When Stupid Meets Stupid: Internet Filters, Anonymous and Rudd.

As many people know I’ve been a long time opponent of the Internet filter. In fact if you wind back the clock to when I created this blog you’ll see that it was originally created as a place to collate my thoughts and actions on the issue. Whilst the majority of the opposition to the filter has been clear and reasonable it would seem that the time has finally come when the vigilantes come out of the woodwork and start wrecking all the solid work we have been doing:

The Federal Government is investigating reports a computer hacker managed to temporarily shut down the Prime Minister’s website.

Kevin Rudd’s site, www.pm.gov.au, was brought down for a short time last night due to what is described as a denial of service attack.

The hacker, apparently known by the nickname Anonymous, posted warnings that government websites would be targeted in protest against its plans to filter the Internet.

The Government is considering ways to block websites carrying material it believes is offensive.

The move has attracted widespread criticism, largely because of fears the filtering system will slow Internet speeds.

The first bit of stupid I’d like to point out here is that whilst the “hacker” was identified as operating under the name Anonymous the media failed to properly recognise that he/she was probably acting as part of the online group with the same name. Although they do quote people who allude to them being a group later on most news outlets have just been repeating the first few lines. They have voiced their disapproval for the Internet filter before and due to their spontaneous order like affiliation they are unpredictable in the action that they take. It would then seem that one member identifying with their principals decided to take matters into his own hands and try to make a point about the issue, albeit with the completely wrong methods.

Whilst I can appreciate the passion and dedication that the hacker/s must have felt in order to attempt something on this magnitude I can not condone their methods. The unfortunate truth about their actions is that it has done nothing to further the cause to have the filter abandoned and has only served to bring a small amount of news to the front pages saying that the prime minister’s website was attacked. Judging by the attack itself I can hazard a guess that the attacker is either from outside Australia or not current with news on the filter, as it is essentially dying on the vine. We still need to be vigilant to make sure that the government does not try to resurrect the policy under a different name however the filter as it was proposed is being swept away in the hopes it can die without taking any politicians with it. Unfortunate as I would’ve liked to have the sacrificial lamb to be Conroy for fervently supporting this legislation.

Acts like this do nothing to serve the cause and only help to strengthen the opposition’s resolve. The out pouring of support from other countries, like the UK naming Conroy as the Internet Villain of the Year, does far more to help than what amounts to petty vandalism of a government site. If they want to put their 1337 |-|a©Kz0r skills into practice maybe they should look to more persuasive ways, like google bombing Conroy. But that would be too much effort now wouldn’t it? 😛

It was fun to see the stupid explosion when they collided though 🙂

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  1. When someone conducts a trial and then refuses to even set a date for when those results will be released, you know something is up. Take a look at this article:

    The trials, which involved internet service providers including Optus, Primus Communications, Tech 2U, Webshield, OMNIconnect, Netforce, Unwired and Highway 1, were due to be completed earlier this year.

    Conroy said during the first week of July the results would be staggered over an eight week period, but no results have yet been released. Additionally, no date exists for any announcement.

    After the intial announcement and media reaction we really haven’t seen much in the headlines in relation to the internet filter. The on going problems that the trial has faced including a slamming from the NSW DPP show that there’s really not a lot of public support nor interest in having a filter established. Conroy might still be pushing for it to get through, but as time goes by it’s becoming less and less likely that he’ll be able to pass any legislation on it.

    In fact he himself has stated that there is legislation required, but isn’t hopeful that it would make it through parliment:

    “Mandatory ISP filtering would conceivably involve legislation … voluntary is available currently to ISPs,” Senator Conroy said.

    “One option is potentially legislation. One other option is that it could be (on a) voluntary basis that they (ISPs) could voluntarily agree to introduce it.”

    In response Senator Minchin said he had never heard of a voluntary mandatory system.

    Senator Conroy responded with “well they could agree to all introduce it”.

     

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