Monday, December 08, 2008

The Pr0n P0l1ce

or The Porn Police in non-Hackese...

Remember how superior we felt when we heard that China routinely filters and censors Internet content to "ensure harmony" within their country?

That can't happen in "civilized" democracies can it? Australia, UK?

Well, yes.

Australian Gov't Mandatory ISP Filtering/Censorship Plan

The Australian Federal Labor Government, which was elected on 24 November 2007, has a 'plan' to force all Australian ISPs to implement server-based filtering systems to block access to 'child pornography', 'X-rated material', 'violence', 'prohibited' material, 'inappropriate' material and 'unwanted' material on a secret blacklist compiled by a government agency. Prior to the election, Labor said the objective of their 'plan' was "to ensure that children are protected from harmful and inappropriate online material".

UK ISPs switch on mass Wikipedia censorship

According to discussions on the Wikipedia administrators noticeboard, this is because a transparent proxy has been enabled for customers of Virgin Media, Be/O2/Telefonica, EasyNet/UK Online, PlusNet, Demon and Opal. This has two effects: users cannot see content filtered by the proxies, and all user traffic passing through the proxies is given a single IP address per proxy. As Wikipedia's anti-vandalism system blocks users by IP address, one single case of vandalism by a single UK user prevents all users on that user's ISP from editing. The effect is to block all editing from anonymous UK users on that list of ISPs. Registered users can continue to edit.

The content being filtered is apparently that deemed to meet the Internet Watch Foundation's critera for child pornography – in one case, this involves a 1970s LP cover art which, although controversial, is still widely available.

Even here in the good old US of A, they are trying to softshoe the same approach...

Bush FCC chairman considering 'porn-free Internet'

The proposal to allow a no-smut, free wireless Internet service is part of a proposal to auction off a chunk of airwaves. The winning bidder would be required to set aside a quarter of the airwaves for a free Internet service. The winner could establish a paid service that would have a fast wireless Internet connection. The free service could be slower and would be required to filter out pornography and other material not suitable for children.

I don't need to tell anyone here what the problem is. Smut may start out as hard-core porn, illegal images of children, and so forth. However, as you've already noticed above, it can quickly become an excuse for much more. It is also a foot in the door to move beyond so-called "no brainer" crime legislation and into the kind of political censorship that is rampant in places like China.

We tried using parental controls for the MiniSnab, but soon found problems going to medical sites that discussed women's issues. In fact, I found out that if you turn on Safe Search at and look for "clitoris," you will not get any matches. However, if you search for "penis," no problem...there are thousands of hits. How does that tickle your fancy?

Blame it on the liberals. Blame it on the conservatives. When it comes to governmental power, they are guilty and guilty.

There is a lot of crap on the Internet. The ONE and ONLY thing about the Internet that makes it a revolutionary medium is the freedom of expression and free flow of ideas, sometimes controversial ones. Without that, it is no more than a fancy television. If you can't navigate or speak without a goddamn cop or lawyer breathing down your neck, then you would be an idiot to keep using the medium. This is what the neanderthal Labor Party of Australia and conservative Kevin Martin at the FCC (seriously dude, the Nazi eyeglasses need to go) don't realize.

On the other hand, if we all went encrypted then none of their stupid filters or e-mail reading software would work. HTTPS and PGP are our friends. Cut out the spy-in-the-middle. If Microsoft sold our info down the river, the hackers would find out and we could all switch to an open source platform. Just a thought.


Hypatia said...

As an update to this disturbing's a link to Neil Gaiman's post about the recent Australian cartoon "porn" case -

Check out the link to the case, the Disney orgy parody...and thank goddess we have the The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)..and actual words "Free Speech" in our constitution.

Don Snabulus said...

Here is a live link to Gaiman's post.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Hey, our leaders are here to protect us! It's up to the wise among us to save us from our own ignorance!

...our own ignorance!

...our own ignorance!

...our own ig...**&$%

Woah, I think my implant just malfunctioned. Oh, no! Does that mean I'm not a member of society anymore?

Speaking of Australia, it was (ironically) an Australian campaign against "bad" internet content that got me into trouble with my school over my blog! As in someone in Australia found my blog and reported it to our sister-school, who then reported it to my school! All because I had posted a few pics of the school...

Actually, they're saying that "The Simpsons" is being quietly "removed" in Australia, too...not long after it was banned in both Russia and Venezuela. What does that tell you?

Arkonbey said...

We tried using parental controls for the MiniSnab, but soon found problems going to medical sites that discussed women's issues

Definitely a 'baby with the bathwater' scenario.

Also, it seems like your 'built-in parental controls' are working just fine.

MM: I believe (hope?) that technology will outpace censorship. I wonder how long before ISPs will have to go the way of pirate radio? Wouldn't that be cool? Rogue vessels steaming in international waters hosting on the high seas.

Hypatia said...

PS Moody...Neil Gaiman wrote the seminal "Sandman" graphic novel series...also Stardust, American Gods, and Good Omens w/Terry Prachett.

I recommend's long, involved and you better know alot about classical literature/myth all the way up through today....

Freida of the Bees said...

You know, I have such a problem with the idea of the censorship of sex and then the 3 minute video-ad trying to sell violence in the form of an Army commercial mixed in with the previews during the movie "Twilight" I viewed with my 3 year-old daughter, paid for, no doubt, by the US government.
(Uh- and I like porn sometimes. Don't take that away from me.)

BTW- I have just infected you with the Deadly Splotchy Story Virus.

Perhaps these two themes relate...?

Freida of the Bees said...

That would be my 13 year-old daughter, rather than the 3 year-old daughter I do not have, speaking of porn for the young.

Don Snabulus said...


I'm not getting a lot of bliss out of this ignorance, I have to tell ya.


Pirate Internet would be teh r0xx0rs for sure. Gimme gimme.


I need to examine this Gaiman stuff. I hope I can keep up with my horrible historical education.


Ladybug warned me that URL linking to strange women could lead to a virus and it appears she is correct. Looks like I need to put on my writin' cap.

Hey, the US gov't has a lot of money to burn. Jeebus forbid they spend that money on an injured veteran.

Dean Wormer said...

I like your thinking here.

First of all- I thought I was the only one that did internet searches for "clitoris." Turn off safe search, you say?

I like the internet free and open. When it comes to something like child porn I believe it's pretty clearly defined and pretty easy to police without actually censoring other speech, including tentacle porn.

Mmmmmm --- tentacle porn. Ahem.

Some people seem to want to take all the spark out of the world. Left to their own devices (say on the net) people are creative and interesting and sometimes evil. Take that away and they're nothing but hive drones.

Pandabonium said...

Moody said, '"The Simpsons" is being quietly "removed" in Australia, too...not long after it was banned in both Russia and Venezuela. What does that tell you?'

Umm, that they have good taste?

Just kidding. Of course I'm against censorship. Even of things I don't like.

Word verification: aphout
"What's it all aphout, Alfie?"