back to article Oz gov suggests world's worst copyright protection scheme

After taking the prize of internet villain of the year for worst internet blocking proposal on the planet, the Australian Government appears determined to do the double, with what has already been described as the world’s worst comms interception scheme. This time, the issue is copyright protection, as the government touts …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    They really have gone bonkers with surveillance in Oz haven't they?

    Aussie Pirate Party anyone?

  2. PerfectBlue

    Internet Cops

    Cor blimey, throw another shrimp on the barbie, that's the worst ding dong dingo proposal of the century.

    Now that the mandatory Australian jokes are out of the way this sucks big time. This is tantamount to the outsourcing of the surveillance state. ISP's aren't allowed to monitor what you're going for commercial gain, such as targeted adds or bandwidth shaping for customers of rival networks, but they could be forced to spy on you on behalf of third party companies at no gain, but considerable expense, to themselves?

    I hope that the Australian ISPs drop this proposal straight in the dunny and tell the government were that they should follow it down the hole.

    This is a huge violation of privacy, and has the potential to be abused by both the state and by unscrupioulous ISP.

  3. Christian Gerzner

    I blush

    I happen to use iiNet, not that that matters.

    One of these fine days we might actually get a politician (worldwide, not just here in Oz) who has a semblance of a clue of what this internet thingie is about. Right now the Federal Aussie pollies are taking the cake (and eating it too).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Genuine world class competition...

    ...for our own bunch of Stalinist muppets in the "shrill and self-righteous pseudo-democratic police state of the year" competition. The Ockers will definitely score well on the 'shrill' bit and probably pick up points in the "pointless waste of cutting edge technology section", but we should still beat them to the prize in the finishing straight from the sheer weight of CCTV/NPR/Speed cams and by deploying our secret weapon, Andy "Censor every clip on youtube by hand" Burnham in the tie-breaking "Minister least likely to understand any IT related subject at all, ever" category. If all else fails, we have a wonderful record on pointless police intimidation of perfectly innocent people with cameras.

    If there's any pleasure left in this world, it must be seeing the formerly laid-back Aussies disappearing up their own arseholes.

    Paris; dumb yes, but not in Andy's league

  5. Simon Langley

    Ozzie Knut

    Why doesn't the Australian Govt try ordering back the waves at the same time?

    I don't care how draconian the solution suggested by technical dullards, they are completely wasting their time. Whatever they try won't work.

    The solution to piracy is to make the paid solutions more appealing to customers than the free alternative. Look at Apple and iTunes. They have made a fortune by providing a good service that is easy to use, well-integrated into widely used software and (fairly) reasonably priced.

    There is no other solution idiots - get used to it.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Thank God

    for usenet & SSL.


  7. Mectron

    It is now official

    The MPAA/RIAA actually own they first COUNTRY! Australia!

  8. sandman
    Big Brother


    Has anyone noticed that the three democracies that seem keenest on spying on their populations are the UK, Australia and the US. Anyone know why this should be, some strange shared DNA, something in their shared history or what?

  9. Snoopy

    This is all a ploy...

    There is a more subversive ideal at point here... with this legislation, the government will be able to look for more then file sharing...

    Me thínks this has parallels to the minority report.


  10. Anonymous Coward

    Snail mail

    Why of why if the Oz government wants to check all electronic communications for copyright violations don't they also check snail mail as well. I mean it's so easy to photocopy something and stick it in an envelope. Ahh, I shouldn't have said anything - I think I've just given them a clue* as to what they need to monitor next - photocopiers!!

    * I think they need a big clue stick.

  11. Pem
    Thumb Down

    Who to monitor first

    Their own MP's ofcourse.. (now till december) ... I know the outcome already pr0n surfing bunch of wank3rs.

  12. Il Midga di Macaroni
    Paris Hilton


    For such a concise and well targetted paragraph, I will forgive your Aussie jokes.

    Paris because she'd be a better communications minister than Conroy.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Aussie Government eh? They should round the lot of them up and ship them off to.. err. never mind..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "This is a huge violation of privacy, and has the potential to be abused by both the state and by unscrupioulous ISP."

    You say that, like there's something wrong with it.


    Jacqui Smith, David Blunkett, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy

  15. Snert Lee

    catch phrase

    I wonder how often the phrase "Are we /still/ a penal colony?" is heard in Australia.

  16. Apocalypse Later

    Calm down

    It's only Australia.

  17. Peter 39


    Stone the crows - this is just daft.

    I wonder if Rudd is just providing Senator Conroy with a generous supply of rope so he hang himself -- no assistance required?

    There's no rational explanation for Conroy's proposals.

  18. mh.

    Good luck with that

    So, how will the system be able to tell when you download copyrighted material legitimately? Spotify, iTunes,, Youtube and artists' own websites are all quite acceptable places to use, plus any more that may be added in the future. How will the ISPs know which sites are allowed, and what happens if an industry group has a squabble with one of them, like Youtube and the PRS? Sometimes you can tell that something just cannot work.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    those crazy Austrians!

    Austria is now mulling the concept of "boldly going where no other country has gone before in terms of mass communication interception"

    What, not even say, China?

  20. Al 4

    Encrypted communications

    As I understood it one of the sharing networks was going to be encrypted to prevent just this type of spying. How will they deal with that, ban its use? When I do work from home all communications between my machine and the company network are encrypted. What then ban encrypted communications? I've come to believe a lobotomy is required to be in office these days.

  21. Eric Hood

    Nanny state

    This seems to be a recurring problem with the federal labor party. Trying to legislate morality.

    If enough people are breaking copyright laws then the law should be changed.

    For example imagine what would happen if every iPod user reported themselves to the police for filling their iPods with music from their own CD collections. The country would shut down.

    People in Australia download television shows because the networks here have developed a nasty habit of buying shows that are anywhere from 2 to 5 years old because it is cheaper than buying them fresh.

    Once you start watching a new show then notice season 4 is currently playing in the US there is not much incentive to continue with the commercial channel and its adverts. You can buy the DVD box sets on line or just download the episones from any number of places.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. John Tserkezis

    Say what?

    Spelling lesson for today boys and girls: Australia is spelt C.H.I.N.A.

    No, I can't say that anymore. Since China has canned their Green Dam rollout, they're showing an inkling of sanity - where, of course, Oz doesn't.

    And to think of the good 'ole days were we began as a penal colony, kicking out the locals to make room, taking away their children because the government clearly knew more than the natives. Ahh, what a proud history we have...

  24. Digital Freedom

    Something Very Corrupt here

    How come when millions of people experience identity / creditcard / phishing fraud(s) etc

    the Government do nothing.

    Real taxpayers money getting stolen - nothing happens.

    Some MP3's are being downloaded from P2P - laws rewritten, Government to their action stations

    Hang on a minute here

    So many people get ripped off, so many copyright violations occuring in life from anything to the odd canvas artist to architecture design.......and not one of these people gets 'justice' unless you want to run up 30K of legal bills to prove your point...

    Yet when MusicBiz copyright is broken the Government meet up, they re-write the laws, enfore ISP's to snoop....... what next???

    This is so incredibly corrupt we are such a bunch of losers for accepting this from our Government.

    Put this into perspective, if we enforce Music Biz copyright I want to see the man on the street who does his designs having equal rights too.

    Whats more, the law is today already suited in the Music Biz's favour, they have 100% support to sue anyone they like, so if they have a genuine gripe about somebody sharing torrents then bloody well sue them in court... why is this method not acceptable to them? WHY?

    Their avoidance of the court method for individual net users makes me think they have something serious to hide away from us

  25. Big-nosed Pengie


    That's all.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Fight Back

    Conroy may well be a World Class Idiot, but make no mistake, PM Kevin Rudd works closely with Conroy and knows all about it. Rudd is a control freak - filtering and censorship make sweet music to his ears. Above all, they want complete CONTROL.

    Proxies, P2P and encryption may all sound like good ways around these ridiculous proposals, but while we're all distracted with Conroy's posturing and his filtering trial, and we're divided (and therefore conquered) by the "think of the children" deception, there's another half of this game being played somewhere else.

    It's a classic pincer manoeuvre and the other half of the pincer is the ACTA Treaty. Do a search on "ACTA Treaty" and then weep ... and then shake your fists in anger ... and then weep some more.

    But don't be disheartened or complacent. Don't be confused or distracted by their lies and policy slight-of-hand. Read everything you can, understand the strategies in play and FIGHT BACK through distributing the real facts - to you friends, family and work colleagues - and with your vote.

  27. Adrian Esdaile

    Our "government" now requires... to wear shirts saying "kick me, I'm an Aussie and I'm VERY STUPID" when we travel overseas.

    Please don't come here for holidays. It's horrible, the trains are a frucking joke, you're likely to get murdered by some drunk throwback, you'll be ripped off in our horrifically overpriced tourist traps (I laugh at anyone who says Tokyo is expensive - come on down to SYDNEY!) AND THEN our muppet-face uber-Stasi goverment will collar you for for listening to your iPhone.

    For those of you who haven't heard, ANY 'format shifting' in Australia is, by law, illegal. ie. You can only put music on your iPod by download from Apple. Copying from your own original CDs/Tapes/Vinyl/Radio is a crime under Australian law. FAIl FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIl There aren't enough FAIL icons to cover our goverment.

    I am in shame that I helped vote these almighty assholes into power; the only mitigating reason I have is the the previous bunch of moronic jerks were EVEN WORSE.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    SSL? dream on

    the way things are going, it will soon be illegal to encrypt anything unless it is allowed by the state. If the ISP find that you transferred more then 1mb of encrypted data per minute for more then 10 minutes.... then something is a foot. You will be suspected of trying to "hide" questionable actives from the state and an investigation into your actives will be deemed required.

    face it, encryption will soon become illegal. Deal with it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Socialist tools.

    The Australian Labor government has decided to stump up ITS cash (tax payers cash) to build a national broadband network. So if the government is using ITS money to pay for such infrastructure, surely the government is going to went some political dividend to help it "protect the populous from Terry Rist, peds and pirates" ,cough, spy on its citizens to help increase its chances of holding power.

    That it won't be technically easy to achieve, efficient or even effective does not concern politicians. They just need to put a half-arsed scheme in place then make a set of draconian laws to punish harshly those that dare to challenge the politicians stupidity and authority by defying the spying regime.

    Conroy and Wong are standing proud as two reasons to boot Rudd labor at the next election.

    Big Brother, what else?

  30. Winkypop Silver badge

    It's those whacky god-botherers

    Rudd is a Queenslander (Think: Florida).

    They are all weird there, most are crazy, god-fearing zealots.

    Mad as cut snakes and all..

    Leave us alone!

    We don't need no steeenking Gods or invisible sky faeries!!!!

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Oz politician found surfing for pron

    Just a future headline. It happened here (UK) with the Home Secretary's Husband and her expenses.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Ahh, it's logical my dear.

    Seems that he isn't content with "internet villain of the year", he wants the "internet villain of the decade" price.

  33. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Fulll Frontal Vomiting

    Yes Bruce, it makes me want to vomit - full copyright control can easily be implemented:

    a. Turn off the Internet - it's only dole bludgers who use it anyway.

    b. All communications can be via fax.

    c. Ban private fax machines - faxes can be picked up (for a small administrative fee) at the local police station.

    d. Ban private ownership of tape recorders, MP3 players, DVD recorders and typewriters.

    and finally...

    e. Everyone attending the Sydney Opera house has to have their ears stuffed with wax before the start of the performance.

    Right mate, that's sorted.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    @ sandman

    Is that, they are the govs most wanting to, or, the govs most open about wanting to, spy on us?

    I am in NO WAY condoning governments spying on its citizenry, but seems like a reasonable question.

    Sadly, I believe that governments fully understand that we don't want them spying on us and that the use of DPI by any telco/ISP for any type of data mining for any reason is wrong. I say this with the caveat that a duly processed warrant with effective oversites in place could be appropriate.

    Governments the world over prove that those who want to be in power are those whom we should least wnat to have in power. Yes, I see the problem this creates.

  35. Wombat

    @ Sandman

    Yep - the common denominator is that they're all socialist governments now, striving to impose central control on every aspect of one's life. They're hell bent on emulating Russia, China et al.

  36. Steve Roper

    Doesn't matter

    I already have Tor and GPass installed on all my computers ready to bypass the censorship when it comes in, so all my downloads will simply go through them as well. I'm currently introducing all my friends and family to these applications as well; they in turn are starting to pass them on to others, so by the time this bullshit comes in most of Adelaide at least will already be on the Tor/GPass network anyway!

    But what a shame we have to use software designed for Chinese and Iranians because of the neonazi dictatorship in this country.

    Suck on this, Conroy. We defy you and spit in your vile paedo-obseesed face!

  37. Goat Jam


    is clearly angling for the crown of "Worlds Biggest Luddite", which was previously held by another Aussie from the now opposition party here.

    Honestly though, just because our politicians are witless dipshits don't hold it against the rest of us, k?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Save trees, instead deliver it as sound files of the morse code being played.

  39. Anonymous Coward


    ...has some copies of Green Dam going spare if the goverment wants them. China found them to controversial, so are happy to donate them to a more willing country.

  40. Budley

    @ Goat Jam

    Don't worry, our politicians are witless dipshits as well.....

  41. Adam 10
    Jobs Horns

    @Simon Langley

    "Look at Apple and iTunes. They have made a fortune by providing a good service that is easy to use, well-integrated into widely used software and (fairly) reasonably priced."

    You've obviously never used iTunes on anything other than a Mac, and only ever buy Apple hardware for your home!

    When used on Windows, iTunes ties your purchases into Apple software (iTunes), Apple hardware (iPod) and performs unspeakable acts upon anything you have in a format that isn't the Apple proprietary format.

    Not to mention it has been the subjet of a trojan horse that installed a piece of malware called "Safari browser" without the user's say-so...

  42. Mark Leaver

    There is a valid reason

    There is a reason why, when Australia became a federation, that we put our capital city right out in the sticks well away from the two main cities of the country.

    It was so that we knew where all the politicians who were supposed to be running the country in a sage sensible manner could be found at quick notice by an determined mob.

    After all, it takes a couple of hours to get there from Sydney and a few more hours than that to get there from Melbourne and peoples initial tempers will have had time to cool down and they can deliberate on the manner of disposal of the useless politicians that they had come looking for.

    Failing that, we could always tell the Americans that they can practice their bombing in the region and get rid of a pack of useless public servants at the same time.

    The only downshot is that we would then have to rebuild Canberra (no great loss there) and elect another pack of useless politicians... who would be slightly more circumspect than their immediate predecessors.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    @Budley - Don't worry, our politicians are witless dipshits as well.....

    I hate to say it, but MOST politicians EVERYWHERE fit into this category.

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