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The Great Australian Firewall – Australia’s Pending Mistake

Posted by on Aug 30, 2010 - 09:34 PM

For those of you familiar (or using) our RESIN Internet Filter product, you might think we are pro “Great Australian Firewall” – That could not be further from the truth.

For the unenlightened

     
  1. Our RESIN Internet Filter is a security device that protects your home (or business) network from security threats and at the same time, allows you to control website access by site and category as well as time of day. So it is perfect for protecting children from porn and stopping teenagers from spending their youth chatting away on Facebook, all the while their grades are slipping.
  2.  
  3. The “Great Australian Firewall” is a controversial, government planned and compulsory internet filter which will filter the Internet regardless of if you want it or not. What they block is secret, it is on by default.


So..  the obvious thing I need to clear up now is: are we against the Great Australian Firewall because it will make our product redundant and we will end up poor?

No. Here is why: not all porn will be blocked and it still gives parents no control over their child’s usage of social networking, online gaming and chatting.

So the fact is – If you want to do those major things as a parent, the government filter does nothing to help you.

The second thing people ask is: Why should I pay for your device myself if the government is going to give me a free filter?

Well, the first point usually makes this question redundant as the government filter doesn’t give you time control and reports of your children’s activity.

But, to answer it directly – Where is the money coming from for the filter?


The Great Australian Firewall is Funded By Our Money

Taxes – would you rather better schools and hospitals or an all-encompassing filter that is technically near impossible and puts us in the personal freedom realm of Iran, North Korea and China?

Back to the point and away from a comparison with our product


Why are we against the filter?

Our main arguments –

     
  • It is extremely expensive (for the nation)
  •  
  • The blocked list is secret
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  • Australia is a progressive democracy and this firewall is a draconian insult to the nation
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  • Stephen Conroy thinks he knows better than you


The level of campaigning and opposition to the filter is just staggering…

Hundreds of website articles and countless blog postings, Political watch dogs GetUp and The Sex Party (Setup just to stop censorship). Just to name a few…


Who actually wants this filter? When and how did we get to this point?

     
  1. Who introduced it?
  2.  
  3. What is the argument for it?
  4.  
  5. Who will control it?
  6.  
  7. Who is backing it?


1. Who introduced it?

     
  • Talk and evaluation of a “Internet Filter” was first looked at in 1999 as part of a move to sell Telstra and by the CSIRO in 2001 to determine feasibility. At this stage, the Labor Party opposed the filter.
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  • In 2006 the Labor Party changed sides and committed themselves to the filter.
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  • 2007 brought the modern “Filter Movement” lead by Stephen Conroy.
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  • 2009 saw the current federal Labor government commit 100% to a mandatory internet filter for the entire country.
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  • That is a summary of events – if you want more info – Search “Great Australian Firewall” and you will find pages and pages of information on the topic.
     


2. What is the argument for it?

The actual stated reason we should have such a filter is mainly 2 pronged:

     
  1. To stop child pornography
  2.  
  3. To prevent us seeing “inappropriate material”

Ok, so first – child porn should be stopped. But this won’t do it, it just won’t, it is a stupid idea if that is the goal.

Secondly – As an educated adult and business professional, I don’t need someone to tell me what I can and can’t see. I am sorry, but that is creepy and exactly the same as what Iran, North Korea and China do.

Mr Conroy – are you saying that you agree with their policy to control content, media and information? Australian’s and our politicians get all high and mighty about how wrong it is for the above governments to repress the people – then we turn around and do the same thing to ourselves. Yeah, good work Australia.


3. Who controls it (Will control it)?

Put simply: The Australian Communications and Media Authority.


4. Who Supports it?

     
  • The Labor Party (Stephen Conroy)
  •  
  • The Family First Party

They are the major names behind it.


So how about some technology facts


The filter can be circumvented, Google SSL will make searching private, files can still be shared via P2P and people can setup private VPNs etc and use anonymous proxies.

So if the real aim is to stop child porn – then that is an immediate fail. We should stop child porn – but filtering the country’s Internet will do close to nothing in favour of that goal.

Making honest, educated adults resort to bypassing the filter via hacks, tricks and paid services only makes things worse.

If they turn around and make bypassing the filter illegal – then we know we are really in trouble.

 

We Have a Question

Who actually thinks this is a good idea? Seriously, tell us. If you are like us and despise the idea – Tell us that too. We are very interested to know what people think.

In all honesty – I haven’t met a single person who, given the details, supports the idea.

If you do like the idea of minimizing your child’s exposure to pornography and controlling your teenagers access to Facebook – then you need RESIN not The Great Australian Firewall.

Call us for a demo: 02 9037 1594

 

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