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The Appalling Incompetence of Rudd and Conroy
by Kismo Tuesday, May 4 2010, 8:51am
national / mass media / other press

Rudd’s communications minister Stephen Conroy was forced to admit, in Parliament, that the $24 (wasted) million, ISP filter plan could easily and LEGALLY be circumvented. Conroy admitted that circumvention techniques – VPN and Proxy server methods -- had been demonstrated to him personally at Enex Testlab in Melbourne. Conroy confirmed that no legal measures would be applied to ISPs to prohibit the use of the above circumvention methods – so what’s the point of the expensive (now failed) filter plan I hear you say? Well, ask the most policy failed, financially wasteful PM we’ve ever had, Kevin ‘hair dryer’ Rudd.

Rudd and Conroy
Rudd and Conroy

Senator Ludlam:
Has the Minister ever been shown how to circumvent ISP filters of the type tested by Enex Testlab in 2009; if so, where and when was that demonstration conducted, which acts were demonstrated, and how long did the demonstration take?

Senator Conroy:
Yes, the Minister has been shown a demonstration of a number of circumvention techniques of the filter products used in the ISP filtering pilot. This demonstration took place on Friday 5 June 2009, at the Enex TestLab at RMIT in Bundoora, VIC. The demonstration was of one hour duration, and a number of circumvention techniques were demonstrated including VPN and TOR.

One fiasco after another; from the very start it was known that the Internet CENSORSHIP plan did not protect children from graphic porn (the stated excuse for its implementation). Clicking an ‘over 18’ button allows anyone entry into the sordid online world of ‘butcher shop’ (graphic) porn. Yet the clearly incompetent Labor government remains singular in its pursuit of evermore means to waste public money and display its mindlessness – Rudd and Conroy have at least achieved success at something, IMBECILITY!

The following story from itnews reveals the appalling incompetence of Rudd and Conroy – two inept, UNREPRESENTATIVE, corporate lackeys:

Net filter circumvention: completely legal
by Liz Tay

The Federal Government's $23.8m ISP-level internet filtering initiative will not block encrypted content or web applications and can be circumvented legally, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has admitted.

In an official response to parliamentary questions on notice released yesterday, Senator Conroy said he had attended an hour-long demonstration of filter circumvention on 5 June 2009.

He was shown how to get around the ISP-level filter using free proxy network TOR and Virtual Private Network (VPN) techniques at the Enex TestLab in Victoria.

Although Enex expected "technically competent" users to be able to circumvent the filter, Conroy said monitoring circumvention attempts would not be required by the Government.

"ISPs will not be required to block circumvention attempts by their customers or end users," he said.

While he said it would be "irresponsible" of the Government to publish circumvention techniques, the Government took no measures to prevent other organisations from doing so.

Euthanasia advocacy group Exit International held a "hacking masterclass" for senior citizens last month, and Electronic Frontiers Australia planned to make public as much information about the filter as possible.

When asked if an ISP would be held responsible for knowingly allowing customers to bypass the filter, Conroy reiterated that ISPs would not be required to block circumvention attempts.

He said the same to whether ISPs would be allowed to offer a service or product that enabled circumvention.

"The capacity of filters to detect and provide warnings on circumvention was not tested during the pilot as none of the filtering solutions provided such granular controls including monitoring and alerting, and it is not a requirement of the Government's policy," he said.

Internet Industry Association (IIA) CEO Peter Coroneos was sceptical of the filter's effectiveness.

"While we support many of the Government's efforts in the online security sphere, we aren't convinced that it [the filter] will have anything more than symbolic value," he told iTnews.

While the IIA did not believe that the internet should be "unregulated and unrestricted in all ways", Coroneos said the filter would only give families a false belief that their children could not access unsavoury material.

"It remains our concern that much of the worst of the worst content will escape the filter and people are given a false sense of security," he said.

"The reality is, access to this content remains unaddressed and really could only be addressed by the families themselves."

Last week, Conroy's Department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said filter legislation would not be introduced to parliament until "later this year".

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, whose questions on notice prompted Conroy's current response, urged the Government to abandon its net filter plan completely.

"The Government needs to clearly indicate that it's going to scrap the idea completely and work on a new policy in collaboration with all stakeholders," Ludlam said in a statement last Thursday.

"Opposition against the internet filter is widespread because it will do precisely nothing to curb the distribution of illegal material online, while establishing the architecture for greater government censorship in the future." [Emphasis added]

© 2010 Haymarket Media

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