back to article Oz to turn pirates into vampires: You won't see their images in mirrors

Australia's federal government hopes to expand the piracy-blocking regime it introduced in 2015 to include injunctions against search engines, include file drop-sites in bans, and catch so-called “alternative pathways” to pirated content that emerge after a primary site has been blocked. Under Australia's latest regime, …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    You already know what happens next...

    American sites that didn't want to deal with the GDPR headache simply blocked everyone from the EU. If Google doesn't want the headache of dealing with $Location, they'll just block $Location from accessing Google search. Other search engines will still let $Location access their search results, but it won't be the same.

    I hate to say it, Google makes me sick, but in the same way that the $5B GDPR fine made Google follow the ruling but simultaneously give TheFinger to the EU (we'll decouple it all, but now we'll charge you for every little thing), Google may do the same kind of craptastic maneuver with search in $Location.

    "You want to try & hold us responsable for the shit someone else does? Fine. We'll start charging you to provide search results. It's now 25p per result. Payment made in advance. Credit Cards not accepted. Cash only, payable at your local $Store. Please visit $Store, pay for the number of results you want, & register yourself so we can deduct the results from your account."

    If you didn't think Google had you by the short & curlies before... =-(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You already know what happens next...

      And meanwhile all the pirates will be searching from google.com instead of google.com.au and using an open DNS server like 8.8.8.8 instead of their ISP's.

      BTW, Google has clearly shown themselves willing to deal with massive headaches (read: China) if they feel it will help them extend their tentacles even further.

      1. Jamesit

        Re: You already know what happens next...

        8.8.8.8 is a Google open DNS.

        1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

          Re: You already know what happens next...

          Should have been 6.6.6.6 - the DNS of the beast.

      2. K Silver badge

        Re: You already know what happens next...

        Doesn't work as you would expect - I use 8.8.8.8 and 1.1.1.1, but Virgin Media still redirect them!

        I do wonder if DNSSec will help this? I'm not familiar with the underlying mechanism (is it DNS over TLS?)

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: You already know what happens next...

          There's a difference. Many home ISPs enforce that outgoing DNS requests are redirected to their servers and this is easily done by rewriting the unencrypted DNS requests (TCP/53) to change the remote server from, for example, 8.8.8.8 to whatever the ISP wants. DNSSec will detect this as a serious validation error due to certificate failures. This is substitution and is underhand and why DNSSec exists.

          Some ISPs, for example BT, just reject DNS packets going to servers other than their own and replace every request with what is effectively a redirection to a site that has a holding page spouting marketing fluff about security. In some ways this is a good idea as it protects the unknowledgable from potentially very damanging DNS attacks but for the rest of us is intensely annoying as there is no way around it without using a VPN as it's not a configurable option.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You already know what happens next...

          "I do wonder if DNSSec will help this?"

          No, it won't. Proxying DNS transparently doesn't necessarily break DNSSEC. Modifying the results would.

          "is it DNS over TLS?"

          No. While DoT would solve your problem, your client/stub resolver needs to support it. There are some that do.

          Here's a list of public DoT servers.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: You already know what happens next...

            the only way regular users can get rounf virgin and bt dns wankery is to use a vpn.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: You already know what happens next...

        "using an open DNS server like 8.8.8.8 instead of their ISP's."

        Unless you're using DNSSEC, how do you _know_ you're actually using 8.8.8.8 and not a transparent proxy redirecting you back to the ISP's server or something being run by the ASIO?

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: You already know what happens next...

      "If you didn't think Google had you by the short & curlies before... =-("

      But a government has the power to regulate, and to tell Google to stop pulling shit or it will start imprisoning people. If they don't want to be in a market then fine, but once they've decided to be in a market, they eventually will be forced to play nice, take ownership of all the negative consequences of their actions, and be responsible for a change.

      Silicon valley tech twats spend all their time disrupting, without worrying about the negative effects of that disruption. The reality is that before the Internet, for example, five year olds did not have access to pornography and beheading videos. They shouldn't have access to such things. Parental responsibility is important, but it should not be the only layer of defence. What the other defences should be is a matter for debate, but the correct time to have the debate is before it's done, not years afterwards once the problem is much greater. This also applies to the IoT, where security and longevity if the company goes bankrupt are afterthoughts, if they are thought of at all.

      If Zuckerberg were a responsible person, he would have thought about how to deal with cyberbullying on his platform while he was extending it outside of universities, and probably even before then. But he's an utter twat, and instead thought 'I'm going to build this, make lots of money, and someone else can deal with the problems I create'.

    3. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

      Re: You already know what happens next...

      The recent $5 bn EU fine to Google has *nothing* to do with GDPR...

    4. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: You already know what happens next...

      "American sites that didn't want to deal with the GDPR headache simply blocked everyone from the EU. If Google doesn't want the headache of dealing with $Location, they'll just block $Location from accessing Google search."

      There's an important difference - money. American sites that didn't want to deal with GDPR simply blocked the EU because they only had a tiny proportion of visitors from the EU in the first place. The costs of complying massively outweighed the potential income from keeping their EU-based customers, so they didn't bother.

      Yes, Google will do exactly the same - if and only if the costs of any compliance outweigh the benefits. See China, for example, where Google (along with many others) are happy to go to great lengths to do whatever is necessary to get a foothold there because the potential payoff is huge. Australia is a much smaller market, but at the same time Google already have pretty much all the necessary systems in place to do exactly what they'll need to. Note that Google did not abandon Europe when all that right to be forgotten nonsense popped up, and from their point of view there's really no difference here - they have to remove certain search results in a certain location when someone officially tells them to.

  2. Snow Wombat
    Facepalm

    I hate it here.

    So we get all out official release stuff 6-8 months behind everyone else, and they wonder why we pirate?

    Even if we do wanna watch it legitimately, local streaming / pay TV services are prohibitively expensive, where you have to sign up to 3 different streaming services @15AUD / Month Each, and Foxtel at 60AUD / month

    Even then, all the crap they have is on repeat, and with the new stuff being played with that 6-8 month lag, during peak ratings season.

    Just means that everyone will just start sharing sites via other means, or like me invest in a VPN proxy service, so I can just search as if I am in a non insane country.

    All the major parties are utterly inept at this sort of stuff, so I can't even vote for the "other guy"

    Sadly the local chapter of the pirate party has been taken over by the Rainbow hair'ed pronoun crowd, so they are effectively an extension of the Greens now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: local streaming / pay TV services are prohibitively expensive

      @15AUD / Month Each, and Foxtel at 60AUD / month

      how much do you earn a month for it to be "prohibitively expensive"? Clearly, if it were "prohibitely" expensive, it would prohibit enough "consumers" to stop consuming and this pricing wouldn't be sustainable? And you really NEED three streaming services to live a happy life?

      p.s. I recently read a quote from a secret recording of one of European politicians at some restaurant. They were talking about people (the plebs like you and me) not willing to tighten their belts and their overblown expectations (yeah, he should know!), and how this or that unpopular gov decision might cost them the votes, thus, the cushy job. Scumbags as he is, he said something which hit the nail in the head: "All you need is a war. People's level of expectations gets back on track super quick with war".

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: local streaming / pay TV services are prohibitively expensive

        > how much do you earn a month for it to be "prohibitively expensive"? Clearly, if it were "prohibitely" expensive, it would prohibit enough "consumers" to stop consuming and this pricing wouldn't be sustainable? And you really NEED three streaming services to live a happy life?

        It *is* prohibitively expensive for a lot of people - the price point the offerings are at clearly need to be more reasonable, as the expectation for digital media is that it is inherently not that valuable - perhaps in part because it's trivially easy to copy and distribute, but also perhaps in part because it's a new-ish distribution medium where in yester-year everything was broadcast for free.

        In terms of "how many streaming services do you need", well, in a family household, there will typically be 3-5 people, each with their own interest. Let's go with stereotypes (YMMV): dad will want some sports channel plus The Walking Dead, mum might want lifestyle channels, a young kid will want the cartoon channels, an older kid might want Dr Who / Twilight / whatever's trendy right now. It's unusual that a single streaming package will offer all of them - add to that the ankle-biters clamours for either/both of Netflix and Amazon Prime to watch movies and other TV series. How many services of any type do you need to cover all the bases? In the UK at least you can get Dr Who for free via Autnie Beeb, but sports coverage is laughable without shilling to Mr Murdoch (although perhaps alternative providers may be available). And all this is on top of the ISP costs and TV license fee (which I am in favour of, btw). It all adds up.

        The cheapest Sky package is £20/mo (no sports tho, that's £40/mo). Amazon Prime is £80/yr, and Netflix is £6/mo for 1xSD, but more likely to want at least the £8/mo package for HD. Add to that ISP charges of around £20/mo minimum (assuming you can find one with unlimited data without the *), plus the costs of phone contracts for all in the house. You can easily get up to around £150/month on telecoms bills

        1. LDS Silver badge
          Facepalm

          "in a family household, there will typically be 3-5 people"

          And as always happened, they'll need to find a compromise based on the family income. Nobody has a "right to everything" - it's a sad fact of life.

          1. tiggity Silver badge

            Re: "in a family household, there will typically be 3-5 people"

            @ LDS

            And for many that income related compromise is piracy .... if getting what you wanted to see / listen to via legit means was cheap, convenient and easy (e.g. no ads, not having to sit through unskippable dross on DVDs etc. ) then pirate sites would be less in demand.

            Instead content is (as others have said) siloed, so typically to not miss out many subscriptions would be required.

            Full disclosure, I live in UK & like sport, but watch hardly any as that would have meant lining the pockets of Murdoch s empire (as Sky cornered a huge swathe of UK sports coverage), so I miss out on something I would like to watch (same ethics that make me object to Rupert sadly mean I also resist temptation to pirate it!)

        2. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: local streaming / pay TV services are prohibitively expensive

          Sky is now owned by Brian Roberts / Comcast.

        3. onefang Silver badge

          Re: local streaming / pay TV services are prohibitively expensive

          "In the UK at least you can get Dr Who for free via Autnie Beeb"

          In Australia you get Doctor Who for free from our Auntie ABC. On iView, the ABC catch up web site (also for free), you can see new episodes shortly after it is aired on BBC, many hours before it is broadcast on ABC TV. Yes I know, catch up TV sites are supposed to be for if you missed it when it was broadcast, but this is Doctor Who, time travel timey wimey stuff, you can catch up on the stuff you missed, before you miss it. iView also shows old episodes of Doctor Who.

          "And all this is on top of the ISP costs and TV license fee (which I am in favour of, btw)."

          There's no TV license fee in Australia. All your prices are in pounds, but this story is about Oz (Australia)

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "And you really NEED three streaming services to live a happy life?"

        I call it the "hamster complex" - one needs to collect everything and buries it in places where they'll never find it again - because they don't really need it, but instead think they do. I see people hoarding movies, TV shows and music they will never have the time to watch or listen, and probably they won't like. But they feel compelled to hoard it. And for them, "prohibitively expensive" is anything above $0.0.

        I found instead most of the actual production of so low quality I greatly reduced the time and money I spent watching TV or listening to music and buying those contents - which freed me to perform a lot of more interesting, creative and healthy activities.

      3. davyclam

        Re: local streaming / pay TV services are prohibitively expensive

        They are seriously heading that way, but we still have a (Royal) Navy...

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "official release stuff 6-8 months behind everyone else"

      And the problem is? You feel diminished, maybe?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: "official release stuff 6-8 months behind everyone else"

        "And the problem is?"

        ...that the internet has made us into a global community so why should an english[*] speaking nation need to wait 6-8 months for english speaking programmes to be made available? It's not like they need to add subtitles or voice over dubbing. Many of us with internet access have friends and family all over the world and it's nice to conversations about common interests such as films and TV shows. Except when there's an artificially enforced delay in release in some parts of the world.

        [*[ Other languages are available, your mileage may vary

      2. DeKrow

        Re: "official release stuff 6-8 months behind everyone else"

        I get your point, which is the real "big picture".

        However, in the "small picture" in which most proles live, there's no reason, in a world of digital streaming and bandwidth enough to for smooth 1080p video, that digital entertainment be delayed into any market other than profit maximisation strategies due to artificial scarcity - or just the complete lack of consideration for a market so small as Australia.

        Both of the above options invite copyright infringement in a connected world where even a few days' delay means you're late to a global conversation.

        To reiterate, however, the big picture view is: who gives a fuck? Do something more worthwhile than watching the latest episode of <won't learn anything new about life, but will pass the otherwise excruciating time in which I'd be wondering what to do with myself>.

  3. TsVk!
    Pirate

    whack a mole time again

    They are never ever going to be able to stop piracy no matter what they do. The internet by it's very nature is interconnected. They might be able to make it more difficult for the older generation, but younger users are tech savvy enough that there is no way to restrict them.

    But as explained by our illustrious PM last year;

    “Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,"

    Fun times in Imaginaryland.

    1. julian.smith
      Pirate

      Re: whack a mole time again

      Malcolm the (Dumb) Mathematician is gone.

      Replaced by Scott the (Dumber) Evangelical

      The conservatives are stumbling towards electoral oblivion

      It's best to see this as a clever move to increase the computer literacy of the population.

      The intended purpose: to increase the revenues of Big Media (including Rupert the Unspeakable) will not be achieved

    2. Secta_Protecta

      Re: whack a mole time again

      Who is your PM this week? I lose track so easily.... ;)

      1. DeKrow

        Re: whack a mole time again

        @Secta_Protecta

        Dr. Kerryn Phelps

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: whack a mole time again

      "They are never ever going to be able to stop piracy no matter what they do. "

      Back in the early days of microcomputers one very effective tactic beat down every other - making the software cheap enough that nobody bothered.

  4. frankieh

    All as bad.

    This is the real use of the infastructure the liberals told us was for catching terrorists and pedofiles. They had to lie their asses off because if they had told the truth nobody would have allowed it through. Anyone with half a brain could see this as the real result. Who would have thought that the Australian government would choose to compete with China for the most oppressive internet censorship?

  5. frankieh

    Only bad options.

    We have the most oppressive government. We have a world of international corporations that know they can overcharge us because we have no choices and our government won't protect us. I pay 20 bucks a month for Netflix and most of the shows I want are not in it. (But most are in the US version). Instead of our government being here to protect us it's actually using our tax dollars to build systems that primarily help foregn internationals. (Hollywood and recording industry) sadly I suspect that all the parties will sell out in exchange for a "donation" or two.

  6. MartinB105

    I pirate because the entertainment industry don't give me an option to buy content

    Maybe the entertainment industry should think about... oh, I don't know... actually giving me the opportunity to buy their products?

    I'm not interested in streaming services, I don't have an optical drive to rip blu-rays (and even if I did, I don't want video content in an non-environmentally-friendly physical format when digital is so feasible).

    Is it too much to ask to be able to just purchase a movie or a TV show and add it to my Kodi library?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "purchase a movie or a TV show and add it to my Kodi library?"

      As Kodi is implementing DRM, it could happen. Without it, I really doubt.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: "purchase a movie or a TV show and add it to my Kodi library?"

        You can now buy music without DRM. Why can't videos be the same?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "You can now buy music without DRM. Why can't videos be the same?"

          All music? Still, two different markets. With music, you can also make money from live concerts and the like. Usually movies cost more to create, and have a single revenues channel. It's a business - people loos to find a way to make profits - yes, sometimes (or often...) they look for greedy profits, but still profits are needed to keep the machine going. Maybe if people stopped idolizing and worshiping actors and singers (and some franchise, like Star Wars) - and buy (or pirate) a lot of bad stuff just because the name(s) on it - costs would go down.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: "You can now buy music without DRM. Why can't videos be the same?"

            iTunes will sell you an aac file that can be played anywhere that has suitable hardware / software. Most others, eg Amazon, will sell you an mp3 file that will work basically anywhere that can play music.

            Scrapping DRM in music did not negatively impact sales, so your stuff about income streams and costs is not relevant here.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was shocked to discover one of my friends didn't know how to bypass the Australian DNS filter. He was supposedly technically literate. It was a moment of deep shame for him. We all looked at him like he was an imbecile. He had never even thought to Google "how to bypass australian internet filter" which of course has all the advice anyone needs.

    If Foxtel didn't suck in such an absolutely catastrophic, monumental way in absolutely every possible dimension except the actual content, I'd probably use it. But their Guide only works properly using Internet Explorer and I think that tells you absolutely everything you need to know. You can safely extrapolate the systemic incompetence from there, with solid accuracy.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If someone knows the IP address of the site, they're still quids in, of course

    now, for that independant search app, where you put in a name and it turns it into an IP and takes you to where you want to go do download that linux distro... I'm sure we'll see a few of those around. And a few more that's malware to take you somewhere else entirely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If someone knows the IP address of the site, they're still quids in, of course

      What's coming next, will Australia ban brains? That's the only practical solution to the "problem" if they really feel that they have to solve it.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: What's coming next, will Australia ban brains?

        Why not? They already seem to have achieved that in government.

      2. onefang Silver badge

        Re: If someone knows the IP address of the site, they're still quids in, of course

        "What's coming next, will Australia ban brains?"

        I think Australia banned my brain many years ago.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: If someone knows the IP address of the site, they're still quids in, of course

        "What's coming next, will Australia ban brains? "

        Pretty much.

        About 30 years ago, a fairly well-known scientist was engaged in a number of cases as an expert witness showing how radar speed traps were unreliable because of the (appallingly poor) way that Australian police were operating them.

        Instead of implementing better training schemes so that police would operate radar in manners that wouldn't be fooled into giving false readings by the rear end of a truck a mile down the road, or a corrugated iron fence, or with multiple vehicles in the beam or when operated at the wrong angle to the road (for oblique angle radar which uses a cosine calculation and will report very high figure if the angle isn't _exactly_ correct), the response of the Australian government was to pass legislation stating that police radar was utterly infallible at all times no matter what and no scientific evidence to the contrary was allowed in court to prove otherwise.

  9. steviebuk Silver badge

    So Australia is....

    ...even more under the thumb of Hollywood. Despite for money then? How many brown envelopes has it taken to get this through?

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: So Australia is....

      Don't need brown envelopes in Australia, corruption at the top is more or less legal and certainly expected. At least two state and a federal elections coming up and the worlds best economic managers haven't got any money. So come buy a piece of paradise. A (surprisingly) small political donation is all that is required.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reports of Stephen Conroy's death have been greatly exaggerated it would seem.

  11. The Central Scrutinizer

    OMG! Search engines help people find shit! As The Central Scrutinizer I will be banning this immediately, because, as everybody knows, listening to music can get you really fucked up.

    Sarcasm aside, things are getting more and more fucked up here. A government in total disarray, trying to bust encryption and generally treating us all like potential criminals/terrorists.

    Yeah, censorship of search results is suuuuch a great idea. Never mind that legitimate searches will be blocked... pfft collateral damage.

    I miss 1997 and the free and open Internet.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Sadly I don't know which of several very broken "Western" "democracies" (hahahahahaha) you could be talking about here. It could be any of a few, each of which are rapidly sharing more and more in common with dictatorial repression regimes.

    2. DeKrow

      Upvote because Frank Zappa was right, and things haven't changed.

      The song "Trouble Every Day" was released in 1966 and its lyrics are still pertinent 50 years (50 YEARS!!!) later.

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Sad

    It's amazing how quickly Australia has gone from almost 'Do as you please' to 'Don't do anything without permission'.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Sad

      It's worse than that. It is "Don't do anything unless we explicitly tell you to do it."

  13. Herring`

    Sharing music is bad

    Specifically I'm talking about the guy who sits opposite me who is given to humming. Quite loudly.

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Do the Australian government think that Google builds it search index by hand or manually approves entries before they show up in the results?

    It would be almost impossible for Google to remove every link to say a website like The Pirate Bay from it's search results without blocking legitimate websites, such a perhaps a blog article discussing TPB, or a URL shortener that had been used to link to the infringing site.

    Sure Google could probably do more but they are never going to stop piracy by blocking websites, In fact I expect the next big thing for piracy will be people using messaging apps similar to Whatsapp, Telegram etc to distribute content over end to end encryption which will be much harder to stop.

  15. Rol Silver badge

    For Sale - £100

    2nd hand 256GB usb stick - used to store every top selling film, tv program and album of 2017.

    The contents have of course been quick formatted, as I don't want to be breaking the law.

    If you are unclear about what to do, then please enlighten yourself with this youtube video on how to recover lost files on a USB stick.

    Only 500 left in stock.

    Other flavours are available. Please see my store for full listings.

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