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UnblockOz: Helps Australians reclaim their unfiltered Internet access (unblockoz.org)
237 points by gszathmari on Jan 13, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 118 comments

Much, much more frightening than website blocking in Australia is this:


Our esteemed government told us universal metadata collection was for fighting terrorism. Then, over the Christmas period when the public is disconnected from politics, a sham enquiry was held to open up metadata to civil courts (i.e. for copyright, divorce cases etc).

Needs a bit more than router DNS changes to protect one's self from this. VPN at a minimum. Given our already rubbish speeds, it's really annoying to cop a further speed and latency hit from a VPN (along with the $$$ it costs).

Australians simply don't care about this shit. They've lived in an industrialised colony, with all its rewards, for too long - as long as they're still able to live the good life, who cares what the government gets up to ..

Its a shame, because Australia has, in many ways, a culture that could produce great things. But its still ham-strung by its dependence on colonialist thinking in the halls of power.

What do you mean by 'colonialist thinking'?

Only a guess, but I think it means "the government knows what is best for its citizens".

That is hardly unique to Australia. Britain, Canada, NZ all have no problem at all with censorship, so much that they will even censor fiction.

These countries, one of whuch I am a citizen of, have not a single strand of libertarianism in government nor populace, and it's a shame.

Others would disagree that libertarianism is absent, and that its absence is a shame, e.g. [1]. Indeed, they say that the influence of libertarianism is responsible for some of Australia's governmental problems, most conspicuously on display this past week.

[1] https://www.crikey.com.au/2016/06/01/rundle-the-liberal-part...

Liberals are not very libertarian; especially under Malcolm Turnbull. There is a small strand of libertarianism and that's the Liberal Democratic Party.

Australia has an unsustainable property bubble that has made a large chunk of the middle class very wealthy. This has shifted the culture from self reliance to 'don't rock the boat.' This alone is an anti-innovation tragedy.

The bubble will pop eventually and the taxes will go up. Aus can't print new money and we have an untouchable entitlement culture. If you can't pay the new taxes they will use the firewall to block your site. It's going to be a mess and I wish them the best of luck.

You nailed the entitled thing. I'm a born and bred sand groper .. So .. After quite some time abroad, getting to know the species, my sojourns back home to Australia led me to truly cringe at just how entitled folks are, down under. It was a bit humbling to have been driven off the edge of the continent by the culture, even though the land itself pulled me with much gravity, wave by dune by storm ..

Oh, I didn't mean this. I think I have made a poor choice of words. I was referring more to having various rights and freedoms, outside of the economic sphere, such as freedom of speech, or privacy, or free association etc.

I'm an anarcho-Communist, actually. I wasn't referring to laissez-faire capitalism or neoliberalism. Sorry if this was your interpretation, I did not mean it that way!

Why must it be unique to Australia? It is a land in reflection of a great many other cultures, after all. You could find many ways to prototype social engineering in such a controlled environment.. so the argument of identity is moot, imhso.

Yeah, how shameful. Aus/Can/NZ routinely top quality-of-life measures along with the nordic countries.

Libertarianism is codified selfishness, and it's not conducive to healthy societies.

With regard to libertarian capitalism, I agree with your selfishness analysis. I wasn't referring to that, though, I was more referring to certain rights and freedoms guaranteed for example by the US constitution, and the lack of them in the countries I mentioned. Please see my reply to wycx.

You can be for civil rights without being a libertarian. It's a weird US style of view that only libertarians are for civil rights.

Interesting, isn't it, that you've panned the other Anglo nations because of what amounts to a relatively small amount of censorship of literature, but don't pan the US, where there are a number of significant political offices you cannot legally hold if you're an atheist. Nevermind also that the other Anglo nations have never had anything like "Free Speech Zones". Or that their police follow Peelian principles, and don't routinely send SWAT teams into people's homes. When it comes to civil liberties, Peelian police are far more preferable than US police.

It doesn't really matter what the constitution says - what matters is how it's applied. Freedom of Speech is the big one in the US constitution and it's great. But Australians have a strong social expectation of freedom of speech (have a look at the Andrew Bolt court case, for example), and freedom of political speech is legally protected. Don't get misled by the blocking of ThePirateBay into thinking Australia is some sort of Orwellian 1984.

And, holy fuck, the US also has a history of censorship, despite that constitutional amendment. Stuff that would fly in the UK has been blocked in the US on obscenity grounds (see Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words", for example). And let's not forget the birthplace of the DMCA, which is just another form of blocking places like ThePirateBay (of which there is no US analogue). Or the National Security Letters, that have HNers crapping on about the pros and cons of warrant canaries.

In short, the 'constitutional protections' don't play out much differently in practice. They're a good thing to have, but free speech in the US is a lot more complex than that first amendment would lead you to believe.

> Interesting, isn't it, that you've panned the other Anglo nations because of what amounts to a relatively small amount of censorship of literature, but don't pan the US, where there are a number of significant political offices you cannot legally hold if you're an atheist

There is no legal obstacle to an atheist holding any political office in the US (federal, state or local). Now, in many of those cases, it can be a political obstacle – many people won't vote for an open atheist – but there is no legal barrier. Attempts to restrict political offices on the basis of religious belief (or lack thereof) are clear violations of the First Amendment.

By contrast, in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK: Roman Catholics are legally barred from holding the office of head of state (King/Queen). Suppose, hypothetically, Prince Charles wanted to convert to Catholicism–then by doing so he'd automatically cut himself out of the line of succession.

So, here are seven US states where it's illegal for an atheist to be governor: https://thehumanist.com/news/national/unelectable-atheists-u...

That it's a first-amendment violation doesn't change the fact that atheists aren't allowed - until the laws are successfully challenged and voided (not exactly a trivial task), they're still valid. Just like any other form of censorship.

You're also wrong about the head of state thing. The head of state in the UK has to be Church of England, because the head of state there is also the head of the church. The dominion countries don't care, as they don't have an official state religion.

Note also that the Queen doesn't actually do anything in Australia at all (or Canada or New Zealand). The Governor-General performs Lizzie's political duties in Australia, and there's no requirement to be C of E for that office. The current G-G in Aus is Sir Peter Cosgrove, who is a practising Roman Catholic.

> That it's a first-amendment violation doesn't change the fact that atheists aren't allowed - until the laws are successfully challenged and voided (not exactly a trivial task), they're still valid. Just like any other form of censorship.

Unconstitutional laws aren't "still valid" until "successfully challenged and voided". The real question is are these laws enforced? If you file to run for political office in one of these states, and you indicate while doing so that you are an atheist, do the election officials accept your filing and (assuming you meet all the other requirements) put you on the ballot? If a law is clearly unconstitutional, executive officials usually will decline to enforce it–they have an independent legal obligation to obey the constitution, and they want to avoid wasting taxpayers' money fighting lawsuits they know they have no reasonable prospect of winning; but then no court gets to declare it unconstitutional either, since no one has standing to sue–such laws are dead letters that can nonetheless remain on the books for decades, since repealing unenforced unconstitutional laws is rarely a legislative priority, and some legislators will insist on keeping them on the books as a way of making some sort of political statement.

> You're also wrong about the head of state thing. The head of state in the UK has to be Church of England, because the head of state there is also the head of the church.

I'm not wrong about the head of state thing. Section 2 of the Act of Settlement 1701 explicitly bans Roman Catholics from inheriting the throne–"all and every person and persons, who shall or may take or inherit the said Crown, by virtue of the limitation of this present act, and is, are or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with, the See or Church of Rome, or shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a papist, shall be subject to such incapacities, as in such case or cases are by the said recited act provided, enacted, and established". It doesn't impose such a ban on any other Christian denomination or religion. If Prince Charles converted to Greek Orthodoxy, he'd still be eligible to become King. Section 3 says the King or Queen must "join in communion with the Church of England"–but if, hypothetically, a Greek Orthodox King Charles III was happy to take communion in the Church of England even while remaining a member of the Orthodox Church, he'd meet that requirement. Furthermore, if he refused to do so, he would be breaking the law, but he wouldn't thereby cease to be King–section 3 is toothless because unlike section 2 it doesn't provide any negative consequences for its violation.

> The dominion countries don't care, as they don't have an official state religion.

But the Act of Settlement 1701 is part of the law of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, which is why all three countries had to pass laws in order to change it (in order to remove the ban on the monarch marrying a Roman Catholic under the 2011 Perth Agreement.) It may well be true that politically speaking they "don't care", but it is a part of their law as much as it is part of UK law, so legally enshrined discrimination against Catholics still exists under Australian, Canadian and New Zealand law, and will continue to do so as long as the relevant provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701 remain in force (or unless one or more of them become Republics).

> Note also that the Queen doesn't actually do anything in Australia at all (or Canada or New Zealand).

I agree the Queen is very close to powerless in Australia in practice. But that doesn't change the fact that she is legally Australia's head of state–the Governor-General is not head of state, just the head of state's representative. I said that current Australian law bans Roman Catholics (but not members of any other religions or denominations) from being the head of state of Australia, and nothing you've said disproves that.

Yes, I do believe in this. I strongly abhor the influence that the Australian government has on its citizens live; it cannot be denied that it enables a great body of people to live, and get along, but it must be understood that it was not without some truly human costs. Governments must be weighed by the integrity of their impact on the species; not just the sovereign, individual, citizens they have/have-not yet divided into appropriately allocated lots.

Can you give us some examples of places that do it better? And what the truly human costs are of the Australian approach? What is the Australian government doing that harms the species itself in ways that your undisclosed preferred locations don't? Give us something to go on rather than vague expressions of displeasure.

Australia survived and prospered due to government. It's the only way a million people on a giant remote continent could. What is the opposite of "colonialist thinking" anyways? American sociopathy?

Why do things have to be opposite? Dialectic Materialism, another thing Australia "is good at"?

How does being a colony affect this? Or in what way does the meaning change versus a switch of "colony" for "country" and "colonialist" for "politicians"?

Note that the data retention changes that were enacted are mainly applicable to services provided by an ISP itself, such as phone, SMS and email. They explicitly don't cover IP traffic. You can read the text of the amendment here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2015A00039. 187A subsection 4 is pretty clear.

It's certainly worse than not having it but it's nothing like NSA level snooping.

Not to mention that some sites will block you if using a VPN :(.

And that Cloudfront appears to hate and block those using VPN services.

Cloudfront doesn't hate VPNs.

Cloudfront customers hate the users who use automated tools to perform click fraud, post fake comments and reviews, send spam, attempt vulnerability scanning, and try to brute-force logins. These malicious users overwhelmingly use VPNs, Tor, and botnets to perform these actions; few use their own connections. Legitimate users overwhelmingly do not use VPNs or Tor. Do you see what's about to happen?

Cloudflare customers want their CDN to block these malicious actors, and Cloudflare can easily identify Tor and VPN providers. Cloudflare adds a captcha, which is intensely annoying to legitimate users, but debilitating to automated users. The vast majority of users are unaffected, and customers are happy, but the few legitimate people using Tor and VPNs conclude that Cloudflare hates them.

Full Disclosure: I work for a private VPN company

This depends on the VPN provider. Private VPN services share IPs between customers, and the extra layer of privacy they provide comes with high potential for abuse. Some providers care more about preventing fraud than others. Cloudfront is likely just blocking IPs that have behaved poorly in the past, so I'd suggest you look for more reputable VPN providers that actively weed out fraudulent users.

Could you provide some more advice (or links to advice) on this? I'd like to set up whole-house, always-on VPN, but I'm concerned about service quality issues, specifically blocking. (i.e. the wife will make me take it down if it adversely impacts her ability to watch Netflix or inconveniences her in any other way)

Sure! Our company has been working on a "whole-house, always-on" product for a while, but it hasn't taken off because of the difficulties involved with having users flash Tomato onto their routers. I'm guessing HN readers are a bit more comfortable with that :).


Civil and mundane criminal uses were the goal from the beginning. "Terrorism" was just the tool they used to sell the masses on the idea.

Something very unsettling about a government mandating ISPs block/sniff/track your internet traffic on behalf of the film industry.

If only the government was equally motivated to remedy injustices incurred by those who aren't already filthy rich.

Don't worry this isn't a concerted effort to actually block things. Its a pretty weak effort to go through the motions.

If your tuned into this debate at a federal level there are a vocal bunch of senators bemoaning the Australia tax that our geography puts on us. These guys put out info on how to use vpns and avoid geoblocking and such for the masses.

Best in show example: Adobe software and Game of thrones.

Australians want to work, trade and play in the free first world. And until we get that we'll steal everything that isn't nailed down.

A bunch of convicts the lot of us.

For the record, we stopped being a penal colony about 15 years before the US stopped being a slave-using nation...

But good to see the Australian sense of humou?r still survives.</irony>

So, not yet then ... ah, you meant a legal slave using nation ...

Article is about Australia yet people still have to take jabs at the US.

I'm not really sure what you mean anyway.

Probably talking about things like this: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/prison-...

I believe he is implying that there is still slavery on-going in the US, and will be going on for 15 more years at least.

Isn't it really "the justice system through legal trials" instead of "the government"?

As an Aussie I find this pretty funny. Since they passed the law to make ISPs store your data ( which was a warning shot to piraters from my POV ) not many people's behaviours changed. Ie people still pirated. The difference between simply logging traffic and blocking certain sites means instead of being able to watch what I do, I'll be sign up to a VPN and they won't see any of my traffic. If anything blocking these sites is great as it will force lazy people to use VPNs.

Good work to these guys making it easier to get started.

As an Aussie, I find your lack of distrust over this issue, disturbing. We Australians have a long history of letting government get away with heinous actions; as long as the "she'll be right mate" meme still holds our brains under the tap, we'll never get the right kind of mad required to break the chains of the colony. Honestly, this isn't something to laugh about.

agreed - there is a kind of socially enforced apathy here as well as a separation of 'us' and 'them' when it comes to politicians and government - we let them get away with murder and never hold them accountable because raising a ruckus and making a big deal out of a thorny problem that requires a nuanced solution is seen as a sort of intellectualism. and your average Australian fucking hates an upstart know-it-all wanker.

I'll be sign up to a VPN and they won't see any of my traffic

Don't even need to go to that much effort because this is DNS level blocking. Using openDNS[1] or Google's DNS will work.

1. https://www.opendns.com/setupguide/

Tin-foil hat level speculation: those in power, the media corps for example, want you to use a VPN or fixed DNS so that the logs of your activity are all in one place. The alternative is trying to track which cafés you used, etc., just to get your full sites-visited log.


We have a similar situation here in Belgium in terms of blocking the pirating websites. I can not just access tpb as I get a warning that the site is "illegal" and I should not use it.

The thing is that they do not block every domain from which people can torrent and there are plenty of mirrors to choose from.

I agree that it will get more people to use a VPN. But that is, more _tech savvy_ people. I know quite a few people who torrent who do not fall in that category. These people will just look for other websites and will not switch to a VPN unless someone explains them the "point" of it and how to do it.

Doesn't using a VPN make you liable in two jurisdictions instead of just one? (The exit point of the tunnel, and the location where you are actually connecting to the VPN)

I understand that it is technically more challenging to detect and prove the user is participating in privacy or whatever it is that they're using a VPN for, but really it's just a matter of applying pressure to the VPN provider to cough up any details they have, or in some cases to install tracking functionality in their virtual network.

Sure, that's why the choice of VPN provider is important. You need to choose a provider which doesn't keep logs, and has the character to shut down their business before being legally compelled to reveal users, like lavabit did. You can read this thread for an example: https://airvpn.org/topic/15396-does-airvpn-log-its-users-ip-...

For additional protection, you can also run Tor over VPN.

> participating in privacy

Ironic typo.

Wow, I didn't realise this had started. If I go to http://thepiratebay.se I get this message:


Please access the content you are seeking via licensed sites – www.digitalcontentguide.com.au provides information about many sources of licensed content.

My UK ISP (BT) has this:

"Access to the websites listed on this page has been blocked pursuant to orders of the high court.

More information can be found at www.ukispcourtorders.co.uk”

They do at least tell you which organisation applied for the blocking order at http://www.ukispcourtorders.co.uk

Can you capture the HTML and any images and rehost it somewhere?

Telstra's copyright notice is at:

Optus's one is:

Easy to find, just `dig A thepiratebay.se @<isp_dns_server>`

Cannot access TPG's, iiNet's or Habour ISP's DNS servers, probably because I'm on Telstra and they only allow queries from customers.

A few bonus images, useful for messing with people's heads:

FBI "This Hidden Site Has Been Seized" https://i.imgur.com/Ovp6VEa.jpg

ICE "Domain Name Seized" https://i.imgur.com/6667N7b.gif

There's probably a Tumblr page somewhere with all these but I haven't checked lately.


kinda funny I had to go out of my way to see it.

If anyone in Australia is interested, TPB is available as a Tor onion service: http://uj3wazyk5u4hnvtk.onion/

Same thing in the UK, with the main ISPs at least.

I think it only affects certain ISPs. I am with SkyMesh and thepiratebay.se resolves fine.

Escapenet (small provider) works fine as well.

Exetel is still allowing access.

Does it work over HTTPS?

HTTPS still has to resolve the domain name that is part of the url.

Yeah, but an ISP should at worst be able to block connections to specific hosts or IP addresses. If they could generate certificates for arbitrary domains (like thepiratebay.se) allowing them to serve a "blocked for copyright infringement" page over HTTPS, then something would be seriously broken.

If it is just at dns, it can just point you to a different ip

Yes, but they won't (or rather shouldn't) be able to get a valid SSL certificate for the domain. This is literally one of the scenarios SSL was created to protect against..

Then the browser will refuse to serve the page since the certificate will not match the site you intended to go to.

Granted, they'll still stop you from going there but the user won't understand why it fails.

The ones I saw weren't listening on port 443.

For those that are interested, the blocks were ordered in early December by Australia's Federal Court.

The court was given the powers when the Australian Copyright Act was amended in 2015.

The case was heard over several days, and while it was inevitable that it would order the sites blocked (there was no opposition to the blocking application, as such) - the copyright holders didn't get everything they wanted.

They wanted an injunction that they could effectively add to or amend over time (such as when mirror sites pop up), but the Federal Court didn't go that far. The blocking orders require a certain level of oversight.

It seems that new domains will require either a new case, or another affidavit to be filed. We're yet to see what the process will be.

Also there's a multi year timer on the domains that are blocked. Rights holders will need to file an application to keep the blocks in place.

Many people have discovered the blocks aren't really that effective. It seems for many ISPs a simple DNS change will get around it. The court didn't order a specific technical means to achieve the blocks, leaving it up to ISPs to choose. They've obviously chosen methods which aren't all that effective.

Additionally, the copyright holders were ordered to pay costs incurred by the ISPs in implementing the block.

I think the case was a good balance between upholding the law and making it clear that it wouldn't be a system over which the copyright holders have total control.

This is a world wide issue in the free world at this point, but Australia is stuck in the 90's when it comes to the internet.

We have some business there and find everything about Australia ridiculous: ISP monopoly; hosting costs; licensing and internet related law... We ended up hosting in Singapore to serve our Australia needs.

AU needs a major revamp on everything internet.

I'm Australian, and I decided 3 decades ago to not live there any more, because of what I saw was happening with the Internet and the way the country was crippling itself in comparison with the rest of the world. No amount of cheap plastic shit from China can keep me interested in a country so self-absorbed, and at the same time so utterly ignorant of the clear repression holding the nation back.

What wonderland did you move to?

Didn't matter, just moved. (I've lived all over the world.)

Speed is the biggest thing Oz needs. I lived there for a year and the speeds and latency are wel below what you would expect for a country of it's stature.

Yes! Speed is absolutely archaic. Lack of links can explain some of that (ISP monopoly is another one, lack of investment is so much easier when you control everything...).

I'm amazed by the response times our users get in AU.

I don't really experience what you're saying about speed and response time at all (I'm in Sydney)

I just come back from Thailand and I was amaze how fast and reliable is browsing the web in Australia in comparison.

Trying the Internet in China, even staying in the airport is quite an experience in comparison: in China they would give you access to the Internet only if you scan your passport in exchange for credentials to use if you need access ...

I've helped a half-dozen friends and family members in the past couple of weeks fix their net filtering. I usually do it by logging into their routers and setting their DNS servers to OpenDNS or Google.

A few things i've noticed. Most people don't know this is something that can be fixed. I think that will change in the same way adblocking has spread (ublock is a well-known brand amongst my non-tech family and friends).

Second is that the DNS change will likely only be a temporary solution for this first stage of blocks. It is only a matter of time before more sophisticated blocks are put in place - and there are other methods mandated by the law available after DNS filtering (including IP blocks)

I've also noticed an irony in this situation. The Australian government passed legislation for the copyright protection internet filtering at around the same time they passed their ISP level metadata retention laws.

The irony is that because of the copyright blocks Australians are seeking and learning about solutions such as Tor and VPN's, which make the second set of metadata retention laws less effective.

One of the positive side effects of the laws is that it doesn't address the demand for content (Australians are well known pirates) and users will seek out workarounds which will have the effect of increasing awareness of privacy issues and technical workarounds.

I tend to agree with Ed Snowden when he says that solutions to privacy are in encryption and technology - not in politics. Unfortunately governments are going to do what governments do - either in the open, or in secret.

At this point in time, ISP's are just doing DNS redirection. You can get around the restrictions by setting your browser's or router's DNS to Google's on and

The easiest is just changing your DNS servers to

I wish iOS allowed you to change DNS for celluar networks.

Can someone confirm that this actually works? Seems like a pretty weak attempt at a block if true. I think the real problem is them sniffing your traffic.

> I wish iOS allowed you to change DNS for celluar networks.

Are you torrenting from your iPhone?

Confirm, it's just a DNS block like previous attempts by the AU Gov to block stuff.

If you're on a Apple device you probably need to use VPN to specify an alternate DNS and either route your traffic through that VPN as well or just use it for DNS.

I just confirmed this is working with iiNet (2nd or 3rd biggest broadband provider in Aus).

The block screen looks like this:


So it is being blocked at ISP level, and it's up to them how they implement the block. For now, they've chosen DNS blocking, which is of course easy to work around.

Here's hoping the block encourages everyday citizens to be take technical measures to evade not just the block but the censorship.

Awesome to see this is an informative and helpful guide rather than a cash-grab service. Well done and keep up the good work!

Thanks for the kind comment, this is what keeps us running

Same deal in the UK. I wonder how long until the US goes down the same route.

I'm quite surprised that they've gone down the DNS based filtering route. I'd expect that to change in a few years time.

I recommend investing in a VPN service. They're relatively cheap. And if you pick the right one, the bandwidth is generally pretty good.

At some point all the interesting/useful countries to exit the VPN will be censored. Then it's game over.

No - then it's a business opportunity for smaller countries, with "looser" copyright rules and enforcement, to build a world-class VPN industry. The Switzerland of VPNs is a historical inevitability: even the rich and powerful need it.

And then we'll get countries being strong armed by "Western Democracies" to ensure top-flight talent and media execs still get paid 200x what the poor schmucks doing the actual work get paid.

Yes, that's a sad prospect. However, at that point I assume there'll also be no countries to host content in either so VPN would be useless in any case.

I assume at the point Tor's popularity will surge.

Ant specific recommendations? I use IP Vanish and I have no performance problems.

I don't have any specific recommendations (though I'm happy with my provider).

What I would say, is go with a provider who accepts bitcoin and doesn't require an email address. Even if you end up paying my card/PayPal, at least you know they have a route to a more anonymous/private service.

It's been like this in the UK for ages, now people have to google 'pirate proxy' instead, it's at least 3 extra clicks - when will this horror end...

Well, from this year you also need a VPN, because all your traffic is logged. I'm looking forward to Comrade "Shared Society" May to force a proper Great Firewall any day now.

The porn blocking is the first step towards that. First they came for the porn...

Seeing these block pages come up in Australia, a free country, is awfully troubling. I shudder everytime I had to see this: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3G10OAwNPgw/VD-Kzl_coHI/AAAAAAAAA...

I think that government censorshop is bad for free speech.

If you have two dns services one normal and one with blacklisted ip, then you can loop over the domain names in both dns services compare the result and find the blacklist. Easier for reverse dns loopups, but not impossible if you have a list of forward dns names.

This is what it looks like when your government is beholden to Rupert Murdoch.

My ISP (TPG) is using DNS and IP blocking, had to use a VPN to get around the block. The site mentions DNS as a way to unblock, this doesnt work anymore

So, what are numbers I can call to leave messages of international support?

this is really a bad news. Yes ok tpb can be used to download pirated content but there's also some content that are not pirated content on the site too. Nobody should be allowed to shutdown site or flag as illegal without true charge. It sad where in 2017 we still live and lose time with people that don't wont go forward and do 5 step back. What next? blocking bitcoin because this ruin the bank economy?

Doesn't matter that much. This move was to deter the mainstream downloaders who have TPB saved as a bookmark and don't know how, or can't be bothered to learn how to access it other ways.

Blocking the "click to download this new release movie" users probably did prevent a few downloads.

Why do they like to call it "censorship" when they just mean "piracy websites"? It's not like they're keeping you from publishing your thoughts about the government and the establishment, you just want to download series for free.

I don't mean to say you shouldn't be able to download your favourite series for free, but please don't use words such as "censorship" that make it look like the gov is threatening to send you to a gulag if you say the prime minister likes golden showers.

Do you understand censorship? This clearly fits within censorship as it's considered politically unacceptable.

censorship, noun: the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

This is not about the government "suppresing part of a film that is considered obscene" or "removing news articles that are politically unacceptable".

This is about you wanting to download movies or series without paying money to the people who made them. Movies or series that are completely legal to watch and sell in Australia, as long as you pay the people who worked to make them.

Too many people masquerade their freeloading as political activism to feel superior. Sticking it to the man, eh?

And once again I respect the right to download or upload whatever you want, but making it look like you're fighting the big brother censorship when you just want to watch game of thrones, a show that is completely legal to watch in Australia, without paying for it is... childish

> This is not about the government ... "removing news articles that are politically unacceptable".

That's actually part of the problem. The government should close down illegal establishments, and not just be blocking access to them.

The other part of the problem: Once the gov can tell the ISPs what to block (a) the block list must be secret and (b) the process can be very easily abused, with 'overblocking' being the standard excuse.

Your government can't close down illegal websites in other countries, that's why they're blocking them.

There are no "illegal websites", only some illegal activity on legal websites. Just like there's some illegal activity on legal roadways, but we don't block the roads do we?

Roads are used for a legal purpose by >99% of their users, and even though you could upload Creative Commons content to The Pirate Bay, most of it is illegally shared software/entertainment.

The same they would not block Telegram nation-wide just because some users are using it to upload movies to public gruops (yes, it happens) because most of the users just use it to talk to their friends.

> "most of it is illegally shared software/entertainment"

I prefer to think of it as "conveniently shared". Here in Australia we have a problem with lack of convenience around legal avenues of digital entertainment, so there's not exactly an equivalent legal alternative to something as easy as downloading. It's a fragmented mess of services if you choose to play by the rules.

Regional restrictions, lock-in contracts, and free-to-air "rights" to particular programs exclusively means every platform plays a tug-of-war with viewers, trying to get their subscription dollar or eyeballs on advertising.

People will find the path of least resistance when the commercial interests around them close in with deals and promotions and hype we can't possible keep up with or remain in tune with. So we turn to the internet.

Not everyone is "illegal" all the time. I buy blu-rays of shows I really liked that I previously downloaded. Exposure to content otherwise never discovered has a value we are not seeing factored in to these arguments.

They could tell local authorities; this usually gets things done.

Unless, of cource, $activity isn't even illegal in that other country.

I get what you're saying, but blocking websites via the courts is a clumsy and expensive workaround which obviously has minimal impact and probably zero revenue benefit to the people who make those TV shows.

Further more, to watch shows in Australia we must first find who has that show. It might be Foxtel, so you must sign up to Foxtel to watch that one show. That is not practical.

iTunes is better because you can buy one single episode for $3.50, but it's a shame that it's iTunes and not simply the people who made the show, able to offer it directly to consumers without needing to go through Murdoch's "sign up for our entertainment package" or Apple's "we only take 30%" bullshit.

Bottom line: I don't want to pay Apple or Murdoch in order to pay the TV production company who made the show. That just means the price will always be inflated, and I don't use those services enough to justify that cost.

VPN is another option.

The ones who need help are the Aboriginal people. Stop with the aboriginal genocide!

Aboriginal genocide? In Australia? Is this even a thing?

It wasn't far off.

I am asking because the Wikipedia article about "List of massacres of Indigenous Australians" claims that hasn't happened in about a century.

It's a common trope of the far left in Australia.

People aren't actually being killed.

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