back to article Australia's net filter sneaks into operation through back door

Australia's national internet filter has re-emerged as an incompetence-powered zombie, after the nation's corporate regulator mistakenly blocked access to hundreds of sites. The regulator in question is the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which says its role is “ensuring that Australia’s financial …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    You can tell they are lying

    They're politicians.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Frankly, it looks like it's NOT a "filter-by-stealth".

    Rather, like most such governmental so-called "internet browsing safety systems", it's a "filter for votes, but ignorantly completely cock-up the entire thing, then back-peddle & point fingers at folks lower on the totem-pole who had absolutely nothing to do with it, but their jobs aren't as important as mine is (I'm a POLITICIAN, don't you know!), so if they are fired or go to jail it's OK".

  3. Richard Jones 1


    There might be a lot of ways to call this but stealth is NOT one of them.

    I am no fan of fraud sites or their owners/operators, but the stupidity of 'turning off the power' to stop a minor crook is in clear sight it is stupid. Still the NORKS use power breaks to track and trace illegal activities so expect others to follow . In the short term, they might do worse than give the task of stopping the intended cr*p to an average class of 12 year old school kids. They will certainly do a better job than your average dumb clutz, political hero who was not so much a 'has been' as a 'never was'.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Stealth???!!!

      I'd use a simple standard:

      - If attempting to access a blocked site gives a clear 'This page has been filtered, by this organisation and for this reason' page, it's not stealth filtering.

      - If packets are silently dropped, RSTs spoofed, or a falsified 4xx error page with no information about the filter returned, then it's a stealth filter.

      Here in the UK, some ISPs use each approach on Cleanfeed. Virgin returns a false '404' error page, but some others have the decency to explain that the page was intentionally blocked.

  4. The Axe


    In this day and age, after all the past disasters from blocking IP addresses, you would have thought some knowledge would have disseminated down* to the politicians and lawmakers that if are going to block, do it by domain rather than hamfisted IP. Or, because blocking by domain doesn't work 'cause you can bypass it (if the dodgy site is on a fixed unshared IP which is very few), realise that blocking anything on the internet is always doomed to failure. All it ever does is stop the stupid, but those who want to get around it will do so, and easily.

    I equate banning to the equivalent of continually removing harm from a child rather than teaching children to avoid harm. The former requires the parent to continually monitor every single aspect of their child's life. The later means that the child can cope when the parent isn't around and can cope with a larger variety of situations. So with the case of the internet, teach people about the dangers.

    * Note that I said down, not up.

  5. silver fox
    Big Brother


    ...fascist little country

    1. Just Another SteveO

      Re: Nasty....

      ermmm - why fascist?

  6. RobHib

    Tor for anyone?

    Dust off Tor again.

  7. Velv
    Big Brother

    Makes me think of Minority Report, and the pre-crimes unit.

    If it's illegal to trade shares then surely they should take legal action against the company to make it stop trading. You don't see the Police standing outside shops that handle stolen goods blocking access just in case someone wants to enter - they prosecute the owners and those trying to deal.

    It is the act of trading that is illegal, not the viewing of the information, but you're charged and prosecuted before you conduct the crime?

    1. Philip Lewis
      Big Brother

      IIRC the "act of viewing" certain websites is in fact illegal already.

      Soon the thought of viewing them will be illegal.

      1. bep


        is supposed to be determined by the courts, not by admistrative fiat. Before they can say you have done anything 'illegal' you have to be convicted of doing so in a court of law. They have to prove their case, not just say "Make it so".

  8. David Pollard

    Renai LeMay

    The article in Delimiter is well written by a determined journalist. Pint for the author.

    "Eventually, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy came clean on the issue — most likely because I signalled I was determined to get to the bottom of the matter, and would pursue it through Freedom of Information requests if necessary..."

  9. Tim Bates

    But an IP address is a person, right?

    After a decade or so of the whole MPAA vs The World crap, I'd not be surprised in the slightest if some government "IT" people think that an IP address is the same thing as a hostname and that every hostname needs it's own IP address. After all, only one person gets sued per IP address when MPAA come knocking....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ASIC.... I wish I had this yesterday (No internet) I would have asked the reps at a conference I was at. But if you have been unfortunate enough to try to register a business name in the last few months you would know what they are like. (An award was needed for possibly the worst website ever developed) and the consequent meltdown of their phone system for the following 3 months!

    But I Love how this has come about. An international agreement from the `think of the kids` brigade that no one could argue against, after mission creep bcomes a nightmare.

    We need the law to be written in a way that protects us from perverse outcomes. Shame is, no one seems interested in that.

  11. Pu02
    Big Brother

    ALP lies, AFP lies, everyone lies

    Wow, when a Senator requested information from the AFP about what they were up to (from the delimiter article): 'the agency claimed, disclosure of the names of the participating ISPs might have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of the AFP and would be “contrary to the public interest”.'

    Who do they think they are, claiming: (Humphrey accent) 'Operational challenges are a most valid reason to spend taxpayers money hiding information about who is helping us hide information from the taxpayer'

    Why should they be protecting the identities of the voluntary censors? There is ***only one reason*** it is all about self-justification.

    Bored ureaucrats, trying to ban the Internet and instead banning our freedom and in the process destroying society. When Abbot gets in and says yes to all of the above knowing full well he will turn Australia into a Fascist state, it will be all the Australian Labor Party's fault (?).

    But by then, everything's lost- the Bush family will seek asylum on one of Clive Palmer's reclaimed sub-divisions (high enough to be above the rising sea) on top of what was once the Barrier Reef (for a future with mates away from the chaos they caused),

    And the Chinese will have more freedom than us.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021