Australia Brings New Net Censorship

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

When Kevin Rudd was campaigning to become Labor prime minister of Australia last year, he promised an Internet content-filtering scheme that was essentially censorship to protect the nation’s youth.

Once he had the post, the government announced the scheme, its Plan for Cyber-Safety, and there are plans for live trials of ISP-level content filtering before Christmas, according to the Guardian.

The plan, which will cost around $80 million US, was put together by Senator Stephen Conroy, the minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, and is intended to protect children from pornography and violent websites while bringing an outright ban of illegal material.

ISPs will have to deliver a so-called “clean feed” to homes, schools and other Internet access points. One blacklist will ban all illegal material, including child pornography, and a second will ban things thought unsuitable for kids, as ruled by by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Consumers can only opt out of the second list.

Senator Conroy said:

"Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road. If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the government is going to disagree."

However, the move doesn’t appear popular. One online poll by a Queensland newspaper revealed that some 86% of respondents do not support the scheme, and there are worries it could slow Internet speeds by 30%.

Colin Jacobs of Electronic Frontiers Australia, said:

"I’m not exaggerating when I say that this model involved more technical interference in the internet infrastructure that what is attempted in Iran, one of the most regressive censorship regimes in the world."

In testing, the system hasn’t performed well, proving inaccurate and slowing Internet speeds. The filters don’t affect peer-to-peer file sharing, which accounts for 60% of Australia’s Internet traffic.

The Australian government has tried a similar thing before with its NetAlert filters, which were hacked by a 16-year-old in just 30 minutes. The government then added another filter layer, which he breached in 10 minutes.


Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says

Not everyone is happy with Microsoft's switch to Google's Chromium engine. In a new blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing online life control" to Google.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.