Gas Week

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Facebook, MySpace could become targets of new fed government bill blocking access to overseas sites blacklisted by federal police commissioner; blanket IP bans lack subtlety

Posted by gasweek on 5 October, 2007

Popular networking websites such as Facebook could become inadvertent targets of a new federal government bill blocking access to overseas sites blacklisted by the federal police commissioner, reported The Australian (25/9/2007, p.6).

New power to cut off terror, cybercrime websites: The proposed legislation, introduced into parliament last week, also empowers the police to order the removal of Australian websites related to terrorism and cyber-crime.

Entire network sites may be blocked as ban list lacks subtlety: But industry experts fear the legislation could slow internet speeds to a crawl. They warn the only way an internet service provider could prevent users from accessing blacklisted sites would be to block the internet protocol address on the host server. “If that IP address happened to be MySpace or Facebook, that would have the effect of blocking everything from those sites,” Internode carriage manager John Lindsay said.

One size IP fits all idea overzealous: According to a report by consulting firm Ovum, many hosting services carry thousands of domains on a single published IP address. The report suggests that filtering based on IP addresses risks blocking content that is not prohibited.

The Australian, 25/9/2007, p. 6

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