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No Censorship MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Archive for the 'No Censorship' Category

Reporting Racism on Facebook

Friday, September 9th, 2011

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Can you spare a few clicks to fight racism on Facebook?

Several of my Aboriginal friends have been engaged in a constant battle to report racist Facebook Pages, Groups and Accounts.  At the bottom of this post are some examples of the vile rubbish they have been dealing with.

Of course, one person reporting a racist page to Facebook will have no impact whatever.  Nothing happens until many reports come in.  Just as in prehistoric times when it took a hundred arrows to bring down a woolly mammoth, a bit of coordination is required.

With that in mind, I have created the following diagrams which might help many of us to at least aim in the same direction.  There are diagrams for:
Reporting a racist FB PAGE,
Reporting a racist FB GROUP and
Reporting a FAKE ACCOUNT set up by a racist.

(Note that this information current as at September 2011.  Watch out for Facebook changes.)

Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE

First up, go to the page, but DO NOT “LIKE” the page.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE
Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report Page” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “Hate Speech
  3. select “Targets a race or ethnicity” from the drop-down list
  4. click Continue
  5. on the next pop-up, check the “Report to Facebook” box
  6. click Continue

Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP

First up, go to the group, but DO NOT “JOIN” the group.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP
Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report Group” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “Hate Speech or personal attack
  3. select “Targets a race or ethnicity” from the drop-down list
  4. click Submit

Reporting a FAKE ACCOUNT set up by a racist

First up, go to the fake page, but DO NOT “Add Friend”.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a FAKE FB ACCOUNT
Reporting a FAKE FB ACCOUNT set up by a racist  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report/Block” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “This profile is pretending to be someone or is fake
  3. select “Does not represent a real person” from the drop-down list
    3a. optionally check the “Block” box.  Don’t do this if you want to keep an eye on them in future.
  4. click Continue
  5. on the next pop-up, check the “I confirm…” box
  6. click Continue

But what about “Freedom of Speech”?

Now, many who know me will know I have been an active campaigner against censorship, particularly Senator Conroy’s plan to censor Australia’s internet.  Some might ask, “Mike, are you being inconsistent here?

My answer is “No.”  This is because, in Australia, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 makes hate speech illegal.  And what we are dealing with here is clearly hate speech…

Examples of Hate Speech on Facebook
Examples of Hate Speech on Facebook

Sadly, in recent weeks, many new hate speech pages have sprung up, inspired by the tawdry television of Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys.  None of these racist pages are hard to find; just search in Facebook using some of the keywords in the picture above.

Chris Lilley-inspired racism on Facebook
Chris Lilley-inspired racism on Facebook

My Aboriginal friends have achieved a lot over the past few weeks and I congratulate them.  If you can spare a few clicks to help them out, that would be great.  If you can join the team working on this in a coordinated manner, that would be even better.  Send me a message on Facebook and I can put you in touch.  Thanks.

Ever wondered what your blog looks like in Chinese?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

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A recent outlier in the blog stats showed that someone from Shanghai had recently visited my “Future Filter” blog post, part of my campaign against Senator Conroy’s plan to censor Australia’s internet.  Interestingly, they had viewed it in Chinese, and this is what they saw.

As a geek, I was interested to see another use of Google Translate.

As an anti-internet censorship campaigner, I’m sure I have nothing to worry about.  Nobody from the People’s Republic of China would be particularly interested in opponents of internet censorship.  Or would they?

Quixotic Conroy

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

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I’m saddened to see that, despite criticism from within Australia and internationally, Senator Conroy continues on his Quixotic charge to use ineffective technology to combat child pornography.  Even sadder to see some Labor MHRs happy to see money wasted.

You cannot tell me the filter won’t do *ANY* good.
– Arch Bevis, Labor MHR for Brisbane, toeing the party line, January 2010

You cannot tell me the filter won't do *ANY* good.
Quixotic Conroy.  Click to enlarge.

Sancho Panza: Don Quixote, Use the Lance!
Don Quixote: No, this toothpick is much better.
Don Quixote: You cannot tell me I can’t lodge it in my opponent’s eye.
Citizen: But Senator Conroy, paedophiles don’t use HTTP. They use HTTPS, VPN, P2P, IRC, chat rooms, myspace, facebook…
Sen. Conroy: No, we paid $44m for this HTTP filter.
Sen. Conroy: You cannot tell me the filter won’t do *ANY* good.

Arguments against the Mandatory ISP Filter

Mind Map presenting arguments against Senator Conroy's Mandatory ISP Filter
Mind Map presenting arguments against the filter. (click to enlarge)

You may recall my earlier post where I presented a Mind Map of the arguments against Senator Conroy’s Mandatory ISP Filter and offering a better solution for Child Cyber-Safety.

It was prepared for a meeting between Arch Bevis, Labor MHR for Brisbane, and a number of individuals who had met at a meeting of Stop Internet Censorship Brisbane, including myself.

Meeting with Arch Bevis

From my notes after the meeting between Stop Internet Censorship members (SIC) and Arch Bevis (AB)…

SIC: The filter won’t work at all.
AB: You cannot tell me the filter won’t do ANY good.

He’s right.  We couldn’t tell him.  Any discussion of the technologies actually used by paedophiles just bounced off the stonewall.

SIC: The blacklist is secret.
AB: Yes, I’m uncomfortable with that. There should be enough information published about each blocked URL to explain why the decision was made, without, of course, publishing the URL.

Hmmm…

SIC: It’s censorship.
AB: Of course, some censorship is necessary. However I can think of some past Attorneys-General who, if armed with a scheme like this, would have made blacklisting decisions that I would not agree with.

… thereby proving our point that future governments cannot be trusted with scope-creep-ready censorware in every Australian ISP.

SIC: In-home filtering and parent supervision is better.
AB: That won’t happen.

AB went on to point out clearly that no education or training is necessary to become a parent.  He stopped just short of actually calling Aussie parents “dills”.

SIC: Senator Conroy’s communication presents the ISP Filter as a magic bullet.
AB: I’ll meet with Senator Conroy and ask him to tone down the PR language.

Two months later, I note Conroy now says occasionally, “We never said it was a magic bullet.“  Unfortunately, nothing else has changed.

SIC: It’s a huge waste of money.
AB: $44m? Pfft! You should see what the other side wasted on a cancelled naval helicopter contract.

I gather from this that both major parties have even bigger waste/skeletons in their closets and that wasting money comes easily to politicians.  Clearly the “waste of money” argument won’t get much traction with the major parties.

I have to say, I came away from the meeting disheartened.

So Who Will I be Voting For?

Andrew Bartlett
Andrew Bartlett

Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown and Senate Candidate Larissa Waters
Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown and Senate Candidate Larissa Waters

A Federal election will be called later this year.  The Greens (particularly WA Senator Scott Ludlam) are the only major party who have spoken out consistently against the filter.  They also have a published policy to “ensure that regulation of the internet is transparent, accountable and protects freedom of speech, expression and access to information“.

If I were an elector in the seat of Brisbane, I’d be voting for Arch Bevis’ rival, former senator Andrew Bartlett.  As a Queenslander, I’m certainly voting for Larissa Waters in the Senate with the flow of preferences to be determined very much by the other parties’ policies.  I’ll be looking for policies that won’t place the yoke of censorship on the Australia I leave for my children.

———————

Related “Conroy Cartoons”

Pervert Conroy?
Pervert Conroy?
Future Filter
Future Filter
Phone Senator Conroy
Phone Senator Conroy
87 Percent
87 Percent

An Experience with Facebook Ads

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

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In early January, I experimented with Facebook Ads.

 
The Ad on the left was targeted at All Australians and produced one click-through in 24 hours.  The Ad on the right was targeted at Australians aged 18 to 40.  It burnt through my daily advertising budget in about 40 minutes.

ISP Filter Will Disadvantage Australian Companies

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

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UPDATE:
Thanks to those who provided feedback on this, particularly Jeff Waugh and others via Twitter and Whirlpool.  It would appear that requests from overseas to Australian-hosted websites will not be filtered.  This means that the problem described below will not eventuate until Google sets up and starts issuing crawl requests from an Australian node. — MikeFitz
———————

A Deloitte analyst, Damien Tampling, has been reported by ARNnet as predicting the Government’s controversial ISP filter will have minimal long-term effect on Australian businesses.

I think there’s an important factor that Mr Tampling has missed altogether.

It has become clear over the past few months that Google is now placing a higher importance on “Page Load Speed” when calculating Page Rank – the all-important score that gets my business near the top of page 1 of Google search results.

My Australian website, hosted in Australia, will be crawled by the googlebot through an Australian ISP.  Senator Conroy says it will load “a blink of an eye” slower, but this is an eternity to the googlebot.  My page rank will then be lower than that of a competing US, UK or NZ company.  I and other Australian companies will forever be at a commercial disadvantage because of the filter.

As I see it, ISP Filter -> Slower Page Loads -> Lower Google Page Rank -> Commercial disadvantage for Australian companies.  What do others think?

———————
See also…

Mandatory ISP Filter Mind Map

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

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I have prepared this mind map to help guide the discussion in an upcoming meeting with a Labor MHR.  As best I can, I have presented the basic arguments against Senator Conroy’s current Mandatory ISP Filter policy with a minimum of technical jargon.

Mind Map presenting arguments against Senator Conroy's Mandatory ISP Filter
Mind Map presenting arguments against Senator Conroy’s Mandatory ISP Filter and offering a better solution for Child Cyber-Safety (click to enlarge)

The aim is to enlist this Member’s support for changing Labor’s Child Cyber-Safety policy away from the expensive and ineffective ISP filter and towards in-home filtering and education for parents about their role in ensuring their child’s safety.

Critically Urgent

The need to get this policy changed is now critically urgent as Senator Conroy has announced that legislation will be presented to Parliament in the next few months.

If you think it is helpful, please use the Mind Map to guide your own discussions with friends, relatives, workmates, etc.  Download a copy as

Of course, many technical arguments have been omitted but if you spot any errors, serious omissions or room for improvement, please let me know.

Thanks to Kath (@sleepydumpling) for suggesting that I use the word “PROHIBITION” instead of “CENSORSHIP” when talking to a politician.  Of course some politicians will think Censorship is perfectly reasonable in certain circumstances and the word doesn’t create a negative image for them at all.  On the other hand, Prohibition reminds us all of the bootlegging and other unintended outcomes of banning alcohol in the 1920s.

For further information:

Future Filter

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

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My basic argument against the government’s mandatory internet filter is
It won’t work; it’s a waste of our taxes; parents will let their guard down; children will be harmed.

However, there’s also this other niggling question…
Do I trust ALL future governments to NOT misuse the national internet filter infrastructure?

Do you trust ALL future governments to NOT misuse the national internet filter infrastructure?

2009: The ACMA is blacklisting an ANTI-abortion website because its images are offensive to children.
2011 (as the filter goes live): We now have the national infrastructure to filter all RC material, including euthanasia and PRO-abortion websites.
2016 (after the revolution): The People’s Republic of Australia will now ‘harmonize’ all references to the Federation Square riot and massacre which, of course, DID NOT HAPPEN.
2021 (after the Jihad): The Islamic Caliphate of Australia will now filter all pro-Christian websites.

Who knows what the future holds?  If a national internet filtering infrastructure is in place, will it be mis-used?  It’s only a matter of time.

What sort of Australia do you want to leave for your children?

———————
Update
You can now purchase this cartoon on a t-shirt.

Related “Conroy Cartoons”

Phone Senator Conroy
Phone Senator Conroy
87 Percent
87 Percent
Pervert Conroy?
Pervert Conroy?
Quixotic Conroy
Quixotic Conroy

Pervert Conroy?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

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One of the most despicable things Senator Stephen Conroy has done was in the early days of the mandatory ISP filter policy.  He asserted, on the floor of the Senate, that opposition to this bad policy equates to support for paedophilia[1][2].

Yeah, well two can play that game…
Now that his ISP filter clearly won’t protect children, what’s his real motivation for pushing on regardless?

Now that Senator Stephen Conroy's mandatory ISP filter has been shown to be ineffective and a waste of money, why is it still Labor policy?

Citizen: Senator Conroy, you know your ineffective ISP filter won’t protect children from internet nasties?
Sen. Conroy: You must be a pervert.
Citizen: You know parents will let their guard down, thinking “The government is doing my job for me.”
Sen. Conroy: You must be a pervert.
Citizen: You know children will be harmed as a result of your ISP filter?
Sen. Conroy: I KNEW you were a pervert.
Citizen: You know it will be a huge waste of our taxes and won’t get one paedophile one meter closer to a courtroom.
Sen. Conroy: Isn’t it GREAT? (Welcome to the pervert club, by the way.)

Of course I don’t really believe that Senator Conroy is a pervert.  But I sure don’t like his “bully boy” tactics.

His real motivation for pushing on regardless is to establish the Western world’s most efficient censorship scheme.  Don’t fall for Conroy’s Con.

The mandatory ISP filter will never be 100% effective.  Our nation will never be able to afford the army of bureaucrats necessary to keep an ACMA “BlackList” up to date enough to protect children, while avoiding the unintended consequences of censorship experienced in other countries.

A better solution is parental supervision, aided if necessary by in-home filtering software targeted at the age-group of the children.

I call upon Prime Minister Rudd to cancel Senator Conroy’s white-elephant censorship scheme once and for all.  Spend the money on the Australian Federal Police and parent education.

———————
Update
You can now purchase this cartoon on a t-shirt.

———————
[1]  Senate Estimates Hansard, October 20, 2008 (PDF 1.21Mb)
Senator Conroy (in response to a question from Senator Ludlam about whether other countries have mandatory or opt-in systems):
I trust you are not suggesting that people should have access to child pornography.
Senator Ludlam: I am just wondering if I can put these questions to you without being accused of being pro child pornography.

[2] “If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree.” ABC News: Conroy announces mandatory internet filters to protect children

Related “Conroy Cartoons”

Phone Senator Conroy
Phone Senator Conroy
87 Percent
87 Percent
Future Filter
Future Filter
Quixotic Conroy
Quixotic Conroy

Christian Pastor falls for Conroy’s Con

Friday, January 1st, 2010

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It’s sad to see well-meaning people taken in by Conroy’s Con.  For example, Pastor Ruth Limkin writes in the print and online versions of today’s Courier-Mail, “Filtering of websites does not make a nanny state.”

Conroy has made a courageous decision to trial and now proceed with ISP filtering of refused classification material.

It is one for which he will receive much hate mail, but one for which he should also be applauded by those who realise what he set out to do which is to protect our children from the very worst, illegal material online.

Mrs Limkin mentions that “an independent body, as opposed to the Government, will determine classification of internet sites.”  She doesn’t seem to notice that the sheer size of the internet means that this approach is doomed to failure.  And children will be immediately at risk.

I submitted the following as a letter to the editor…

Ruth Limkin, please!  Open your eyes.  You have been taken in by Conroy’s Con.

In July 2008, Google’s index of unique URLs hit one trillion and is “increasing by several billion pages per day”[1].  There is no way our nation will ever afford the army of bureaucrats necessary to protect children by creating a “blacklist” of all the bad stuff.

By supporting Conroy’s solution, you are actually placing children in harm’s way.  Parents will let their guard down, thinking “The government is doing my job for me.”

You are also supporting a huge waste of our taxes on something that won’t get one paedophile one meter closer to a courtroom.

A better solution would be parental supervision, aided where necessary by in-home filtering software targeted at the age group of the children.

Conroy (and our Labor government) is harnessing your, no doubt well-intentioned, aim of “protecting children” to build something far worse than a nanny state. It is censorship.

An Australia with an easily-manipulated censorship scheme in place is not the Australia I want to leave to my children.

—————————————
[1] We knew the web was big…
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-knew-web-was-big.html

———————
Update 1 Jan 10:
Good news.  I’ve just had the phone call.  Watch out for this letter in tomorrow’s print edition of the Courier-Mail.

———————
Update 2 Jan 10:
Here it is as published, along with a more technical letter from Jonathan Bendall.

Courier-Mail: Letters to the Editor re Australian Internet Censorship

———————
Update 4 Jan 10:
Monday’s Courier-Mail included another letter.  This one from Bill Hely.

Courier-Mail: Letters to the Editor re Australian Internet Censorship

———————
For more information, see my earlier posts:

87 Percent

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

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That’s how effective Senator Conroy’s proposed Mandatory ISP Filter could be according to the ACMA[1][2].

Senator Stephen Conroy's mandatory ISP filter could be as low as 87 percent effective at blocking 'unwanted material'.
Senator Stephen Conroy’s mandatory ISP filter could be as low as 87 percent effective at blocking ‘unwanted material’.

You wouldn’t accept 87% of a pool fence.  Don’t accept Senator Conroys censorship scheme disguised as a plan to “protect children”.

The mandatory ISP filter will never be 100% effective.  Our nation will never be able to afford the army of bureaucrats necessary to keep an ACMA “BlackList” up to date enough to protect children, while avoiding the unintended consequences of censorship experienced in other countries.

The answer is parental supervision, aided if necessary by in-home filtering software targeted at the age-group of the children.

Flawed Trials

Meanwhile, Senator Conroy forges ahead with his filtering trials.  Strangely he has chosen ISPs with only business customers, not ISPs with customers who are home users likely to be impacted by the filter.  No valid conclusions can be drawn from such flawed trials.

Mr Rudd, Cancel this censorship scheme!

Despite criticism from the Opposition, the Greens and independent Senator Nick Xenophon, Senator Conroy’s censorship scheme remains a threat to our children’s freedom, a threat to Australia’s digital economy and a threat to our environment because it remains government policy.  I call upon Prime Minister Rudd to cancel Senator Conroy’s white-elephant censorship scheme once and for all.  Spend the money on the Australian Federal Police and parent education.

———————
Update
You can now purchase this cartoon on a t-shirt.

———————
For more information, see my earlier posts:

Libertus.net: Say No to Net Censorship
Libertus.net: Say No to Net Censorship!

See also:

———————

1. Australian Communications and Media Authority, Closed Environment Testing of ISP-Level Internet Content Filters - Report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, June 2008. Available at http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_311316 p44.

2. The effectiveness of the filter could be as high as 96 percent, but only at the cost of an unacceptably high “Over-Blocking Rate” of 1 in 12 legitimate websites.  Everyone in the IT industry (except the vendors of filtering products) knows that Senator Conroy’s scheme is an ineffective and horrendously-expensive white elephant.

Related “Conroy Cartoons”

Pervert Conroy?
Pervert Conroy?
Future Filter
Future Filter
Phone Senator Conroy
Phone Senator Conroy
Quixotic Conroy
Quixotic Conroy