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back to article New Zealand set to join internet blocking club

New Zealand is preparing to join the list of internet blockers. From last week, New Zealanders who want to know what is in store for them can access a useful new online resource - "the Compleat Thomas Beagle" - which includes a FAQ providing in-depth coverage of political and technological issues involved. At present, New …

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"spamhaus"

"since the list runs at internet address level, a number of sites may be blocked that host perfectly legitimate content"....

Ever had mail classed a spam due to being on a shared hosting deal with some idiot... its not easy to get off spam lists, no matter what you do.. so although everyone is concerned about child porn, there seems to be no concept of colateral damage or the idea that closing your eyes to something does not make it go away?

Why can't the UN set up an international anti-child porn force, who stop the abuse, thereby stopping the websites....

That would be too joined up and would not frighten ordinary people enough though would it.

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Inaccurate and sloppy reporting?

"since the list runs at internet address level, a number of sites may be blocked that host perfectly legitimate content."

Errr, no!

The previously mentioned boxes that are to be used do NOT work this way. To paraphrase, they *redirect* specific IP addresses (at BGP level) known to host dodgy material towards the equipment that then analyzes the URL and blocks the inappropriate ones. This means that any 'collateral' will not be blocked.

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Welcome to our world.

Where an _already_censored_ image on Wikipedia can can cause half the country to be banned from editing articles.

Where a configuration blunder by an ISP can block the whole internet archive.

Where we live with it all for the sake of the anti-terrorist industry.

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FAIL

the list runs at internet address level?

Obviously the system was designed by people with no understanding of how modern web hosting works.

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Anonymous Coward

Iran, Australia, UK, China, now New Zealand

That's quite a club you got there.

Will New Zealand put a law in place to say that sites in Iran Australia, UK, China and New Zealand won't be blocked? Because by definition they can't be CP, so the censor must be being overzealous?

No?

So this descend into mass filtering of anything the censor doesn't like today, just like Australia's list did, Iran's did, China's did, UK's did...

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Stop

More will follow

As sure as night follows day, Governments around the world are salivating at the leash to sign up to this kind of state-mandated censorship of the interweb. All in the name of the fight against international terrorism and protecting children from 'predatory' paedophiles, of course.

Of course. And we'll all bend over and take our medicine because nobody has the guts to fight it, to call it out and at least try to preserve the web as some place where some measure of personal freedom might still exist. Governments around the world are now set on a single purpose with regard to the interweb: get it firmly under control, lock it down, filter it and monitor it 24/7.

Who will argue?

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WTF?

How much?

$150,000 is that all? Jeez, I work for some tin-pot little company that no one has heard of and even our blocking software/hardware spend is double that!

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Mutual Intelligence Solutions

Is there any Direct Active Dealogue between Parties? ...... for Resolute Joint Action.

Or does Chaos Tempt TitanIQ Rain with Dodgy Reins in Future Regimes?

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FAIL

Why not have the sites taken offline?

Funny thing. You never hear a word about actually removing the sites in question. Here in Germany, a private organisation chose 20 sites from the Danish blocklist and notified the respective hosting services. Within one day, 16 of those sites were offline and 3 more were checked but found to be legal under local laws. (Comment in German citing this experiment: http://www.heise.de/ct/Die-Argumente-fuer-Kinderporno-Sperren-laufen-ins-Leere--/artikel/135867)

The BKA always complains this is impossible or not feasible. A site that recently made fun of the minister of interior and his terrorists-are-everywhere campaign got taken offline by one call from the ministry to the hoster. However this is deemed to be infeasible for a child-porn website even if it is hosted in Germany.

Oh, and the id of accounts trying to access blocked sites are still available to the police without a warrant. It's just that instead of the data being sent by the provider to the BKA directly via a script, the BKA now has to ask for them. A process that can probably be scripted, too.

Earlier this month the minister chiefly pressing for the filter claimed there were 95 countries without child porn legislation. As it turned out in 71 of them all porn is illegal and the rest are in a state of civil war or just recovering from one and not exactly on a big pipe to the net. The minister however simply refuses to even listen, instead going around with he fingers in her ears singing LaLaLa at the top of her voice.

One of the countries she decried as a child-porn haven is India, which is now protesting over diplomatic channels. (Sorry, German again, but with some interesting source links: http://netzpolitik.org/2009/von-der-leyen-und-indien-antwort-der-botschaft/)

The good news: the filters are going to be implemented via forged DNS answers for now. A Youtube video shows how to change your DNS-Server from your ISPs to a properly functioning one in 27 seconds.

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Anonymous Coward

No need for censorship

Only the need for enforced takedown of sites that host child pron etc. You give the hosting ISP 24 hours to comply, and then you blackhole their entire operation if they do not take the site off-line.

Same for spammers (and that includes those people unwittingly running spam bots). Get the ISP to yank them within 24 hours or that ISP vanishes from the net.

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Big Brother

Oversight - Lack of.

I'm sure we're all agreed CP is a bad thing and that restricting access to CP is a good thing.

However, what makes this operation, whichever country it is, a VERY bad thing is the way in which the system is massively open to abuse and indeed appears to encourage a kind of 'as wide as we can get away with' philosophy to censorship.

Nobody with any sense trusts the people that make these decisions, nobody with an ounce of critical analysis ability is going to trust that the people making these decisions won't be following their own narrow-minded, sexually repressed, conservative (deliberate small 'c') agenda and nobody trusts the people making these decisions not to expand their censorship regime to anything else at all that they deem inappropriate. It's already happening and it's only going to get worse.

How long before 'opposing political views' are on the list? Oh, hang on...

P.S. I've depressed myself with this post.

P.P.S. How long before we have to go back to disseminating controversial informatrion by print? At least that way when they kick your door in you'll have given them the trouble of having to move the printing presses themselves (though they'd probably charge you for it).

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Big Brother

Censorship Enforcement Activities

I like the sound of that: <<< Censorship Enforcement Activities >>>

Sounds properly Orwellian, except that he would have known better than to keep the word Censorship in there.

Lenin would be proud (or is it Trotski? Hard to tell with that old photo.)

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@Sabine Miehlbradt

That's one of the most informative and thought provoking comments I've seen here in a long time. Thank you.

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Re taking down sites

Of course they are not taking down the illegal web sites. They have no interest whatever in doing so. The scare stories are there simply to have an excuse to censor and control the net.

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Stop

Couple of things wrong

For one, the ISP is 'iHug' and not 'hug'; and that brand of ISP is now 100% owned by Vodafone. Vodafone/TelstraClear/Telecom own the lion share of internet users.

The other is that the (secret) block list is by specific URL; not IP. The IP address is used to only route suspect traffic to the URL checking box.

I think this is a bad thing - imagine being reported to the police because you followed a link to Simpson characters doing naughty things? (yes - cartoons can be classified as CP - but we don't know as the list is secret).

I am not defending CP, but If my ISP does sign up to this I will move to another that does not do this. If the block list was publicly available and agreed upon (like other censored material), I might be more open to accepting this.

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re: No need for censorship

So you're saying that there is no need to block access to kiddy porn, just take the kiddy porn site down.

Ummm that's quite hard to do if the site is on the other side of the world where your government has no power. The only way to deal with issues like that is to cut access.

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