CSO: Voluntary filtering removes the controversy

My first op-ed for CSO, “The Resource for Data Security Executives”, has just been posted. It’s voluntary ISP-level internet filtering, but a different angle from my Crikey piece earlier today.

After nearly four chaotic years, Australia’s internet filtering scheme is finally coming together in a way that makes sense technically and politically, if not necessarily for effective child protection.

The chaos wasn’t all communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy’s fault. The “clean feed” was announced as Labor policy back in March 2006 by then-leader Kim Beazley. ISPs would filter out the nasties hosted overseas, where they couldn’t be hit with a takedown notice from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

But Conroy’s name was on Labor’s Plan for Cyber-safety published just five days out from the federal election in late 2007, and once in government it was Conroy’s job to explain that plan and sell it to voters. Everyone presumably imagined it’d be a protect-the-kiddies no-brainer.

Problem was, neither the plan not Conroy’s explanations were clear…

As I say, it’s my first outing for CSO, but if all goes according to plan there’ll be more. And in case you’re wondering, CSO is a job title. Chief Security Officer.

Weekly Wrap 13 and 14

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets, once again done fortnightly because I forgot to do it last weekend. Suffer.

Articles

  • Nile’s porn excuse doesn’t hold water, for Crikey. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph alleged that various NSW politicians had been using their parliamentary computers to access pornography, and that anti-sex-industry campaigner and Christian Democrats leader Reverend Fred Nile was the worst culprit. He denied it, but as the story stood on 2 September 2010 I didn’t believe him.
  • NSW Parliament’s flawed porn hunt, for Crikey. By the following day, it was clear that the “audit” of parliamentary web browsing was deeply flawed.
  • What the NBN will deliver to Windsor’s mob, for Crikey. Independent MP Tony Windsor said that the National Broadband Network was a major factor in him choosing to support Labor over the Liberal-National Coalition.
  • ACMA and Nine demonstrate Australia’s institutionalised racism, for ABC Unleashed. Sam Newman’s continued low-brow bigotry on The AFL Footy Show gets “punished” with a slap on the wrist. Again. It took only six comments before someone accused me of political correctness gone mad and compared Australian with North Korea. And another commenter said that I “looked like a potato that had been boiled too far”. The standard of discussion at ABC Online isn’t all that flash.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 55, “BYO computers: cloud security risk?”.
  • Patch Monday episode 56, “Parliament’s poor porn probe exposed”. If ZDNet allowed longer headlines and more robust language in their stories, I’d have entitled this podcast “Pollies’ piss poor Parly porn probe exposed”. Poetry.

Media Appearances

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos eventually appear on Flickr.

[Photo: Enmore Village on a Spring evening, taken from one of my favourite afternoon working spots at the Warren View Hotel, corner of Stanmore and Enmore Roads. Compare it with the photo in this post, My village really is home.]

The 9pm Edict #8

The 9pm EdictGoogle takes on China. Internet heavies and clueful people rip into Australia’s mandatory censorship plan. And Senator Conroy says he will release the NBN report… in May.

Here is episode 8 of The 9pm Edict.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

Play

For more information about tonight’s rant, you can check out my story for Crikey about Refused Classification, the Facebook sacking of Chelsea Taylor, a Google News search for Google versus China and Tony Abbott’s victory speech.

And here’s the story about the National Broadband Network report which I didn’t cover.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

Talking Australia’s new Internet censorship policy on 6PR

6PR 882 News TalkYes, Australia will have a mandatory ISP-level Internet censorship system. It was announced earlier today by Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy when he released the final report of the recent filtering trials.

According to the ABC News report, legislation will be introduced into Parliament next year which will require all ISPs to block material hosted in other countries which has been refused classification. That’s actualy not quite correct. It will block material which, in the opinion of an ACMA staff member, would potentially be refused classification if it were actually submitted to the Classification Board.

Provided, that is, that a concerned citizen went to the trouble of complaining about the material in the first place.

I’m still ploughing through the final report from Enex Testlab for a couple media articles I need to write tonight.

Meanwhile, have a listen to this 10-minute interview I did earlier today with Jason Jordan on Radio 6PR Perth.

Play

[The radio interview is Copyright © 2009 Radio 6PR Perth Pty Ltd, but since they don’t archive these interviews it’s fair enough putting it here provided you just listen to it and I link back to 6PR and encourage you to listen. If you’re in Perth. Or if you want to stream it.]

Links for 12 September 2009 through 19 September 2009

Here are the web links I’ve found for 12 September 2009 through 19 September 2009, posted not-quite-automatically.

Links for 09 May 2009 through 17 May 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 09 May 2009 through 17 May 2009, gathered intermittently and jumbled together at random: