Sunday, November 2, 2008

Australia to get own "Great Firewall"?

I've just recently come into a bit of information about something that has not been discussed almost anywhere - Senator Stephen Conroy is pushing a so-called "Clean Feed" which will block "illegal content" at the ISP level for all internet users in Australia.

I have several problems with this. First, it won't work. You can either let people use their online banking facilities with proper security or you can have a filter that works - you can't have both! Because in order to properly block all illegal content, you have to scrutinize every single bit of data - especially anything that has been encrypted.

Second, it won't work. Australia is already way, waaayy behind almost every other country in terms of internet speed and bandwidth. Don't believe me? In Tokyo you can download 4Gb in about twelve minutes. In Australia? You can do it in about three hours if you live in a capital city and if you have a high-speed connection. Live in a rural town on dail-up? Forget it. You're lucky if you can get your email to work reliably. Any additional ISP-level work will slow the system down. The proposed Clean Feed will slow it down to unusable levels.

Thirdly, it will NOT work! There are several key issues that have been ignored in the preparation of this program. One of the most glaringly obvious is that people who traffic illegal material don't do it via legal means! The filter won't stop the very thing it is supposed to be stopping whilst simultaneously stopping people from seeing what they legally want to see.

It's lose -lose -lose. Does not stop the bad guys, does stop the good guys and drops the effectiveness for everybody. It's classic stupid behaviour! A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

This is exactly the behaviour that Senator Stephen Conroy is displaying - everybody loses.

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