Rudd’s Internet Filtering System

The Internet filtering system will prove to be totally unworkable and will ultimately be dumped. For people who are technically skilled, people who know how to use computers, this censorship is going to be pathetically easy to defeat. It will also slow things down for the majority and potentially stifle dissent.

An absurd comment came from Stephen Conroy during Christmas, that the government could filter peer-to-peer networks as well as the Internet. There is just NO WAY you can filter peer-to-peer networks! The music industry can’t even snoop properly on illegal users, and that’s even before they use encryption. The reality is that governments can’t know what people are doing (in democracies at least).

The fact is that peer-to-peer networks use thousands of servers from around the world, so governments don’t know what to filter. And even if they did, Illegal users would use encryption, such as an SSH connection using freeware. So what does Conroy suggest? Crack the top 256 bit encryption?

The only way to stop it is to cut off all ports. You allow it, or you block all ports from the ISP level. But then people would simply use fake ISPs. What this all means is that people will always find a way around such measures, like port forwarding programs, and if they want to do something illegal – they will. You cannot stop them.

Is it really worth punishing the majority of people with slower Internet speeds (as much as 87% slower!), and inadvertently blocking them from legitimate content just because of a small minority?

Lets look at one of Labor’s primary arguments “protecting children”.

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”   ~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

1. X is good for children
2. Anything good for children is good
3. Therefore, X is good

I think Labor is using this argument to stifle any criticism. We’d all like to be free from bad content, and to keep our children free from it. But no other western society has introduced such a scheme – and for the reasons I’ve outlined.

Labor’s its own worst enemy on this issue. It’s interesting really, because Kevin Rudd is usually keen to be on the populist side of an issue, but on this one he’s proving that having to back-down on something is an even greater fear for him than doing something unpopular. If it does actually get implemented, I’ll get one of those US based services that lets you access the Internet through US-based servers, hence with no censorship.

3 February, 2009

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