Conroy making valiant effort, then mentions BitTorrent
Full credit to Senator Stephen Conroy for being the bravest man on the Internet, declaring BitTorrent filtering a possibility.
[UPDATE: The Conroy blog will turn off public comments today (24/12/08). Read the story here.]
Say what you will about Senator Conroy’s Internet filtering plans – described by some as like trying to “boil the ocean” – but the man has Cojones.
Facing what some are likening to a 1960s protest movement over cyber-censorship (only, you know, on the Internet), you might have expected the good Senator to tread lightly when it comes to our precious tubes.
But no - Senator Conroy has clarified one of the biggest concerns about the filtering plans, saying it is “anticipated” that the effectiveness of peer to peer and BitTorrent filtering will be tested when the trial begins shortly.
We've already raised the question of whether BitTorrent would be included in the government’s anti-porn system. For the record, the government FAQ about the filtering trial does cover this topic, saying:
“It is understood that technology exists to filter peer-to-peer networks. If such technology is proposed as part of the Pilot by an ISP it will be considered.”
So there it is. Should you run for the hills, or another country, as some have indicated they will do if this gets off the ground?
Amidst the many arguments against Net filters flying around at rapid pace at the moment (speed, freedom of speech and the like), the copyright issue in particular seems to be generating some of the most heated debates. As the AFACT vs iiNet case has shown, movie labels aren’t shy about clamping down on BitTorrent users illegally sharing movies.
Despite some effort to dampen concern about censorship – point 24 in the government FAQ promises that there are “no plans” to expand the parameters of the Internet content blacklist – it’s clear the government is having a hard time shaking the perception that this is the thin end of the wedge.