Clean Feed Filter Would Make Law Enforcement Harder

Amidst the continuing debate about plans to try and censor and filter Australian Internet access, the No Internet Censorship for Australia blog makes a useful point: if implemented as planned, the proposals would actually make it harder to track down people accessing questionable material. Drawing on the example of how Wikipedia editing recently got blocked in the UK because one article contained a questionable image, the blog points out that forcing people through proxy IP addresses makes them much harder to identify:

The process of dutiful law enforcement now has an extra-complicated step where the ISP needs to be contacted and instead of identifying an IP address, attempt to match up the user IP addresses access through the filter to the offensive site – likely matching time and date stamps on both systems and calculating time differences and the like. The law enforcement procedure is more drawn out, more prone to error (including “technicalities” that see actual offenders walk free) and ISPs are given another serving of the increasing public pressure for them to actively participate as enforcers of what is done with the service they provide.

If you find the planned implementation of a so-called “clean feed” questionable, don’t forget there’s a series of protest marches this Saturday.


  • Angus,

    Much as I don’t like the filter – and I really don’t. That one is relatively easily fixed. The proxy can add a header to requests on the way out that contains the original source IP address of the request.

  • In that case, I guess they’d better put it in the tech spec. Oh, that would require actual specifications, which are a bit thin on the ground right now!

  • I’m waiting for this to get implemented, then for someone to realise a prominent public official somewhere has an open wireless connection. Should be amusing.

    Worth noting that Telstra today said it won’t be participating in this. Neither will internode. Optus will, iinet said it will, but just to show how stupid it is.

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