one of the worst surveillance societies in the World. The top of that list for 2007 included the USA and the UK.

The Gov and the promoters of this plan KNOW that it will be easy to bypass. Anyone using an encrypted anonymous services such as JAP, TOR (The Onion Router - Though the original developer for TOR worked for the NSA and is still sponsored in part by the US Navy), and others. An internet-based anonymous proxy will not work. The only way to bypass this is to have your data stream encrypted from your PC (source) to the destination (or to an anonymous service that will decrypt the data and forward it to the destination).

As always, the only people who have anything to fear are the innocent. The criminals (for the most part) know how to protect themselves now.

Also, having recently had a lengthy discussion with a dear friend who has a teenage son that spends a lot of time on the Internet, it's obvious that many of these kids know far more than their parents about how it all works and how to get around security. For example, my friend attempted to limit his son's access to the Internet by controlling access at the gateway, only to discover that his son had rewired the network to give him direct access to the router. It has been a continuous battle of wills for several months now, and the son is usually the winner. BTW, my friend worked for some large IT companies until about 10 years ago, and knows a lot more than the avg father about IT! :)

Privacy is a huge and complex topic. One that I have been working with others for some years now. One thing I know for sure is that this Gov (as with the previous Liberal Gov) is not beeing completely honest and open about why they want to implement this surveillance on Australian citizens (and make NO mistake, this is surveillance).

For more info on the "World's Top Surveillance Societies" of 2007 go here:
http://www.privacyinternational.org/art ... 347-559597

As my friends in the IT Security community and myself like to say: "Ignorance is NOT bliss! They are out to get you!"

Cheers.

austdata
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Post by austdata » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:59 pm

Good grief!!!!!!!

Do you subscribe to the "We never landed on the moon!" theory as well?

Limiting my teenage sons access to Internet: Caution extreme geek content follows, you have been warned!!!!:
I removed the ADSL router from the LAN with one yank! Took said son and said router out the back. Put ADSL router on concrete drive to garage. Told son, touch it and you'll loose your hands too! Walked to said garage, came back with SledgeHammer, swung said SledgeHammer overhead as approaching said ADSL router at a brisk pace. SLAMMED said SledgeHammer onto router. Frightened crap out of teenage son (Okay that was just a personnel thing - me big bull). Me says to said teenage son, "Now Internet access limited! Want Plasma access limited next?!"

I know I'm terribly tech-savy to be able to come up with this University grade control but it's worth the expense and pain to teach teenagers that I pay the bloody mortgage, if they don't like it they can get a job and their own mortgage.

Cheers,

Mike

CLoSeR
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Post by CLoSeR » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:08 pm

austdata wrote: I removed the ADSL router from the LAN with one yank! Took said son and said router out the back. Put ADSL router on concrete drive to garage. Told son, touch it and you'll loose your hands too! Walked to said garage, came back with SledgeHammer, swung said SledgeHammer overhead as approaching said ADSL router at a brisk pace. SLAMMED said SledgeHammer onto router. Frightened crap out of teenage son (Okay that was just a personnel thing - me big bull). Me says to said teenage son, "Now Internet access limited! Want Plasma access limited next?!"
Mike,

Thats awesome, I like your style!!!

Made me laugh after such a busy day at the office, when nothing went the way it should.

Regards,

CLoSeR
Need to log a fault ticket? Go here: https://helpdesk.exetel.com.au/

austdata
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Post by austdata » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:13 pm

Thank you, I'll put that down as one vote for father of the year. 8)

Cheers,

Mike

pjb42
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Location: Victoria

Post by pjb42 » Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:48 pm

@ austdata (Mike)

That would be fine and dandy except that he runs his business from home and his wife uses the internet quite a lot for herself also, and their daughter needs it for her online study. I suppose they could have 4 lines put in for each, but given that it took them a couple years to get the 2nd line in for the internet in the first place (they live in what is now classed as an outer suburb, but used to be called country), it's neither viable or practical and is expensive. It took them almost 3 years to be able to get off dialup thanks to Telstra installing RIM's.

It is very easy to be smug and make invalid assumptions, especially about others misfortunes and problems, many people do constantly. :) Of course, if you have an in with Telstra, and don't mind paying the costs... by all means, please do! :) Australia is fast becoming a rather intolerant, ignorant and bigoted society sadly, particularly the last decade or so. (that's simply a general comment on my part about the direction I see Australian society in general heading BTW).

Oh, in case you wish to make another erroneous assumption... no, they are not wealthy just because they have their own business. In fact, as with many Aussies trying to earn an honest, decent living, they are doing it hard. You can laugh at that also if you like, perhaps you are one of the lucky few living in the lap of luxury. :) And no, that's not an assumption on my part. LOL

If you'd care to make any other assumptions and amuse us, please do. I can't wait! :D

Cheers!

dogwomble
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Post by dogwomble » Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:29 pm

Actually, I think pjb42 has a point. It could get that far - although I think any Australian government that did would not last very long so I don't think it will get that point.

I've been of the opinion that preventing children from accessing porn is an excellent motive, there are definite limitations on the technology that could be used by ISP's to do that at an ISP level.

For example, you could use a proxy, for example Squid, with "access control" processes in place to restrict access to questionable content (ie. site blacklists and whitelists, and blocking on known words). There are a few problems with this. There are only a few technologies that would work well with this - for example, HTTP is able to work well through a proxy, but chat networks like MSN might not work too well. So essentially, you either set it up so that it only blocks porn on a limited number of technologies (which essentially renders it useless) or restrict the technologies that can be used on the Internet (if you could only use Web and Email online, what would you say?) There's also the issues of "collateral damage" - eg. if you're doing keyword scanning, and blocking the word "sex", you might block access to sites that are questionable, but you would also block access to information on "sexually transmitted diseases", and the mathematical term "sextant" (which is completely harmless). If you're doing it based on blacklists and whitelists, you will only ever be able to filter out a very small amount of the Internet, as it just changes too quickly and you would need a team equivalent to quite possibly the entire population of Australia to keep this up to date. If you wanted to become a "conspiracy theorist" about it, you could also say that given that most proxy servers cache data, there are risks to our privacy - ie. plain-text Credit Card numbers being transmitted over the wire could be stored and used by those less trustworthy who have access to the cache, plain-text passwords could be stored and used by people to gain access to your email (or other password-protected services) without your knowledge. It could be used by people wanting to track what you're viewing online at any point. I don't know much about filtering techniques at a server level beyond that, but I believe they all work on the same basic concept - so have the same basic benefits and problems - maybe someone more knowledgeable could post more on the subject?

While I had a few concerns about the Howard Government, I think they had a far better policy in this matter than the Labor party. Basically, encourage parents to learn about the risks associated with the Internet, and encourage parents to be involved in their childrens' lives. A content filter was available for free to install on the client PC - however this does present the same problems as an ISP based solution (but on a smaller scale).

Spanner_Man

Post by Spanner_Man » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:24 pm

I did setup a proxy system for a CTC in Lightning Ridge just for this purpose.
It took awhile to make sure that the blacklists auto updated, and tied it all in to mod_clamav.
Overall i made sure that ONLY http/80 was proxied, and not https/443, and every file that was accessed via the net was scanned by ClamAV. Oh and by the way dogwomble, Squid works with MSN/Yahoo/ICQ/Jabber/ect for url filtering etc

It can be done, but it comes down to what level needs to be monitored and controlled though.

Oh and by the way, Unless a user on a Windows Vista/XP/2k machine has Administrator rights they cannot bypass proxy settings within Firefox/IE/Opera, which every child should be running as a general user account anyway

Anthony Michaud
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Post by Anthony Michaud » Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:20 pm

austdata wrote:Good grief!!!!!!!

Do you subscribe to the "We never landed on the moon!" theory as well?

Limiting my teenage sons access to Internet: Caution extreme geek content follows, you have been warned!!!!:
I removed the ADSL router from the LAN with one yank! Took said son and said router out the back. Put ADSL router on concrete drive to garage. Told son, touch it and you'll loose your hands too! Walked to said garage, came back with SledgeHammer, swung said SledgeHammer overhead as approaching said ADSL router at a brisk pace. SLAMMED said SledgeHammer onto router. Frightened crap out of teenage son (Okay that was just a personnel thing - me big bull). Me says to said teenage son, "Now Internet access limited! Want Plasma access limited next?!"
Overkill, with possible interruption of service to your own usage.

I've found it much more satisfying to have completely un-filtered internet access on an active directory (small business server) network.

Don't behave - account disabled. Surf somewhere you shouldn't (knowingly) - account disabled. etc, etc.

We only allow access to the internet in a public (eg: kids rumpus room) where adult supervision is frequent, if not constant (we can see their screens from the kitchen, and have to walk through to get to most areas in the house).

Filtering software will never be a silver bullet.
Linux/*SD: How do you want to work quickly, reliably, cheaply and .... oooh look - something shiney over there. We'll be back to finish this later ...

Anthony Michaud
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Post by Anthony Michaud » Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:42 am

Spanner_Man wrote:Oh and by the way, Unless a user on a Windows Vista/XP/2k machine has Administrator rights they cannot bypass proxy settings within Firefox/IE/Opera, which every child should be running as a general user account anyway
I haven't gone looking, am going on heresay, but 83,000+ hits on "firefox unpatched bug" http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q ... +unpatched confirms it enough to go with what I know, rather than look at the alternatives.

dogwomble
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Post by dogwomble » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:49 am

Spanner_Man wrote:Oh and by the way, Unless a user on a Windows Vista/XP/2k machine has Administrator rights they cannot bypass proxy settings within Firefox/IE/Opera, which every child should be running as a general user account anyway
Not necessarily true, I believe.

At work (where we have thousands of Win2K/XP client PCs) users are quite at ease to change their proxy settings in IE, and very, very few of them have administrator access. This particular point would be done through Group Policy - applying a policy that prevents access to these settings on a wide scale. However, this can be quite easily overcome through installing a second browser which ignores these settings - and given that there are now U3-based thumbdrives and portable versions of FireFox, you don't even technically need to "install" it anymore - just extract it somewhere and run it - meaning that blocking people from installing software won't necessarily work.

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