Australia’s mandatory internet filter is at least two years away, but Telstra and Optus are only weeks from implementing their “voluntary” equivalents. Where are we up to with this controversial issue?
That’s what I covered in yesterday’s Patch Monday podcast for ZDNet Australia. And as I explained on the weekend, I’m returning to my habit of doing a blog post here for each episode.
For this internet filtering update, I spoke with Peter Black, who teaches internet and media law at the Queensland University of Technology; network engineer Mark Newton; and Lyle Shelton, chief of staff for the Australian Christian Lobby.
You can listen below. But it’s probably better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.
Since this podcast was recorded, we’ve discovered that Primus isn’t so sure about voluntary filtering any more. They were the third ISP to commit to the plan last year. However the Internet Industry Association (IIA) has said most Australian ISPs will filter via the Interpol list this year.
Previous podcast on this issue covered the meaning of the Refused Classification content category, Senator Conroy’s announcement of the strategy in July 2010, and the apparent fact that parents don’t act on their cybersafety fears.
Please let me know what you think. Comments below. We accept audio comments too. Either Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.
It’s almost old news now, but last Thursday the Federal Court ruled that internet service providers (ISPs) are not responsible for the copyright infringements done by their customers.
The full decision by Justice Dennis Cowdroy is almost 200 pages long, yet I found it relatively easy to read and learned a lot.
I’ve written three stories for Crikey so far:
- iiTrial: ISPs not responsible for users’ copyright infringement, which was published just a few hours after the decision was handed down. It’s the basic facts of the decision.
- iiNet decision a slapdown for AFACT, movie industry, which focuses on Justice Cowdroy’s comprehensive criticism of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) — not just the way they conducted themselves in court but their whole approach to dealing with copyright infringement.
- Conroy tells movie industry, ISPs to kiss and make up, published yesterday. AFACT looked like they expected the government to intervene, but communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy is instead asking the movie and ISP industries to negotiate a code of practice themselves, presumably via the Internet Industry Association.
I daresay I’ll be writing more soon. Meanwhile, if you have any questions…
“If you had to identify the biggest single issue confronting the security and safety and the confidence of the internet these days, particularly in the commercial space, you could only point to zombie botnets as the major concern,” says Peter Coroneos, chief executive of the Internet Industry Association (IIA).
On Wednesday, ZDNet.com.au published my feature story Zombie Generation: The spreading infection, which kicks off with a backgrounder on zombie botnets and then some worrying trends.
- The malware used to create botnets is getting more sophisticated. Traditional stay-safe-online messages are no longer adequate — if they ever were.
- Young people’s eagerness to share cool new things amongst their peers is natural human behaviour, but it runs counter to the “don’t share” messages.
- It’s easy for kids to break out of the security restrictions of the laptops supplied under the Australian Government’s Digital Education Revolution program — something we also spoke about on Patch Monday.
Australian ISPs are now developing a more formal code of practice to detect and deal with their customers’ zombie computers.
I also posted a lengthy rebuttal to some fool trying to over-simplify this as “a Microsoft problem”.
Stilgherrian’s links for 22 September 2009 through 26 September 2009, gathered intermittently and posted with a lack of attention to detail:
- How Twitter works in theory | Epeus’ epigone: There is much in this commentary of Twitter which I support, particularly the concepts of flow and the overlapping social networks. Read and learn.
- Industry cooperation looming on filtering? | CommsDay: There have been rumours, from reliable sources, that Senator Conroy is hoping Australia’s Internet industry will come up with its own answer to censorship.
- Dear Associated Press: Come On, Attribution is Not That Hard | Whatever: John Scalzi is annoyed that AP cited him as “another user” on Twitter, when his name is just a click away. This fits with something I hinted at in Crikey this week. More about that another time.
- How journalists and media brands can get the maximum benefit from Twitter | Write, edit, blog: A nice collection of thoughts about… well, what the title says.
- Public Radio Exchange: “An online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing of public radio programming.” Free registration means you can listen to this stuff yourself. Hours and hours of it.
- Programmatic specificity: what is Rudd talking about? | En Passant: An earlier essay, from July, with another take on Ruddspeak.
- Rudd's robust language is not the problem | Woolly Days: A nice analysis of why Prime Minister Kevin Rudd using the f-word really of little consequence, whereas bureaucratic evasiveness like “detailed programmatic specificity” is.
- Caring for Your Introvert | The Atlantic (March 2003): An oldie but a goodie. Kind of. If you’re an introvert, it might be worth showing this to those extroverts who are pissing you off.
- LIFE photo archive hosted by Google: All of the photos from LIFE magazine from 1936 to 1972 are on Google Images. This isn’t new — the archive was created in 2008 — but I was reminded of it this week.
- WP Greet Box WordPress Plugin | OMNINOGGIN: A different message is displayed to blog visitors, depending on how they found you. Do I have a use for this, or it it just another annoyance to maintain?
- Is the Internet melting our brains? | Salon Books: Despite the provocative headline, this interview with linguist Dennis Baron from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a sensible debunking of the fears.
- The Interregnum Revisited | Jon Taplin’ Blog: This essay deserves slow and careful reading. It links the themes of the cyclic nature of right-wing fear-mongering and paranoia with longer-term US political history — with some disturbing conclusions.
- Can Sheepdogs Round Up Magpies? | BitingTheDust: A great story from Robbo, currently in the Gibson Desert. And a great photo.
- MacSpeech Dictate 1.5: I’d been meaning to find decent dictation software for OS X, and John Birmingham mentioned this one. Must check it out.
- Average Web Page Size Triples Since 2003 | WebSiteOptimization.com: Web pages now average more than 300KB and 50 objects per page. I know my own attitude has been that everyone now has broadband. But what about mobile devices and the Third World?
[This article was first published in Crikey on Monday 2 March. Nothing’s changed since then.]
The villain gets thrown off the cliff. He bounces off the rocks into the river and his limp, bleeding form is flushed downstream. Hurrah! But just as our heroes down their first celebratory drinks, the door bursts open and the villain is back — soaking wet and angrier than ever…
“The Government’s plan to introduce mandatory internet censorship has effectively been scuttled,” wrote Asher Moses last Thursday when independent Senator Nick Xenophon withdrew support for the Rudd government’s internet “filtering” plans. Opponents of Senator Conroy’s scheme popped open the virtual champagne and started sending congratulatory messages to anti-censorship lobbyists.
But as blogger Kieran Salsone’s headline put it, “Twitterati blow load over Xenophon: Lobbyists still without cigarette”. Despite Senator Xenophon’s announcement, nothing has actually changed and Senator Conroy has yet to comment.
True, any legislation would need support in the Senate from the Coalition or all seven minor party and independent senators. With the Coalition expressing grave reservations and calling the proposal insulting, and with the Greens and now Xenophon opposed too, any legislation would be blocked.
Blocked, that is, unless someone changes their mind.
Continue reading “So Conroy’s Rabbit-Proof Firewall is dead… or is it?”
Well, he is! As part of The Australian‘s “super blog” on Senator Conroy’s Rabbit-Proof Firewall plans, Clive Hamilton has remixed his favourite old party piece. This time his rant is entitled Web doesn’t belong to net libertarians. Have a look. It’s a giggle.
OK, back? Cool.
Now I’ve dismantled most of Hamilton’s logical fallacies, baseless slurs and misinformation before, here and over at Crikey. Still, if Clive wants to sing the same old tune I’m happy to hum along one more time…
Clive, you started by saying, “Here is the kind of situation the Government’s proposed internet filter is aimed at,” and then provide a detailed description of an unsupervised schoolboy looking for porn.
Continue reading ““Clive Hamilton, you’re really starting to shit me!””