The Great Firewall of Australia
Looks like Australia will be following China’s footsteps and build its own mandatory state-wide firewall. Aussies will bid goodbye to
smut and say hello to “clean feeds”.
According to TC, to be censored by the Australian Government is â€œpornography and inappropriate material.â€ X rated pornography is illegal online in Australia, as are casino style internet gambling, certain forms of â€œhateâ€ speech and R rated computer games.
This proposed legislation aims to protect children and minors from unclean feed that pollutes the internet and requires mandatory filtering of internet content where children may have access to. It is not yet clear if this is either an opt-in or opt-out system but by making it mandatory, it would mean everyone is filtered unless otherwise you want out.
Australia will be the second state to implement a nationwide internet censorship policy patterned after China’s Golden Shield Project (or what we commonly know as the Great Firewall of China). It should also be noted that the Australian government has been very active in this area for years now and have been giving away free copies of NetNanny (parental controls and internet filtering software) to any household that requests it.
There are many different ways to implement filtering — most common is IP Blocking (sites belonging to a specific IP or a range of IPs are blocked although this can be circumvented by a proxy), next is URL filtering where URLs are scanned for keywords in the blacklist (this could affect legit domains with permalink urls that have blacklisted keywords in them) and the other one is packet filtering which is most comprehensive since it will monitor traffic and content for target keywords and block them once count/density is reached (say a page which mentions the word “sex” or “jihad” five times).
In the Philippines, we also have these sort of internet censorship although they are happening in small pockets like your corporate offices, schools and universities as well as government offices and institutions. What Australia is doing is making it nationwide.