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Clean Feed, part 8 - Ben's Bazaar
A collection of observation and opinion
Clean Feed, part 8
I have now read the Internet filtering pilot report and the Measures to increase accountability and transparency for Refused Classification material.

Firstly, the report is not as long as it appears at first glance. Only about a third of the document is the actual report. The remainder consists of two appendices; one containing graphs of the testing results and a second containing the feedback questions completed by end users (i.e. ISP customers) who tested the filtering of content in addition to the blacklist blocking.

The report states that blocking and filtering was applied only to web content, but does not say whether that content included both HTTP and HTTPS or whether it was just HTTP traffic. The filtering test was unable to be tested against "instant messaging, peer-to-peer or chat rooms." There was no mention of filtering of email.

Therefore the pilot program did not even attempt to meet all the requirements of the original Closed Environment Testing of ISP-Level Internet Content Filtering report. That report was written from the testing performed by Enex TestLabs in Tasmania in 2007-2008, the same company which performed the live pilot.

It appears that the pilot was carefully structured to produce favourable results regarding both blocking and filtering in order for Senator Conroy to proceed with the censorship policy. Likewise, the release of the report was timed specifically to lose the story in the Christmas holiday period, which helps diffuse the focus of opposition to the policy.

There is also no indication as to whether the mandatory aspect of the policy will be restricted to blocking items on a blacklist or whether it will include filtering content as it is transmitted. If the mandatory censorship is resricted to blocking on a blacklist it will include the ACMA blacklist and a second "Refused Classification" blacklist. There is also no indication as to whether there may be "scope creep" by starting with mandatory blocking of a blacklist and then extending that to incorporate filtering later.

For those wishing to skip to the negligible parts of the report which are useful, those describing the methods of filtering, read the executive summary and then pages 8 and 9 (11 and 12 in the PDF). I'd suggest at least the first 12 pages, which really isn't all that much, and the remaining part of the report really doesn't take that long either.

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11 comments or Leave a comment
the_funkmeister From: the_funkmeister Date: December 16th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
or, of course -- was the IP layer the filter was to be applied to -- unless I missed it?
hasimir From: hasimir Date: December 16th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
You didn't miss it, there was no mention of any specific layers of the TCP/IP stack.
tcpip From: tcpip Date: December 17th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
*cough cough* Weren't you going to write something for isocracy.org on HTTP tunneling for the masses? About a year ago?

Looks like we could do with said article again...
hasimir From: hasimir Date: December 17th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, yes. As I recall it grew out of something else, which I now need to edit to account for this week's report. Once I've got that done I'll find what I needed to do for Isocracy and write it.
longi From: longi Date: December 17th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Just stunnel to an offshore proxy.

hasimir From: hasimir Date: December 17th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Or Tor or any number of other things.

What Lev wants is an easy guide for "ordinary people" to do the same thing.
longi From: longi Date: December 17th, 2009 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Tor is a failure.

It's also the reason adversary.org's mail bounces on any mailserver running RTBL.
hasimir From: hasimir Date: December 17th, 2009 08:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Since when has adversary.org appeared on any RTBL and what does Tor have to do with that? I've never run a Tor node, only the client.
tcpip From: tcpip Date: December 17th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I know that, you know that, hasimir knows that.. But I'm trying to get an article out of him :)
hasimir From: hasimir Date: December 17th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
As it happens, I have now confirmed that they are unable to filter HTTPS at all and only block domain names or IP addresses using HTTPS instead of a full URL. So to block the leaked ACMA list on the WikiLeaks website, they have to block the URLs of the list for HTTP and the entire secure site version of WikiLeaks.

Or they need to try to ban cryptography in Australia.

As for your article(s). I will attend to that when I've fixed my other report.
longi From: longi Date: December 17th, 2009 08:31 am (UTC) (Link)
It's not like stunnel and OpenVPN are hard to use. There's even a windows GUI for the less clueful.

As Thorfy correctly stated on his Dreamwidth post, all Conroy has done is ensure the kiddiepr0n people will crypto up and make it harder for the feds to track them down.
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