[LINK] Conroy abandons mandatory ISP filtering

rene rene.ln at libertus.net
Fri Nov 9 14:52:49 AEDT 2012

[Accidentally sent this off-list, re-sending to list]

On Fri, 9 Nov 2012 13:24:34 +1100, Michael Skeggs mike at bystander.net wrote:
> Hi Irene,
> Thanks for the details.
> Do you know what happens practically, if a picture is uploaded to
> mySpace (for example) and added to the list?
> Presumably there must be some notification to hostmasters as we
> aren't seeing the big social networking and image hosting sites
> flicker in and out of the DNS system?

I don't know, but my guess (based on much research in recent years 
concerning what IWF and and other agencies have said they've found/know) is 

that highly popular sites such as My Space and Flickr probably aren't being 

used - or were e.g. a few years ago but aren't anymore - because, I think,
that all/most such sites have "report illegal content" buttons etc such 
that it seems very likely that an ordinary member of the public would 
notify the site and the CSA content be removed before any of the (very few
police) agencies who add domains to Interpol's list would even know the 
content had existed.

I also think it's highly feasible, notwithstanding what Interpol says, that 

if there's e.g. one image on such a popular site, it doesn't get added to 
Interpol's list immediately, if at all, because they know the world-wide  
furore that would erupt if the whole site became inaccessible to customers
of ISPs who use their DNS poisoning list. IWF experienced that, re their 
URL blocking list, twice a few years ago, when their additions to their 
block list resulted in inability to edit Wikipedia, and inability to access 

webarchive.org, IIRC in one of those cases because of the manner in which 
some UK ISPs had implemented their so-called URL (not domain) blocking 

Also, FWIW, my concern is not about the potential blocking of large popular 

domains (because, as above, I really doubt that will/does happen, and if it 

does it will very likely get fixed/unblocked pronto and probably result in
public pressure for a 'new' system that's less indiscriminate or 'no' 
blocking). However, I am very concerned about blocking of much less 
well-known file sharing sites, blogs, etc that have e.g. been hacked. 
People who've been paying attention to these issues for several years or 
more will no doubt recall the discovery that the ACMA had added (hacked) 
pages on an AU dentist's and school canteen's site to their (voluntary) 
block list which was unknown until Wikileaks published block lists. If the
content on those pages met Interpol's criteria (unknown and irrelevant), 
their action would result in blocking the entire domain (well, except to 
those who know how to easily bypass DNS poisoning "blocking"). In some ways 

that might be good, because the arguably improper block would likely become 

publicly known more quickly, but OTOH, I don't think people who host sites
or blogs etc should have their sites poisoned merely because apparently  
"authorities" can't be bothered to tell them their site's been misused by 
some criminal and giving them a short period of time to fix it, instead of
just adding it to a block list.


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