back to article Oz Firewall still standing after inconclusive filter trial

Inconclusive news from the internet filtering trials might turn out to be bad news for the anti-censorship lobby in Australia. The Australian Government’s refusal to explain what exactly would count as a bad result for internet filtering adds to the sense that it will be ploughing on with this regardless. First the bad news. …


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  1. codemonkey


    This approach to sucking it and seeing is perfectly acceptable in terms of research. I've done it all my life...find the breaking point, know where the boundaries lie, and know when and how and if you can cross them. Makes 100% sense.

    The only time it fails is when you know that the testing organisation may not have the "best interests" of the majority at heart. In this case, the "flexibility" of the "gov" to "make up it's mind as and when it sees fit" should raise adequate suspicion in everyone's mind.

    Remember, they're there for their own ends; not ours: FACT. MP's expenses UK Scandal anyone? Easy jobs on the boards of companies that they've helped make international deals for and with ( defence etc )..


    I'm Connected.

    Keep it based in Reality :)

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Idiocy-Ur doin it rite

    Conroy needs to be stretched over a server rack and flogged with a CAT'0'9 tails

    I can't stand Elvis so i think that anything anywhere on the net that has Elvis on it should be removed,Oh,and i don't really like Custard either,get rid of that too.


    Seriously,the morons that are in control shouldn't be allowed to make decisions any more important than what colour socks they are wearing that day.

    Even then i think that would be a stretch for them..

    {Paris comment here}

  3. Dr. Mouse


    This was obviiously a trial of technical feasability. They have proven it is possible. They don't care about the rest, they just wanted to know if they COULD put a filter in place, so now they will do so.

    And, yes, they will build the goal posts around the results.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    They think that implementing a layer of blocking that doesn't work, is proper use of peoples time, energy and tax payers money. There are very few occasions these days that I am glad that I live in the UK, but this is one of them.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Sham, sham, egg, chips and sham

    I love this:

    "Webshield managing director, Anthony Pillion, said his entire customer base of a few thousand end-users experienced no slow-down in Internet speeds whatsoever."

    Given that Webshield only offers a filtered service anyway it's would be a great surprise if anyone noticed anything untoward. For those not familiar with Webshield, it is run by a religious cult known as Christadelphians and they make up the majority of WebShield's customers. I bet it doesn't filter out pictures of naked men nailed to wooden crosses, which I feel sure would fall foul of the new "extreme pr0n" laws in the UK.

    Mr Pillion is also on the government's Cyber-Safety Consultative Working Group. The words "conflict", "interest", "of" and "are you taking the piss?" spring to mind. Take anything that Pillock says with a truck full of salt.

  6. Graham Marsden

    Government "success"...

    ... In other words "Let's not tell anyone exactly what we want, then we can spin what happens as a success"...

  7. Adrian Esdaile
    Black Helicopters


    Rest assurred that the first sites I will complain are offensive to me all end in * and in particular (Australian Tax Office)

    They can filter all they want till the **** **** home, but until they post the list in public view it will simply be used as a **** for political ******** and ****.

    **** *** ***** ******* *** ** *********** ** *** ***** *****. F|_|C|< |-|34d5

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's not what the trial shows, because the list is dynamic, it will change over time and always change to filter MORE not LESS. There simply isn't a push to remove sites from the filter list because anyone who puts their heads and demands access to sites X or Y is saying they are a pedo terrorist spouter of hate speech... because the excuse for the filter is that mere access to that information turns people into hate filled pedo terrorist unless they work for the filtering company in which case they have a cloak of righteousness to protect them.

    It starts out with the best of intentions and quickly becomes a filter list filtering 'hate speech', and 'terrorism' and everything.

    Which in turn then gets these terms redefined, see Blair and his definition of terrorism to be 'damage to economy' and 'misuse of a computer'.... i.e. he EXPANDED the definition presumably to let GCHQ spy on banks and internet under the guise of fighting 'terrorism'.

    Bush had a go at the definition of cyber terrorism in 2006 to include online criticism of Bush... as though speech equates to actions, if he has the right to block actions, he has the right to block speech.

    Once you let one person define what can be read by another, you hand power to them. Look at Russia, the only politician that is on TV in Russian is the ones Putin allows to be on TV. Look at China, or indeed look at Australia, where Wikileaks shows them up, they filter Wikileaks...

  9. Joe M

    Dream on

    As I have said before on these forums: this particular (and peculiar) government is determined to implement ISP level filtering come what may. It has an ideological commitment, which is strong and immutable and no amount of techno-babble or social disquiet will deter it.

    (Without trying to bignote myself, I have a tiny amount of inside information trickling down from on high in The Party, and the word is: It's On. And much of the Party is pretty pissed off by it all.)

    So get used to it. The Great Southern Firewall is going to happen and not even a tsunami of outraged protest will do anything to prevent it. With the polls as they are, what the Kev wants, the Kev gets!

  10. Rosuav

    Shifting boundaries

    codemonkey said: "This approach to sucking it and seeing is perfectly acceptable in terms of research. I've done it all my life...find the breaking point, know where the boundaries lie, and know when and how and if you can cross them. Makes 100% sense."

    But you have an idea in your head of what the breaking point will look like. (Like, maybe, something actually literally breaking.) You still know beforehand how you'll recognize success/failure.

  11. Combat Wombat
    Big Brother


    On behalf of intelligent Australia's I am really sorry about this.

    Had I known they had this in mind, I would have never voted for the bastards.

    If they bring in the firewall, the first thing I will be doing, is setting up a 443 proxy for my Aussie friends, so they can get around this thing. I currently reside in the land of the free (Canada). I will be making every effort to help me fellow Australians bypass this stupid and evil filter system.

    Yes, It is evil, because this is not about protecting the children, it never was, its about control of the people.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    The problem with filters is who gets to decide.

    Now I'm sure that Mr Conroy would like to have the unfiltered results of the test.... but unfortunately I've decided that the results of said test may be sexist, racist, politically incorrect and/or related to kiddie porn, so Mr Conroy will have to make do with the following "filtered" result: 42.

    Thanks for playing.

  13. Luther Blissett

    Pragmatic theory of truth meets the hyperreal

    The pragmatic theory of truth says that truth is what "works" - so if there is a critical mass of belief in some scientific theory, than it becomes a focus for pulling in funds for research proposals, which hopefully create more truths - a groupthink mechanism that emphasizes one PoV of (part of) the world.

    There is only one PoV in the hyperreal, since the concept of representing the world by theoretic descriptions implies the possibilty of misrepresentation (ie being wrong), and the hyperreal precludes that. The pragmatic theory of truth is then subject only to the dominance of economic power - which translates into practice as the politician with a criterion of truth (ie "the trial worked") that is only and no more than what s/he can get away with. If the political play (as in gambit, not as in pretence) is successful, it becomes part of the hyperreal narrative.

  14. Martin 6 Silver badge

    @Government "success"

    Any response where The government wasn't dragged out into the street and guillotined by a torch wielding mob - is pretty much the definition of success these days.

    Can't wait until we next win the ashes (don't laugh - it could happen) to see if cricket will be added to the filter.

  15. s. pam Silver badge

    When a tool's a TOOL....

    The fact that folks don't realise is that Oz is NOT a Democracy but a Dictatorship, and the drugs will be taking effect soon my son. The reality is that the minister is a complete and utter tool of the highest degree isn't lost on the press, or anyone else here. He seems to have more body "exits" than most, given the shower of sh*t that comes from him routinely.

    The fact is most folks here ain't bothered about the Internet, it was just 3-4 years ago that the (at the time) only fibre into Oz from Singapore was caught by an anchor and broken. So what the minister is proposing in his uber-right-wing stupidity is the same thing.

    REALOz ISP's, and i use that term smartly are not on the trials, refused to be on the trials, and have steadfastly said they believe filtering is down to the end user / parent and NOT encumbering the ISP.

    But, at the end of the day, the gubmnt here wears jackboots and jodhpur's and it'll all be allright on the day. Or we'll jail you for dissent.

  16. Fozzy 1


    Most days I can barely suppress the rage having to deal with retards that can't work out which end of the keyboard they should be using, but I'm about to go supernova when I read about fuckwits like this.

    Now I find myself living in a province of china rather than a democratric society that enjoys the freedom of speech

    CONROY suck on this

  17. Goat Jam

    @Combat Wombat

    Umm, it was a clearly described election promise put foward during the campaign.

    What you meant to say "Had I have paid any attention during the election campaign I may not have done the kneejerk "vote out the Libs" thing along with the rest of the sheeple in this god forsaken country.

    *NB This is not to say that I voted Liberal myself. Or Labor although I do hate Labor ideology a bit more than I hate that of the lying turd rags on the other side. Suffice to say they should all be taken out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean and dumped overboard.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Conroy you're wasting my hard-earned tax dollars you twerp!

    Protect the Children my a**!

    You want to protect kids from pron.. then don't let them use the net unsupervised.

    Your REALLY want to protect them - give the money your going p*ss up the wall to the police who can go and find these people.

    It's all about control and rhetoric and sweet FA about dealing with the issues..

    short-sighted numpties!

  19. Moss Icely Spaceport

    It's all that god-fellas fault you know!

    If it weren't for that jehovah bloke, we wouldn't be in this pickle.

    The Aus govt is beholden to the church of the crazy, the cult of death, the fundies of forever...

    Makes you kinda mad!

  20. blackworx


    "If the trial shows it cannot be done without slowing the internet down, then we will not do it."


    But surely the Safety of the Children (TM) is more important than the speeds of the interwebs?!

    What a stupid twat.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @ Goat Jam

    "Umm, it was a clearly described election promise put foward during the campaign."

    Wanna bet on that? What they actually said was this:

    "A Rudd Labor Government will require ISPs to offer a ‘clean feed’ internet service to all homes, schools and public internet points accessible by children, such as public libraries."

    Note the word "offer" and the implication that it isn't mandatory and only applying to certain locations. Don't believe me? From the horse's mouth:

    And they still can't spell Labour...

  22. Andy Goss
    Black Helicopters


    I wondered why K Rudd had that secret meeting with China's propaganda chief.

  23. Michael Nielsen

    let me see

    If I read this correctly, they have applied the filter to a few 1000 users, however the internet users number in the millions, as do the illicit websites, thus extrapolating the results from this trial is like seeing a hole in a wall, and guessing how did it get there.

    I've been involved in too many trials, where you do the 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 tests, and everything appears linear, and people then assume you can extrapolate to 10 000, 100 000 because it was linear until 500, there it must be the same from there on in.

    Unfortunately, in the limit of small numbers, an exponential curve may indeed be linear, for the sample, however once you exceed small limited numbers, the load and delays often go exponential.

    So say you do a small test with 1000 sites, and 1000 users, nxm is only 1000 000 matrix.. However extrapolate to 1000 000 000 sites x 1000 000 users, and hmm, 1 E+15 in the data set now.

    This is going to be interesting..

    Though I still cannot fathom that someone can even consider the idea that they know better what OTHER adults should be allowed to see, than the adults them selves ?

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