Cleanfeed: Australian Internet content filtering

I posted this on Ozsource a few weeks ago and it is amazing how many people in Australia have no idea on the implications of Cleenfeed and how far along it has progressed.

What is Cleenfeed?

Clean-feed is the Australian government’s $70 million national Internet content filtering scheme, which will impose blanket filtering for all web connections at the Internet Service Provider (ISP) level.  There are two lists, a ‘child’ safe list which filters both illegal content and hardcore pornography and a second which users can ‘opt-out’ to which only filters unwanted content.

Senator Stephen Conroy, the Government Senator responsible for this project has stated that they will also be looking into the possibility of filtering other content that may be illegal in Australia. Which would for example include: euthanasia, abortion, drug-use, etc.

Email, Peer to Peer, Instant messaging, newsgroups and any other custom application protocols are on the ACMA report as things that the Government is also planning to apply the ISP-Level filtering to.

iiNet and Optus have applied to participate in the ISP Level filtering trial, however have maintained they are doing so to prove the inability of the system.

The ACMA Closed Environment Testing of ISP−Level Internet Content Filters which can be viewed here shows the degree of degradation introduced by a filter averages at about 30% loss and can hit up to 70% reduction in performance.

Existing technologies such as open proxy’s can bypass this cleenfeed filter though this would add an additional performance hit to the users already reduced internet connection.

Cleenfeed Roundup


The rallies, organised by members from activist groups including the Electronic Freedom Project and Digital Liberty Coalition (DLC), saw hundreds gather at Sydney’s Town Hall, Brisbane Square, Melbourne’s State Library, Adelaide Parliament House, Perth’s Stirling Gardens and at Tasmania’s Parliament Lawns to voice their opposition to the scheme.  Source…heparticipant/

Things are starting to get serious and since “Observer” copped so much flak with his first post, I posted again as “Mike of Melb”.
For all you out there who apparently do not know yet: . The ACMA prohitied list is made up of websites/webpages where complaints were made to ACMA about their content and a subsequent review by the Censorship Board deemed them Refused Classification : Illegal in Australia. . Not Conroy . Not a commercial list . Not a political list . Really dumb-assed when people suggest that the pollies will just be able to insert whatever websites that they do not like in there. Do you really take the Australian public and our rule of law for morons? Our censorship regime has been in place for about 100 years, and the pollies have never been able to subvert that up till now. . What a joke, Nth Korea style politics in Australia. Do you really believe that our constitution is so easliy perverted. . You guys need some rapid “conspiracy theory” therapy, and need to lay off the Jason Bourne films for a while….

This was released just before the rallies:
Digital Liberty Coalition press release. A PDF

“The problem is not with the concept of protecting children, in fact Senator Conroy has been
adamant at dismissing all criticisms of his filter by alluding that the critic clearly has a stash of
child porn hidden away,” says Jasmine, one of the national organisers from DLC, “but in the fact it
is mandatory, restricts adults to material only suitable for MA15 audiences, and filters out political
communication of whatever is deemed ‘hate’ literature by the government in power at the time.
There are no checks or balances in place in the legislation to prevent future abuses of this filter to
infringe more on the human rights of all Australians.”

Bloggers cry “foul” as web censor ring tightens

More than 85,000 people have signed a petition organised online by GetUp! The British website, Spiked, has devoted pages to the issue.
The New York Times has addressed the issue, quoting Senator Conroy as saying the filter is part of a $100million “cyber-safety plan”.
If the Great Barrier is erected, opponents say, internet censorship will be as draconian in Australia as in China, and perhaps worse. What is at stake, they say, is freedom of speech, a pillar of democracy.

Dr Blacklist or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the filter

When Labor came to power at the end of 2007, it did so with what was described as a “clear mandate” from the Australian electorate. A lot has happened in the first year of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership. In between his bizarre claim on Rove Live that he would only turn gay for his wife and trying to bail the country out of that sinking ship we call the world economy, his government has maintained its resolve to impose a mandatory Internet content filter that could not only affect normal Web page viewing, but social networking interactions too.



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