Re: Content Filtering Trial

Open discussion regarding technological or telecommunication issues
Dan541
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by Dan541 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:44 pm

Shouldn't an ISP have a moral obligation to protect the rights of it's users, for example the right to free-speech?

An ISP, or any other commercial organisation, only has an 'obligation' to fully comply with the Federal and State laws that apply to it.

Personally I abhor almost all censorship - but that's got nothing to do with my obligation as a company executive to obey tall he laws of the country in which the company operates.

NetworkAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by NetworkAdmin » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:53 pm

Dan541 wrote:Shouldn't an ISP have a moral obligation to protect the rights of it's users, for example the right to free-speech?
This is not a discussion about what it right or wrong about the content filtering, the filter list, or our trial of it. You should use other forums for that - preferably those run by the government.

We could of course stick our head in the sand and ignore the whole issue. Which would lead to us being caught flat footed should such a filter be imposed on ISP's. So, while this trial will certainly bring forward outrage and angst from a few for the few days the trial will operate I am thinking that most end users will see it as an opportunity to find out, as Exetel does, just what 'content filtering' will really mean - or at least as close an approximation as the trial will allow.

By all means, if you feel really strongly about content filtering, vote for someone at the next election that will promise not to impose it.

In the mean time, my main concern is to understand the technical issues well enough to ensure there is minimal disruption to our customers if mandatory filtering goes ahead.

mickos
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by mickos » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:52 pm

NetworkAdmin wrote:
Dan541 wrote:Shouldn't an ISP have a moral obligation to protect the rights of it's users, for example the right to free-speech?
This is not a discussion about what it right or wrong about the content filtering, the filter list, or our trial of it. You should use other forums for that - preferably those run by the government.

We could of course stick our head in the sand and ignore the whole issue. Which would lead to us being caught flat footed should such a filter be imposed on ISP's. So, while this trial will certainly bring forward outrage and angst from a few fo the few days the trial will operate I am thinking that most end users will see it as an opportunity to find out, as Exetel does, just what 'content filtering' will really mean - or at least as close an approximation as the trial will allow.

By all means, if you feel really strongly about content filtering, vote for someone at the next election that will promise not to impose it.

In the mean time, my main concern is to understand the technical issues well enough to ensure there is minimal disruption to our customers if mandatory filtering goes ahead.
And likewise, as some of your concerns as a commercial provider intersects with those of your customers, some of your customers' concerns necessarily intersect with those of Exetel. Exetel is entitled to introduce whatever policies it sees fit, no one would deny that. It is well within Exetel's right to trial a commercial filtering product if it sees fit to, & to see whether it fits its business model. While Exetel will undoubtedly increase its technical familiarity with this product as a result of the trials, I think it is of little worth to conflate it with Government policy at this stage.

So, will you as a spokesman for Exetel please answer:

1. Which specific list is being used to monitor & filter Exetel customers?

2. Which services & protocols are being monitored?

3. Has Exetel already been monitoring & logging cusotmers in the filters 1st mode ie logging, without prior notification or consent?

4. How does Exetel reconcile the implementation of a no opt in - no opt out filter with the current User Agreement / Terms of Service?

Thank you in advance.

ForumAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:05 pm

mickos wrote:
And likewise, as some of your concerns as a commercial provider intersects with those of your customers, some of your customers' concerns necessarily intersect with those of Exetel. Exetel is entitled to introduce whatever policies it sees fit, no one would deny that. It is well within Exetel's right to trial a commercial filtering product if it sees fit to, & to see whether it fits its business model. While Exetel will undoubtedly increase its technical familiarity with this product as a result of the trials, I think it is of little worth to conflate it with Government policy at this stage.

So, will you as a spokesman for Exetel please answer:

1. Which specific list is being used to monitor & filter Exetel customers?

2. Which services & protocols are being monitored?

3. Has Exetel already been monitoring & logging cusotmers in the filters 1st mode ie logging, without prior notification or consent?

4. How does Exetel reconcile the implementation of a no opt in - no opt out filter with the current User Agreement / Terms of Service?

Thank you in advance.
1) It's immaterial - it's simply a list of urls - it could be anything.

2) It's immaterial - anything that generates a url to route to - which means everything.

3) No

4) There is no point of correlation - it's a simple technical trial similar to dozens we have conducted over the past five plus years while evaluating different routers, switches, cacheing processes, perapp, alllot etc, etc - I'm sure you don't think any commercial network provider deploys anything within its network without testing it first.

ill_never_tell
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ill_never_tell » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:07 pm

What exactly is going to be blocked? According to Steve's blog there is a mention of 198 IP addresses so far. But what does that mean? How many webpages per IP address, how many domains or URLs?

Will the list of 198 IPs expand at any point?

Who decides what content is to be blocked? What type of content is it (ie: "illegal material", RC?)

Why no opt out? ... or opt-in?

Why has Exetel started "it's own trial" completely separate from government mandate and then said that users should complain to their local MP about it?

ForumAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:09 pm

ill_never_tell wrote:What exactly is going to be blocked? According to Steve's blog there is a mention of 198 IP addresses so far. But what does that mean? How many webpages per IP address, how many domains or URLs?

Will the list of 198 IPs expand at any point?

Who decides what content is to be blocked? What type of content is it (ie: "illegal material", RC?)

Why no opt out? ... or opt-in?

Why has Exetel started "it's own trial" completely separate from government mandate and then said that users should complain to their local MP about it?
I've already nswered your same points in another thread.

mickos
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by mickos » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:33 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:
mickos wrote: So, will you as a spokesman for Exetel please answer:

1. Which specific list is being used to monitor & filter Exetel customers?

2. Which services & protocols are being monitored?

3. Has Exetel already been monitoring & logging cusotmers in the filters 1st mode ie logging, without prior notification or consent?

4. How does Exetel reconcile the implementation of a no opt in - no opt out filter with the current User Agreement / Terms of Service?

Thank you in advance.
1) It's immaterial - it's simply a list of urls - it could be anything.

2) It's immaterial - anything that generates a url to route to - which means everything.

3) No

4) There is no point of correlation - it's a simple technical trial similar to dozens we have conducted over the past five plus years while evaluating different routers, switches, cacheing processes, perapp, alllot etc, etc - I'm sure you don't think any commercial network provider deploys anything within its network without testing it first.
1) You are of the opinion it is immaterial. Yet if the urls could be anything, they could reasonably interfere with carriage of normal services. And they have already been noted as illegal material. So they are not 'anything'. I will take it Exetel is unwilling to divulge the specific list it is trialling on it's subscribers.

2) Thank you. Everything then.

3) Thank you. Exetel was not monitoring & logging any customers at all in the 1st stage. What were they logging please? I'm referring to watchdog's own notes on suggested filter trialing, the first month being a solely monitoring / logging exercise.

4) Thank you. I do not deny there is a technical aspect to mounting a content filtering service. However I assert that a content filtering service & more importantly its underlying philosophy & aim consists of more than a purely technical challenge. Otherwise you would not be mounting the trial. I myself am concerned about fully understanding the point at which the rights of a commercial provider to trial certain equipment that goes beyond the present scope of normal provision resolve themselves with the complimentary entitlement of the subscriber to the User Agreement.

ForumAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:40 pm

If you have a problem with any url being blocked then use the thread allocated to note the occurrence or log a fault in any other way you wish to do so.

It's very simple.

If you don't experience any such problem then.........

JasonM

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by JasonM » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:47 pm

It's unlikely to impact anyone's connection, maybe I'm destroying an objective posting this, maybe not - I'm not sure what those objectives are.
There should be NO slow speed, as BGP is already in use in routers across the internet, and is there for routing IP addresses. You might notice a slow down if you are accessing one of the 198 IP addresses (I'm not sure what they are, why they've been chosen, or if they really are illegal).

Anyone complaining of slow speeds in this filter really could only be:
- Accessing material that is going through the proxy, and the proxy does slow content access down
- Having congestion issues of some sort.
- Making it up.

A proxy slow down is possible if it's on poor hardware, as the proxy has to examine the request. A proxy like architecture exists with the P2P shaping system, and this doesn't slow regular connections down in normal operation, unless it's overloaded with rules.

As to the question if it can be bypassed, that's easy. Proxy through a proxy server (plenty of them at proxy.org), and there are more than 198 there, so you can easily bypass the BGP, and therefore the filter.

The internet cannot be filtered for those willing to bypass filters. For those unwilling to bypass them (unwilling to access blocked content), there should be no slow down with this system in theory - it seems to be a good way to go about implementation whilst ensuring minimal impact.

mickos
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by mickos » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:53 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:If you have a problem with any url being blocked then use the thread allocated to note the occurrence or log a fault in any other way you wish to do so.

It's very simple.

If you don't experience any such problem then.........
If Steve's blog is correct and the blocked urls are illegal - & I take it he means in Australian jurisdiction - then surely that would be soliciting subscribers to publish illegal links on your forum?

ForumAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:55 pm

mickos wrote:
ForumAdmin wrote:If you have a problem with any url being blocked then use the thread allocated to note the occurrence or log a fault in any other way you wish to do so.

It's very simple.

If you don't experience any such problem then.........
If Steve's blog is correct and the blocked urls are illegal - & I take it he means in Australian jurisdiction - then surely that would be soliciting subscribers to publish illegal links on your forum?
You're flogging a dead horse - refer to my previous response.

ill_never_tell
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ill_never_tell » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:26 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:
ill_never_tell wrote:Who decides what content is to be blocked?
It is immaterial - it's a trial of a concept not a trial of censorship. If you get a site blocked then let us know - in the mean time stop posting in this thread and get on with things that are useful to you. You, many tens of thousands of other Exetel users will not be inconvenienced in any way and we will learn, hopefuly, something useful.
Why are you so reluctant to answer this question?

WHO decides what content is to be blocked?

JasonM

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by JasonM » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:33 pm

ill_never_tell wrote:
ForumAdmin wrote:
ill_never_tell wrote:Who decides what content is to be blocked?
It is immaterial - it's a trial of a concept not a trial of censorship. If you get a site blocked then let us know - in the mean time stop posting in this thread and get on with things that are useful to you. You, many tens of thousands of other Exetel users will not be inconvenienced in any way and we will learn, hopefuly, something useful.
Why are you so reluctant to answer this question?

WHO decides what content is to be blocked?
I don't know the answer to either of those, but a question does spring to mind:
"What's it to you?"

If the vendor decides, it's just a list of URLs that no one is expected to access.
If Exetel decides, it's just a list of URLs that no one is expected to access.

mickos
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by mickos » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:45 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:
mickos wrote:
ForumAdmin wrote:If you have a problem with any url being blocked then use the thread allocated to note the occurrence or log a fault in any other way you wish to do so.

It's very simple.

If you don't experience any such problem then.........
If Steve's blog is correct and the blocked urls are illegal - & I take it he means in Australian jurisdiction - then surely that would be soliciting subscribers to publish illegal links on your forum?
You're flogging a dead horse - refer to my previous response.
The reason I ask what has just been deleted, is according to the maker of the whiteboxes, Christian Sjöberg, there are specific arrangements written into the licence agreement preventing using the box to block anything other than child abuse pages. When Peter Mancer recommends Australian ISP's load the ACMA blacklist, it appears to be in direct contravention of the licencing agreement on the hardware. If the forum is soliciting users to publish blocked links, it is pertinent for users to know with some surety beforehand what the likelihood is that a blocked link published on the forum will itself be prohibited content.

NetworkAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by NetworkAdmin » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:52 pm

mickos wrote: The reason I ask what has just been deleted, is according to the maker of the whiteboxes, Christian Sjöberg, there are specific arrangements written into the licence agreement preventing using the box to block anything other than child abuse pages. When Peter Mancer recommends Australian ISP's load the ACMA blacklist, it appears to be in direct contravention of the licencing agreement on the hardware. If the forum is soliciting users to publish blocked links, it is pertinent for users to know with some surety beforehand what the likelihood is that a blocked link published on the forum will itself be prohibited content.
You should take it up directly with Mr Sjöberg and Mr Mancer if that is your concern.

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