Content Filtering Trial

Discussions regarding new & existing plans and other Exetel initiatives
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portfan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:26 am
Location: perth

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by portfan » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:38 am

Its been proven in other countries that filtering the net does not work so why does the government here thinks theirs will ??

Will be interesting to see what crud comes up with next once filtering doesn't make it through the senate

ForumAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:38 am

bushie wrote:I have been driven to post on the Forum because of my anger about this filtering rubbish and that this filtering test is being foisted upon users. I am an extreme opponent of the Government's airy fairy ideas with regard to filtering. They have been proven to be idiots on several occasions already with their blacklists and other concepts.

It would seem the internet is the flavour of the month in terms of a crackdown and yet I would suggest many of our TV shows are highly unsuitable for children to be watching as well.

The government's blacklist proved to be a complete sham when sites were listed that had nothing to do with porn. Sites were included purely because someone complained about them. This is censorship and denial of free speech at its worst. The best example of all was the wiki site that got banned for publishing the blacklist! So a site even with a link in it to a banned site can be banned, but unless you know whether the site is on the blacklist or not, you don't even know if you are linking to a banned site! Government beauocracy at its most idiotic.

When the Kiwis proposed introducing legislation based on the "guilty until proven innocent" criteria, there was a mass outcry and very public campaign on Twitter where people blacked out their avatars in protest. The government eventually dropped the idea. Twitter is a great place to take your protest about the filter. Send tweets to @KevinRuddPM and @TurnbullMalcolm for a start, but there are many other pollies on Twitter.

Whenever government's push policy, it is usually to placate some sector of the electorate where some votes exist, but I still haven't fathomed out who is at the bottom of the filter.

I trust your "trial" will be shortlived and it will be the last we hear of it.
I agree with everything you say.

However Exetel's directors have an obligation to protect the interests of their shareholders and their customers.

In hindsight, it would have been better to have run this test without telling anyone - no-one who is currently making fuss about it would have noticed and I wouldn't have wasted so much of my ever shortening time left on this planet.

Just goes to show you that "transparency" and "honesty" are expensive and it would be much better to be 'dis-honest- and 'opaque'.

ForumAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:41 am

portfan wrote:Its been proven in other countries that filtering the net does not work so why does the government here thinks theirs will ??

Will be interesting to see what crud comes up with next once filtering doesn't make it through the senate
Krudd is making an art style out of stupidity in government taking it to a level that even surpasses the very worst of the Whitlam idiocies.

Apparently everyone in the world other than Krudd knows that internet filtering cannot be done.

Niloc
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:51 pm
Location: Endeavour Hills (Victoria)

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by Niloc » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:00 am

It seems that all this complaining to Exetel misses the point IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT it,s the goverments, complain and protest to them. NO Clean Feeds. :cry:
Always look on the bright side of life

stubbers
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:49 pm
Location: Wangaratta

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by stubbers » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:26 am

Niloc wrote:It seems that all this complaining to Exetel misses the point IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT it,s the goverments, complain and protest to them. NO Clean Feeds. :cry:
Indeed... Though it could be argued Exetel didn't have to make this choice, it shows that they are planning for the possibility and attempting to identify the system which will least affect us, the customers

ant333
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:43 pm
Location: Seaford Melbourne Victoria.

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by ant333 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:44 am

Good Work Exetel . Good to see you're employing some 'forward thinking' to get systems up and running, and proven to be reliable just in case the Gov pulls this one on us.

I can see ISP's who dont' do this scrambling to implement half baked systems which will kill performance...

A.

peteru
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:22 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by peteru » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:58 pm

I'm sure that Exetel technical staff probably considered this but here are some scalability questions that probably need to be asked:

Scalability at the core routers: A routing table with ~200 additional host entries is going to behave very differently to a routing table that needs to accommodate extra entries for ~10,000 URLs (and probably as many IPs). Besides the obvious CPU cycle requirement, the memory footprint also needs to be considered as will the latency (which is a product of memory bus speed and CPU load on the router). Most routing equipment uses a combination of lookup tables and linked lists data structures to deliver a reasonable performance for blocks that contain ranges of IP addresses. The performance is likely to degrade with large lists of host/32 entries - these will most likely degenerate into linear lookups. At the packet rates seen by an ISP, these lookups could prove to be VERY expensive.

Deep packet inspection at the filtering device: The vendor really doesn't provide much information as to what happens to packets re-routed to their equipment. There's some hand waving about a block page being returned. This statement would suggest that there is some DPI performed on HTTP over TCP. What happens to every other packet?

What happens in corner cases? For example a range of very popular IP's, such as an Akamai farm, hosts a few banned URLs. Such scenario could potentially lead to significant spikes in traffic being routed to the filtering infrastructure and cause unusually high load on devices and links involved in filtering. What about a blacklisted IP that receives a large volume of uploaded data (Picasa, YouTube), which could result in large amounts of data going through the filtering infrastructure?

It would be interesting if Exetel could investigate these (and other) areas and perhaps keep us informed on what kind of answers they get back.

kdmcc500
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:51 am
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by kdmcc500 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:25 pm

Not sure if this is just coincidence or not, but I have just tried to access a 'home appliance' page on the bosch.com.au site and it appears to have been blocked? Well, i get the standard firefox "address not found" error page up? Other pages on the site are ok?

http://www.boschappliances.com.au/

lesso
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:11 pm
Location: N.S.W.
Contact:

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by lesso » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:38 pm

kdmcc500 wrote:Not sure if this is just coincidence or not, but I have just tried to access a 'home appliance' page on the bosch.com.au site and it appears to have been blocked? Well, i get the standard firefox "address not found" error page up? Other pages on the site are ok?

http://www.boschappliances.com.au/
that domain appears to be down i will run a script against it from my web server to be sure
Regards,
Lesso
http://ausdesign.net

NetworkAdmin
Exetel Staff
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by NetworkAdmin » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:44 pm

peteru wrote:I'm sure that Exetel technical staff probably considered this but here are some scalability questions that probably need to be asked:
I will give you my answers based on what has been found int the trial so far now, and refer your questions to the vendor for their comment.
[Scalability at the core routers: A routing table with ~200 additional host entries is going to behave very differently to a routing table that needs to accommodate extra entries for ~10,000 URLs (and probably as many IPs). Besides the obvious CPU cycle requirement, the memory footprint also needs to be considered as will the latency (which is a product of memory bus speed and CPU load on the router). Most routing equipment uses a combination of lookup tables and linked lists data structures to deliver a reasonable performance for blocks that contain ranges of IP addresses. The performance is likely to degrade with large lists of host/32 entries - these will most likely degenerate into linear lookups. At the packet rates seen by an ISP, these lookups could prove to be VERY expensive.
The additional router processor load for an extra 200 odd routes it below what can be measured, the router only deals with IP addresses. The URL matching is done on the filter server. I don't know what the processor load is, but consider a standard SQUID proxy; even a very basic server can handle thousands of simultaneous requests and serve sites at a sustained rate of some tens of Mbps. Looking at the results so far, I would estimate it would take a block list in the order of 100,000 sites before the limits of an average server was reached.
Deep packet inspection at the filtering device: The vendor really doesn't provide much information as to what happens to packets re-routed to their equipment. There's some hand waving about a block page being returned. This statement would suggest that there is some DPI performed on HTTP over TCP. What happens to every other packet?
I think only web urls are inspected and if matched, redirected. It looks to me like everything else is passed through.
What happens in corner cases? For example a range of very popular IP's, such as an Akamai farm, hosts a few banned URLs. Such scenario could potentially lead to significant spikes in traffic being routed to the filtering infrastructure and cause unusually high load on devices and links involved in filtering. What about a blacklisted IP that receives a large volume of uploaded data (Picasa, YouTube), which could result in large amounts of data going through the filtering infrastructure?
I don't know what effect that would have, mainly because I have never looked at the volume of traffic only to a large streaming media site, My guess is no one site will have enough traffic to cause a problem (otherwise, how would ISP's be able to use proxies now?).

NetworkAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by NetworkAdmin » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:46 pm

kdmcc500 wrote:Not sure if this is just coincidence or not, but I have just tried to access a 'home appliance' page on the bosch.com.au site and it appears to have been blocked? Well, i get the standard firefox "address not found" error page up? Other pages on the site are ok?

http://www.boschappliances.com.au/
Coincidence. We are still waiting for the go-ahead to switch the filter to active - so it can't be that.

jokiin
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 2970
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Location: Sydney

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by jokiin » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:59 pm

kdmcc500 wrote:Not sure if this is just coincidence or not, but I have just tried to access a 'home appliance' page on the bosch.com.au site and it appears to have been blocked? Well, i get the standard firefox "address not found" error page up? Other pages on the site are ok?

http://www.boschappliances.com.au/
try checking here http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/

NetworkAdmin
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Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by NetworkAdmin » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:19 pm

The filter is now active. This is the web page that will be served if a site on the filter list is accessed:

http://blocked.exetel.com.au/censored/

dbr
Posts: 493
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:33 pm
Location: Sale VIC

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by dbr » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:32 pm

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!

I've just been blocked. First link I clicked on and I went to some Exetel Block page.

This is the one I tried

:twisted: :wink:
http://www.saferoz.com.au
First Aid * Fire * Safety

bingggo
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:08 pm

Re: Content Filtering Trial

Post by bingggo » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:43 pm

The block page says "This page has been blocked as it is believed to contain material that is illegal to access under Australian law."

I don't think this would be true at the moment if looking at a site on the ACMA blacklist for example, and even under the new proposed scheme, Conroy said looking at blacklisted content by an end-user would not be an offence...

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