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Peter Lemkin
10-12-2008, 08:27 AM
Not to be left-out of the lucrative spyware market, the German company Siemans has gone commercial with what the NSA and others had usually kept proprietary. Spying on everyone + economic collapse ===> fascist police state (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9238), for sure....what a wonderful future we have to look forward to....hard to have hope, at the moment. Gee, I wonder if they have a simple/cheaper version, so one can spy on one's own friends and enemies from one's home computer?...

New Spy Software Coming On-Line: "Surveillance in a Box" Makes its Debut

by Tom Burghardt

Global Research, August 28, 2008 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9983

You've heard of the FBI's "Quantico Circuit" and were outraged by illegal warrantless wiretapping by Bushist minions. To no avail, you flooded Congress with emails and phone calls, angered by the bipartisan "FISA Amendments Act of 2008" and the swell party thrown by AT&T for "Blue Dog" Democrats in Denver this week for the convention.

But just in time for a new administration (and the bundles of cash always at the ready for the expanding homeland security market), comes a complete "surveillance in a box" system called the Intelligence Platform!

According to New Scientist, German electronics giant Siemens has developed software allegedly capable of integrating

...tasks typically done by separate surveillance teams or machines, pooling data from sources such as telephone calls, email and internet activity, bank transactions and insurance records. It then sorts through this mountain of information using software that Siemens dubs "intelligence modules". (Laura Margottini, "Surveillance Made Easy," New Scientist, 23 August 2008)

New Scientist reports that the firm has sold the system to some 60 countries in Europe and Asia. Which countries? Well, Siemens won't say.

However, privacy and human rights advocates say the system bears a remarkable resemblance to China's "Golden Shield," a massive surveillance network that integrates huge information databases, internet and email monitoring, speech and facial recognition platforms in combination with CCTV monitoring.

Designed specifically for "fusion centers" or their European/Asian equivalents, the Intelligence Platform promises to provide "real-time" high-tech tools to foil terrorist plots before they're hatched (or keep tabs on antiwar/antiglobalization activists).

The latest item in the emerging "intelligent" software niche market, Intelligence Platform has been "trained" on a large number of sample documents to zero in on names, phone numbers or places from generic text. "This means it can spot names or numbers that crop up alongside anyone already of interest to the authorities, and then catalogue any documents that contain such associates," New Scientist avers.

In the UK, the Home Office announced it plans to provide law enforcement, local councils and other public agencies access to the details of text messages, emails and internet browsing. This follows close on the heels of an announcement last May that New Labour was considering building a massive centralized database "as a tool to help the security services tackle crime and terrorism." According to The Guardian,

Local councils, health authorities and hundreds of other public bodies are to be given the power to access details of everyone's personal text, emails and internet use under Home Office proposals published yesterday.

Ministers want to make it mandatory for telephone and internet companies to keep details of all personal internet traffic for at least 12 months so it can be accessed for investigations into crime or other threats to public safety. ...

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats last night branded the measure a "snooper's charter". (Alan Travis, "'Snooper's charter' to check texts and email," The Guardian, Wednesday, August 13, 2008)

A blurb posted on Siemens' website claims that the "challenge" is "to foster the well-being of law-abiding citizens" and therefore, "authorized groups need to have direct access to communications between suspects, whether it is individuals, groups or organizations. Only then can they take appropriate action, detect, prevent and anticipate crimes and guarantee peace and security."

In other words, if you've got nothing to hide "trust us:" the shopworn mantra of securocrats everywhere. And in today's climate, this is an especially burdensome challenge for state security and corporate spies who demand "highly-sophisticated, multi-level voice and data recordings" in order to destroy our rights while transforming our respective societies into Orwellian police states. New Scientist reports,

Once a person is being monitored, pattern-recognition software first identifies their typical behaviour, such as repeated calls to certain numbers over a period of a few months. The software can then identify any deviations from the norm and flag up unusual activities, such as transactions with a foreign bank, or contact with someone who is also under surveillance, so that analysts can take a closer look.

But if the experience of U.S. Fusion Centers are any indication of the accuracy of the Siemens system, false positives will be endemic while thousands, if not millions, of perfectly innocent individuals are forever ensnared in the state's data driftnet. According to the American Civil Liberties Union,

The Justice Department's 2006 Guidelines envision fusion centers doing more than simply sharing legitimately acquired law enforcement information across different branches of our burgeoning security establishment. The Guidelines encourage compiling data "from nontraditional sources, such as public safety entities and private sector organizations" and fusing it with federal intelligence "to anticipate, identify, prevent, and/or monitor criminal and terrorist activity." This strongly implies the use of statistical dragnets that have come to be called data-mining. The inevitable result of a data-mining approach to fusion centers will be:

Many innocent individuals will be flagged, scrutinized, investigated, placed on watch lists, interrogated or arrested, and possibly suffer irreparable harm to their reputation, all because of a hidden machinery of data brokers, information aggregators and computer algorithms.

Law enforcement agencies will waste time and resources investing in high-tech computer boondoggles that leave them chasing false leads--while real threats go unaddressed and limited resources are sucked away from the basic, old-fashioned legwork that is the only way genuine terror plots have ever been foiled. (Michael German and Jay Staley, "What's Wrong with Fusion Centers," American Civil Liberties, December 2007)

But perhaps "high-tech computer boondoggles" are precisely the point!

After all, the Boeing Company and their sidekicks at SRI International (which describes itself as "an independent, nonprofit research institute") were recently criticized by a House Science and Technology Subcommittee for "irregularities" in the government's Railhead program, a suite of software "upgrades" to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), "a vast database of names that feeds the nation's terrorist watch list," the Associated Press reported.

Railhead was touted as a "fix" for a system built by Lockheed Martin in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. According to congressional investigators, the system provides data to all federal terrorist watch lists, including the "no-fly" list run by the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration and the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, a national clearinghouse for federal, state and local fusion centers.

According to the House committee the program is months behind schedule, millions over budget and "would actually be less capable than the U.S. government terrorist tracking system it is meant to replace." Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported,

When tested, the new system failed to find matches for terrorist-suspect names that were spelled slightly different from the name entered into the system, a common challenge when translating names from Arabic to English. It also could not perform basic searches of multiple words connected with terms such as "and" and "or." (Siobhan Gorman, "Flaws Found in Watch List for Terrorists, The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2008)

Leaving aside the racist presuppositions of the Journal, to wit, that Arab = terrorist (no small matter when dealing with nativist yahoos here in the "homeland" or elswehere), as Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) said in a statement, "the program appears to be on the brink of collapse after an estimated half-billion dollars in taxpayer funding has been spent on it." According to the committee,

The Railhead program had been undergoing an internal technical implosion for more than one year. But public statements and sworn public testimony to Congress from senior officials within the NCTC [National Counterterrorist Center] and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) never revealed the mounting technical troubles, poor contractor management or lax government oversight that appears to have been endemic throughout the program and has led to Railhead's colossal failure. Astoundingly, the Director of NCTC and the Director of National Intelligence have both specifically pointed to TIDE and NCTC Online as hallmarks of the government’s information sharing accomplishments. ("Technical Flaws Hinder Terrorist Watch List; Congress Calls for Investigation," Committee on Science and Technology, Press Release, August 21, 2008)

In a technical sense, the NCTC and the ODNI may be correct in touting TIDE and NCTC Online as "hallmarks of the government's information sharing accomplishments," if by "sharing accomplishments" they meant handing over unlimited bundles of taxpayer's hard-earned cash to enterprising contractors!

Gorman reports that in "recent weeks, the government has fired most of the 862 private contractors from dozens of companies working on the Railhead project, and only a skeleton crew remains." Boeing and SRI's response? According to the Journal, "calls to officials of Boeing and SRI were not immediately returned."

I bet they weren't! Especially since the committee said "Railhead insiders" allege that the government paid Boeing some $200 million to retrofit the company's Herndon, Virginia office with security upgrades so that top secret software work could be performed there. The government then leased the same office space from Boeing. How's that for hitting the old corporate "sweet spot."

None of this of course, should surprise anyone, least of all defense lobby dollar-addicted members of Congress who, like Captain Renault in Casablanca are "shocked, shocked" to find their corporate "partners" have failed to deliver--again.

According to Washington Technology's list of "2008 Top 100 Government Prime Contractors," Boeing clocked-in at No. 2 with $9,706,621,413 in taxpayer handouts. No slouches themselves, Siemens placed No. 79 with some $186,292,146 in prime government contracts across an array of defense and civilian agencies. With Railhead's imminent demise, perhaps the German electronics giant has a future in the U.S. "homeland security" market with its Intelligent Platform?

Then again, perhaps not. Computer security expert Bruce Schneier told New Scientist, "'currently there are no good patterns available to recognise terrorists,' he says, and questions whether Siemens has got around this." But since the business of government is business, maybe they do after all.

Meanwhile, the PRISE consortium of security technology and human rights experts funded by the European Union, called "for a moratorium on the development of fusion technologies, referring explicitly to the Siemens Intelligence Platform," Margottini reported.

According to New Scientist, PRISE analysts told the EU, "The efficiency and reliability of such tools is as yet unknown. More surveillance does not necessarily lead to a higher level of societal security. Hence there must be a thorough examination of whether the resulting massive constraints on human rights are proportionate and justified."

But here in the United States concern over trivial things such as "massive constraints on human rights," unlike state attacks against the "quaint" rights of the average citizen are, like the impeachment of a regime studded with war criminals, most definitely "off the table."

While the Democrats celebrate Barack Obama's coronation in Denver this week and the Republicans are poised to do the same for John McCain in the Twin Cities rest assured, administrations may change, but the corporate grift is eternal.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.

Jan Klimkowski
10-12-2008, 10:37 AM
Garbage In = Garbage Out

Which could serve as the epitaph for all fascist wet dreams. :mad:

Peter Lemkin
10-14-2008, 07:12 PM
A whole hour on the NSA - our super-secret electronic spy agency
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/14/james_bamford_the_shadow_factory_the Bamford knows a lot - but is naive about 911 and a few other such - still, much information here to keep one awake at night.

and when you're done with that, if you can still sleep - wonder if you are on the list of those to be rounded-up in time of National Emergency http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9238

...sleep well.....

David Guyatt
10-15-2008, 08:57 AM
and when you're done with that, if you can still sleep - wonder if you are on the list of those to be rounded-up in time of National Emergency http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9238

...sleep well.....


Another well-informed source—a former military operative regularly briefed by members of the intelligence community—says this particular program has roots going back at least to the 1980s and was set up with help from the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has been told that the program utilizes software that makes predictive judgments of targets' behavior and tracks their circle of associations with "social network analysis" and artificial intelligence modeling tools.

Sounds awfully like the data mining programme associated with Mohamed Atta and 911 called ABLE DANGER. The man who brought this programme to pubic attention, Lt. Colonel Anthony Schaffer, was employed by the DIA. The names of "U S persons" who were collected by ABLE DANGER data mining software were said to have been "destroyed" in accordance with Defense Department policy.

Perhaps the whole ruckus about ABLE DANGER after 911 was as much about protecting the domestic data mining aspect of the programme as it was about eclipsing information that the Pentagon had pre-knowledge of Mohamed Atta's 911 intentions?

Then there is the curious comments about the programme as follows:


The Seventh District Republican congressman, who is running against retired admiral Joe Sestak, a Democrat, said previously that Pentagon officials downplayed "Able Danger" revelations to avoid criticism about its failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.

He also said both the Bush and Clinton administrations would feel political heat if the entire story came out.

"It’s a very complicated story," Weldon said. "It’s going to embarrass people in this (Bush) administration and the Clinton administration."

See:http://qtmonster.typepad.com/qt_monsters_place/2006/10/pentagon_reject.html

Which fosters the question why the Clinton Administration would be embarrassed if the whole story came out?

Also, the notorious "Rex 84" that was aimed at detaining large numbers of US citizens in periods of civil unrest or national emergency, is now known to have been a "continuity of government" plan. Rex 84 was a continuation of Operation Garden Plot that began life as far back as 1968

See: http://www.cryptome.org/garden-plot.htm

The point to stress here is that governments always distrust their citizenry and lay down secret plans to militarily control them in times of "unrest" -- as in the recent banking crisis when some Congressmen were threatened that if they didn't vote for the Bush banking rescue plan, martial law would be imposed.

David Guyatt
10-15-2008, 09:15 AM
Britain too, has its data mining database. I dare say that this also extends to all developed nations.

Watch: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20081015/video/vuk-terror-watchdog-warns-of-database-pl-49bfa63.html

**

Terror watchdog warns of database plan

The Government's own terrorism watchdog has expressed concern about its proposals to create a so-called Big Brother database. Skip related content

Lord Carlile of Berriew, the independent reviewer of the counter-terrorism laws, described the "raw idea" of the database as awful and called for tight controls on its use.

His intervention came as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was expected to use a speech to set out her current thinking about the controversial scheme.

Lord Carlile said the Government had an "unhappy" record when it came to safeguarding personal data.

He said: "As a raw idea it is awful. However, it is a question of degrees and how it is developed. Searches should be made on a case-by-case basis with appropriate reviewing measures so that they can't be done willy-nilly by government."

It is reported that the database would hold all telephone numbers dialled and all addresses to which emails are sent, but not the details of conversations or the contents of emails.

Lord Carlile said that he would not want Britain to go as far as the Patriot Acts in the US where data searches cover anyone who has made contact with a terrorist suspect.

He said: "There must be codes of practice. In counter-terrorism collation is everything but raw data only has a limited use."

A Home Office spokesman said: "Changes to the way we communicate, due particularly to the internet revolution, will increasingly undermine our current capabilities to obtain communications data - essential for counter-terrorism and the investigation of crime - and use it to protect the public.

"Losing the ability to use this data would have very serious consequences for law enforcement and intelligence gathering in the UK."

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20081015/tuk-terror-watchdog-warns-of-database-pl-dba1618.html

Magda Hassan
10-15-2008, 12:51 PM
This was in today's paper here. Downer is our Former Foreign Affairs Minister in the previous Liberal government. Apart from being well connected from his time in government his father also was a senior Liberal minister in his day and the family have many high connections in UK and Europe. Some people may see this as a conflict of interest while others unburdened with any social conscience see it as good business.



FORMER Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has joined Kevin Rudd's infrastructure chief, businessman Sir Rod Eddington, in advising a secretive British firm that sells intelligence on government policy intentions — including those in Australia — to big business.
The firm, Hakluyt & Co, was founded by former officers of British spy agency M16. Hakluyt has been embroiled in several corporate spying scandals and was caught in 2001 paying a former German intelligence agent to infiltrate green groups in Europe on behalf of the oil companies Shell and BP.
Hakluyt employs many former British intelligence officers and provides companies with high-level business and political intelligence on investment opportunities.
Mr Downer, the UN special envoy to Cyprus, was appointed to Hakluyt's advisory board in May. As foreign minister, Mr Downer oversaw the Australian Secret Intelligence Service and had top-level access to information from Australia's spy agencies.
Sir Rod has served on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2005. In February, he was appointed chairman of Infrastructure Australia, a Rudd Government body charged with modernising the nation's water, transport, communications and energy assets through the $20 billion Building Australia fund.
The former British Airways chief now faces conflict of interest allegations due to his roles with Hakluyt and Infrastructure Australia.
Greens leader Senator Bob Brown last night said Sir Rod should cut ties with Hakluyt because it was a "direct conflict of interest" with his Infrastructure Australia role. "We will move to amend the Building Australia legislation when it comes through Parliament in a few weeks to ensure there are no conflicts of interest on the Infrastructure Australia board," Senator Brown said.
A former high level Australian security official told The Age that Hakluyt was one of the more "aggressive and invasive" corporate intelligence firms and that it was a clear conflict of interest for Sir Rod to be advising both the company and the Australian Government.
The company has ties with Liberal Party polling firm Crosby Textor. Hakluyt founder and former MI6 officer Christopher James was appointed a senior adviser to Crosby Textor in 2006.
Sir Rod, who is also advising the Victorian Government on transport policy, last night denied any real or perceived conflict of interest, saying he had not advised anyone at Hakluyt on Australian Government policy. "There is no conflict of interest," Sir Rod said.
"Like many people in corporate life, you manage your life in a way that they (conflicts) do not occur. I sit around the (Hakluyt) table with guys who are extremely experienced businessmen with great integrity. Hakluyt is a way for me to keep my international network up."
He said he had not seen any evidence to suggest Hakluyt had ever acted unethically. "Do you think Alexander Downer would be on the advisory board of a company that acted unethically?" Sir Rod asked.
Other prominent figures to have served on the Hakluyt advisory board include former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former Shell chairman Peter Holmes, former BP deputy chairman Peter Cazalet and former CIA operative and US ambassador to India Frank Wisner jnr.
In 2004, Hakluyt advisory board member Lord Inge resigned over a perceived conflict of interest due to his membership of the Butler review commissioned by then British prime minister Tony Blair to examine intelligence failures in Iraq.
A spokesman for Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said last night there were legislative safeguards to prevent real or perceived conflicts of interest between Infrastructure Australia board members and their respective business dealings.
Speaking from London last night, Hakluyt deputy managing director Rupert Huxter said he did not believe the company had "done anything on infrastructure in Australia".
Mr Huxter said Mr Downer was sought after because he was an experienced minister who would help Hakluyt's advisory board "open doors to clients" .
"We exist to provide people with information they would not get anywhere else," he said.
The company no longer infiltrated activist groups, he said. "What (scandal) there is is 10 years old. The company has grown up a lot since then."
Although its Australian client base remains secret, Hakluyt is active in Australia. Its Australian director is Sydney-based former British diplomat Philip Morrice.
In August, Hakluyt approached a freelance Australian health journalist to join its network of "discreet" agents to provide information on Australian Government health policy.
An email from a Hakluyt employee to the journalist outlines the company's intelligence gathering methods: "We have a proprietary network of well-placed individuals around the world who are able to provide us, very discreetly, with intelligence on specific commercial or political issues that may arise."
Although it goes to great lengths to keep its clients secret, Hakluyt has worked for European defence and aerospace company EADS and offered its services to disgraced US energy company Enron executives by telling them it provided "an unparalleled private intelligence network at the personal disposal of senior commercial figures".
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/national/downer-eddington-join-spy-company/2008/10/13/1223749980660.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

Peter Lemkin
10-15-2008, 06:10 PM
Sounds awfully like the data mining programme associated with Mohamed Atta and 911 called ABLE DANGER. The man who brought this programme to pubic attention, Lt. Colonel Anthony Schaffer, was employed by the DIA. The names of "U S persons" who were collected by ABLE DANGER data mining software were said to have been "destroyed" in accordance with Defense Department policy.

Perhaps the whole ruckus about ABLE DANGER after 911 was as much about protecting the domestic data mining aspect of the programme as it was about eclipsing information that the Pentagon had pre-knowledge of Mohamed Atta's 911 intentions?

Then there is the curious comments about the programme as follows:



See:http://qtmonster.typepad.com/qt_monsters_place/2006/10/pentagon_reject.html

Which fosters the question why the Clinton Administration would be embarrassed if the whole story came out?

Also, the notorious "Rex 84" that was aimed at detaining large numbers of US citizens in periods of civil unrest or national emergency, is now known to have been a "continuity of government" plan. Rex 84 was a continuation of Operation Garden Plot that began life as far back as 1968

See: http://www.cryptome.org/garden-plot.htm

The point to stress here is that governments always distrust their citizenry and lay down secret plans to militarily control them in times of "unrest" -- as in the recent banking crisis when some Congressmen were threatened that if they didn't vote for the Bush banking rescue plan, martial law would be imposed.

No doubt in some way connected to ABLE DANGER and likely all that hidden to hide who Atta really was working for/with [not a lone 'terrorst', but a covert operative for several entities - INCLUDING U.S. ones]. Further, the two 'big' data-mining from telecommunications companies are both Israeli - which likely explains why the 'Israelis' [in part] had prior knowledge of 911 - since they get the same intelligence raw stream as does NSA and likely has more Arab speakers to translate anything in Arabic, as well. This is old stuff and goes back to Inslaw and before that... privacy and private communications went 'out' long ago - this is what they call 'liberal democracies, with personal freedoms' - Ha!

Terry Mauro
10-15-2008, 08:13 PM
"No slouches themselves, Siemens placed No. 79 with some $186,292,146 in prime government contracts across an array of defense and civilian agencies."

They also make a lot of the imaging equipment for Nuclear Medicine and Radiology.

Seems like they're going to be able to "bug" just about anything; instrumentation, software, etc. that they can get their hands on, and filter it back to the NSA.

No more checking my e-mail from UCLA for me!

Magda Hassan
10-16-2008, 07:13 AM
It's way to late for you Terry! They've already got your number. :)

Peter Lemkin
10-16-2008, 11:05 AM
It's way to late for you Terry! They've already got your number. :)

They've got more than just Terry's!....
The outsourcing of electronic spying is a very interesting phenomenon and needs to be studied more. Take for example this on PROMIS software and the scandal it precipitated [that then died and was not reported further by the MSM and NO ONE WAS PROSECUTED for]....
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.01/inslaw_pr.html

The other issues are the telecom companies [now given retroactive immunity! by Bushoviks] who are in bed with the spy agencies and their proxies AND the telecom manufactures who have built to spy agency specs mobile and home phones, computers et al. that can spy on and transmit voice [and position in case of mobiles] and other data - even when off....such a nice world this is....we are way past 1984 in all senses of that statement!...and with RFID coming soon to an ID near you. Anyone have a new US Passport. It has an RFID chip in the upper part, near the binding. They'd like to have that on all driver's licenses soon too and on your car and bank card, etc...even in you!

Magda Hassan
10-16-2008, 11:42 AM
Yes Peter. Our lives are an open book. Total Information Awareness. While everything else of theirs is 'Commercial in Confidence' and you can be prosecuted for knowing the wrong thing.
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Jan Klimkowski
10-19-2008, 10:54 AM
Magda - looks like Australia is doing its bit for Spooks United.... :rolleyes:

The truth is that the internet should give law enforcement much greater ability to track down and bust paedophile rings. Instead the horrors of paedophilia are used by TPTB as a Trojan Horse to monitor us all and target those who dare to look behind MSM's veil of nonsense.


'Net filters "required" for all Australians, no opt-out
By Jacqui Cheng | Published: October 16, 2008 - 11:14AM CT

Australians may not be able to opt out of the government's Internet filtering initiative like they were originally led to believe. Details have begun to come out about Australia's Cyber-Safety Plan, which aims to block "illegal" content from being accessed within the country, as well as pornographic material inappropriate for children. Right now, the system is in the testing stages, but network engineers are now saying that there's no way to opt out entirely from content filtering.
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The Australian government first revealed its filtering initiative in 2007, which it expected to cost AUS$189 million to implement. That money would go toward imposing filtering requirements on ISPs, who would have to use the Australian Communications and Media Authority's official blacklist, which is in turn based on the country's National Classification Scheme.

Australia moved forward with its plans despite widespread public outcry and began testing the system in Tasmania in February of this year. At the time, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said that the filters would be enabled by default and that consumers would have to request unfiltered connectivity if they wished to opt-out of the program.

Well, it turns out now that those promises were only partially true. Internode network engineer Mark Newton told Computerworld that users are able to opt out of the "additional material" blacklist—which targets content inappropriate for children—but not the main blacklist that filters what the Australian government determines is illegal content.

"That is the way the testing was formulated, the way the upcoming live trials will run, and the way the policy is framed; to believe otherwise is to believe that a government department would go to the lengths of declaring that some kind of Internet content is illegal, then allow an opt-out," Newton said. "Illegal is illegal and if there is infrastructure in place to block it, then it will be required to be blocked—end of story."

A spokesperson for the Australian Communications Minister seemed to confirm this revelation by saying that the filters would be required for all Australian citizens.

Assuming this is in fact the way the scheme is implemented in practice, it raises plenty of troubling questions. "Illegal" is a broad definition, leaving users wondering exactly what kinds of content will end up falling prey to the government's apparently mandatory filtering restrictions. Will Big Content be ringing up the Aussie government soon to have tracker sites added to the blacklist? What about sites that discuss topics like at-home bomb making, or something a little less explosive, like DVD decryption tools? And how about those sites that advise users on how to get around the filters? Will various Wikipedia pages be blocked?

Australia continues to ignore its own government-funded studies from 2006 that show ISP-level filtering to be ineffective and costly. The Australian government's disregard for those prior studies suggests that the driving force behind the current plan is more political than technical.


http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081016-net-filters-required-for-all-australians-no-opt-out.html