Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

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Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:47 pm UTC

THIS BETTER NOT BE FUCKING SERIOUS.

I SERIOUSLY hope this news site is fucked in the head.

Infoworld wrote:Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down blacklist, experts say.

Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material.

Pundits say consumers have been lulled into believing the opt-out proviso would remove content filtering altogether.


"Users can opt-out of the 'additional material' blacklist (referred to in a department press release, which is a list of things unsuitable for children, but there is no opt-out for 'illegal content'", Newton said.

"That is the way the testing was formulated, the way the upcoming live trials will run, and the way the policy is framed; to believe otherwise is to believe that a government department would go to the lengths of declaring that some kind of Internet content is illegal, then allow an opt-out.

"Illegal is illegal and if there is infrastructure in place to block it, then it will be required to be blocked -- end of story."








EDIT:





Check out: http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/ma ... report.pdf PAGE 22 and PAGE 25, details what is "Inappropriate" and "Illegal" respectively. This is crazy...
Last edited by Gelsamel on Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:06 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:04 pm UTC

Uh-huh. So who is making the distinction of what is and isn't illegal?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Emu* » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:07 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Uh-huh. So who is making the distinction of what is and isn't illegal?


Lawyers?
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:09 pm UTC

From that PDF, I typed it out.

Content risk: what is meant by inappropriate material?

Material that is considered to be inappropriate varies depending on the culture of the jurisdiction, the values of the guardian and the age of the child. Content that may be considered inappropriate includes: violence, nudity, coarse language, pro-anorexia or bulimia material, terrorism, race hate, advertising, gambling or social networking.

Content risk: what is illegal material?

Material that is considered illegal varies depending on the jurisdiction. It may include: sexualised images of children or minors, sexually explicit content, depictions of sexual violence or fetishes, violence, racism or political content. As the type of material that is considered illegal varies with different jurisdictions, it may be possible for users to access content hosted in another country that would be considered illegal in their own country.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:12 pm UTC

So, basically, the entire internet?

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:20 pm UTC

Note that those things aren't what the ACMA thinks is illegal, but they're saying that those things COULD be considered illegal as they are in some places in the world.

As in... with the right amount of time forcing the public to get used the filters... the filters could then be shifted filter political content or porn under some interpretation of "illegal".
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:23 pm UTC

Okay, so if they use the definition of "if it's illegal elsewhere in the world, it can/should be illegal here," and then they use China's example....
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Hawknc » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:24 pm UTC

RARRRRRGH. Fuck this makes me angry. What the hell is Labor thinking?

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:25 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:Okay, so if they use the definition of "if it's illegal elsewhere in the world, it can/should be illegal here," and then they use China's example....


They won't do that at first. The point is, their interpretation of "illegal content" is "anything, under the right circumstances", while it won't start off banning dissenting opinion, it's very possible it'll end up there because of how loose they're defining it.

@Hawknc: Fucked if I know, I didn't vote for those cocksuckers.



Edit:

http://nocleanfeed.com/index.html
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Hawknc » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:43 pm UTC

Thanks for that link, Gelsamel. Guess which minister for telecommunications is getting a phone call on Monday?

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:47 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:Thanks for that link, Gelsamel. Guess which minister for telecommunications is getting a phone call on Monday?


No problem.

I'm considering calling up too, though it'll probably be just to leave a message. I doubt he will entertain intellectual discussion.

This is so pathetic:
http://www.somebodythinkofthechildren.c ... ocked1.jpg



Edit: Filter Trial stuff http://www.somebodythinkofthechildren.c ... a-failure/
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby psyck0 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:27 pm UTC

Unbelievable... what the fuck is WRONG with our society?!

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Emu* » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:29 pm UTC



IP is 203.88.116.225, but it's a server hosting multiple sites so you'll either need to edit your hosts file or use cURL to manually specify nocleanfeed.com in the HTTP header to actually get the server to return a homepage.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby psyck0 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:11 pm UTC

You guys need some MASSIVE protests, and fast. Get organising. I'd help if I could...

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Lycur » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:23 pm UTC

Does the technological argument against blacklists (that is, from what I've heard, the proposed system will dramatically slow down connection speeds) also apply to the more limited partial blacklists?

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Quixotess » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:32 pm UTC

Yeah, I saw this on Hoyden About Town, which has what appears to be a really good write up on the subject. Lauredhal sez:

Censorware has in the past blocked people from accessing sites on botany, feminism, youth suicide prevention, rape and child molestation survivor support, family planning, prison rape activism, AIDS information, disability rights, gay rights, religion (including a Jewish youth site and the Vatican), political dissent, euthanasia, drug harm minimisation, human rights, major mainstream media sites such as TIME magazine, [and] politics (including the British Conservative Party site).


And also:
The government’s own tests in a carefully controlled and tiny pilot environment showed the tested filters to be ineffective, to have serious impacts on network performance, to have major problems with overblocking, or all three. The best possible filter, as tested in this controlled laboratory environment, would be likely to block at least 10 000 legitimate websites within Australia alone. Most of the filters slowed internet speeds by 22-87%. The government tried to spin this trial as having positive and encouraging results, something the mainstream media lapped up uncritically.

As an US citizen, I'm used to hearing people say to me or my fellow Americans "How the fuck can they get away with DOING that to you guys?" I'm not really very happy to get the chance to say it to someone else.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby EmptySet » Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:59 am UTC

Argh. They're actually going ahead with this?

I can tell you from personal experience that filters do not work. All too frequently they block the wrong sites (the filter of my high school was notorious for blocking the sites of several newspapers for "adult content and profanity"), don't block the right ones, and anyone who really wants to can get around them. Plus, as has been mentioned, they reduce browsing speed. This is not something you want in a country which is already lagging behind the rest of the developed world as far as telecommunications infrastructure goes.

Then, of course, there's the potential for abuse.

Lycur wrote:Does the technological argument against blacklists (that is, from what I've heard, the proposed system will dramatically slow down connection speeds) also apply to the more limited partial blacklists?


I don't see why it wouldn't. After all, it's the same system... it just has slightly less stuff on the list.

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Joeldi » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:35 am UTC

I swear to god, I will participate in any protest against this, even if it means travelling to Brisbane or Sydney. FUCK this must not happen.

EDIT: I'm not sure about this, but isn't Porn sort of pseudo illegal in most states? I remember wikipedia telling me that you couldn't buy or sell X rated movies outside of the territories.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Hawknc » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:24 am UTC

It's on the books, but unenforced. "Sexually explicit" material seems to be on the internet hit list, though, which I assume is anything rated above R18+, so I forsee something of a disconnect between what's allowed to be viewed on the net and what's available at your local purveyor of fine pornographic goods.

Edit: it's a tricky thing to get the public on our side, given that the opposition can simply claim anyone against the filter a) watches porn, b) watches kiddie porn, c) wants kids to watch porn and/or d) is a terrorist. It's crap, of course, but holding the dagger of shame above anyone who disagrees is a tried and true political tactic.

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Joeldi » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:41 am UTC

We need to figure out how to say why internet freedom is such an important thing, then, in order to counter that.
You've also got to take in to account how many people probably are closet porn addicts. How would that (I'm thinking) large percentage of the population react to having their pr0nz taken away, regardless of the real issue?

I figure very few are likely to stand up and say "You can't take my porn away!" but there's something...
Last edited by Joeldi on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:43 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby JayDee » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:52 am UTC

Hoyden About Town wrote:The government’s own tests in a carefully controlled and tiny pilot environment showed the tested filters to be ineffective, to have serious impacts on network performance, to have major problems with overblocking, or all three.
Even put the censorship aside, these problems should have been enough to show what an idiotic plan it was.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Dream » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:35 am UTC

Joeldi wrote:You've also got to take in to account how many people probably are closet porn addicts. How would that I'm thinking large percentage of the population react to having their pr0nz taken away, regardless of the real issue?

I figure few are going to stand up and say "You can't take my porn away!" but there's something...


No one will stand up and say: "My Porn?!? Cold dead hands, and so forth!" It's as unlikely as a grassroots campaign to save the local brothel. The way to fight this, and any political plan you don't like is simple: Waste. Of. Money. Every sentence should start and end with hospitals, roads, better rifles for diggers and other things that can't be politically opposed, and in the middle should be "Filtering Is A Waste Of Money That Doesn't Work." If some corollary gain for the politicians sponsoring the bill can be implied, so much the better.

"Outrage," even when entirely made up, is what really scares politicians. Money is the only thing that can be relied upon to kill any political initiative.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:43 am UTC

@Hawknc: But despite the fact they can say that the anti-filter sites seem to claim over 50% of the population is against it with only a very small amount for it.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby psyck0 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:15 pm UTC

What I suggest is that 1) you start writing letters to the editors of every major newspaper you can think of. All of you. Every day. Get your friends doing it too.
2) You hold some meetings and advertise for them with flyers and going door-to-door. In a few weeks, interest should catch on.
3) When you have enough people you start planning some massive protests. Shut down a few streets if you can.
4) You organise a form letter that you can have people sign and host it online so people can just write in their names and click a button to send it to their MPs/hand it out at meetings for people to fill out. This is what Amnesty international does. Speaking of Amnesty, contact them and see if this is something they'd be willing to get behind.

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:11 am UTC

Well, the Audience with Rudd thingo just finished. There were only a few questions broadcasted... it looks like they cut out a fuck ton of questions. "Unfiltered" my ass.

I was just waiting for someone to say "With the global economic crisis should the government really be spending taxpayer's money on a dubious internet filtration project that if implemented will slow internet speeds down on what's already a telecommunication's system that trails behind most other modern countries".
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby cataclysmic » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:30 am UTC

Angry letters need to be sent! I'm working on a couple, I'll put them up here when they're done if anyone wants them.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Joeldi » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:40 pm UTC

Sure, I'll send 'em on.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:51 pm UTC

I wish I could help. This is fucking ridiculous.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Chfan » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:54 pm UTC

I doubt this will gety very far at all. Filtering the Internet is not only ectremely diffucult, it's a huge waste of money.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby psyck0 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:20 pm UTC

Never underestimate the stupidity of governments, nor their ability to waste time and money.

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby phlip » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:43 am UTC

I could only ever agree with a filtering system, if it satisfied this list of impossible criteria:

(1) Zero false positives. If a site (especially a commercial site) is suddenly unavailable to a large majority of the country... just think of all the lost sales... it could easily take a small company down.
(2) Zero false negatives. You just know that bad parents are going to take the existance of a filter as a justification for not paying any attention their kids on the 'net... and then when the kid hits a false negative and ends up on a porn site, they're going to blame the govt. One big media scandal later, and lots of taxpayer money has been wasted on defending lawsuits and PR.
(3) It should have a small, ideally negligible, hit to transit times or throughput.
(4) It should be opt-in, failing that, completely opt-out and with zero obfuscation on how to find the out-out option (and no stigma for doing so). If opting out (or not opting in), then even the small hit to transit times and throughput mentioned in #3 should be absent.
(5) The blacklist must be maintained by a system with multiple checks and balances, and must be publically available (and always completely up-to-date), for public scrutiny. Anyone should be able to see the list, and anyone who hasn't opted in (or has opted out) will be able to check the blocked sites, see if it's legitimately blocked, or it it's censorship of (for example) the topics listed by Quixotess.

1 and 2 are impossible together, and near-impossible alone (the only way to reasonably get a perfect false-negative rate is to have an awful false-positive rate, and vice-versa).
3 is very challenging, potentially impossible.
The proposed system fails at 4.
5 seems unlikely, given it's being proposed by politicians.
And there's probably other criteria too, that I just can't think of at the moment.

If anyone knows of any protests and/or letter-mailing campaigns or such, just say the word, I am so in.

In the meantime, I'm going to be researching TOR, just in case.

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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:03 am UTC

I'm considering calling up and saying something like "In response to Minister Stephen Conroy's mandatory ISP level internet filter proposal my reply was similar to that given to the plaintiff in Arkell v. Pressdram" but I'm not sure that'll be too constructive.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:12 am UTC

You know, this makes me wonder (again) why in this day and age most of our Internet traffic is still unencrypted. The technology is all there; why not encrypt it all? It'd make shit like this and traffic sniffing harder.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby ConMan » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:28 am UTC

Uh-huh. Do they even remember what happened the last time the Government[1] demonstrated their wonderful "Internet filter" technology? They sat a kid in front of it and he had objectionable content up on the screen in about 5 seconds flat.

[1] The one at the time, that is, which was the previous one.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby cataclysmic » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:32 am UTC

Ok, angry letter to Senator Conroy (who's in charge of the proposal) is finished.

Here is my template (feel free to edit/make suggestions etc.):
Spoiler:
[street address]
[suburb, state, postcode]


[date]

Dear Senator Conroy,

As an Australian and an internet user, I have serious concerns about your new mandatory "clean feed" filter initiative.

In our currently unstable economic climate, I am outraged that you propose to waste untold millions of dollars of taxpayer on money on filters which, according to your own tests, are inefficient at blocking ‘inappropriate’ and/or ‘illegal’ content (however loosely you define it), often mistakenly block websites that are neither, and can easily be bypassed by users with even a modicum of internet knowledge. Furthermore, given that your tests also determined that most of the filters slowed internet speeds by 22-87%, I am curious as to how this scheme fits in your government’s plans to update and modernise Australia’s internet capabilities.

Given the amount of Internet content available, and its dynamic nature, I sincerely doubt the Government will ever be able to classify it all. It is a waste of taxpayer money, and an exercise in futility. Additionally, Australian households are diverse, and many do not have young children, so mandating a one-size-fits-all approach does not serve the public interest. I do not think it is the Government's role to decide what is or is not appropriate for me and/or my children.

For the aforementioned reasons, I strongly protest the proposed changes, and suggest you stop wasting our time and money on a plan which will not work.

Yours sincerely,
[name]

Senator Conroy's contact information can be found here.
Your local member's contact information can be found through this website.
Last edited by cataclysmic on Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:21 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby phlip » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:41 am UTC

That's a good letter, thanks, I'll be certainly sending one in. Though I'll adapt it a bit to give more time to the dangers of a mandatory filter system giving false positives (either unintentional ones, such as caused an overzealous automatic filter blocking sites that happen to have the letters 's', 'e' and 'x' on them in some order, or intentional ones, for nefarious censorship purposes). I'll post it here when I'm done, in case anyone wants to adapt it further.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

Princess Marzipan
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:24 am UTC

Spoiler:
Dear Senator Conroy,

As an Australian and an internet user, I have serious concerns about your new mandatory "clean feed" filter initiative.

Given currently unstable economic climate, I am outraged that you propose to waste untold millions of our tax dollars on the proposed filters. According to your own tests, they are inefficient at blocking ‘inappropriate’ and/or ‘illegal’ content (however loosely you define it), often mistakenly block websites that are neither, and can easily be bypassed by users with even a modicum of internet knowledge. Furthermore, given that your tests also determined that most of the filters slowed internet speeds by 22-87%, I cannot see how this is line with Government plans to update and modernise Australia’s internet capabilities.

Given the vast amount of Internet content available, and its extremely dynamic nature, I sincerely doubt the Government will ever be able to classify it all. It is an exercise in futility: a clear waste of taxpayer dollars. Additionally, Australian households are diverse, and many do not have young children, so mandating a one-size-fits-all approach does not serve the public interest. It is not the Government's role to decide what is or is not appropriate for me, for parents, for children - for Australians.

For the aforementioned reasons,I strongly protest the proposed changes, and demand you put an end to this plan which will cost all of Australia time, money, and liberty.



Made some suggested edits. (I enjoy framing angry letters, and twerking an existing one is far easier than writing one from scratch. :D )
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Thenzon
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Thenzon » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:43 am UTC

I reckon any internet user that hears about this will object to it, no question.
I sure as hell do! No social networking? That probably means no Myspace, Facebook, hell even Youtube might be counted as a social networking site!

Cooley
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Cooley » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:59 am UTC

Plus, it certainly looks like all of 4chan is out... Anyone taking bets as to how long before something similar shows up in the American Congress?

Joeldi
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Re: Australia, No Opt-Out Filtered Internet?

Postby Joeldi » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:47 am UTC

Thenzon wrote:I reckon any internet user that hears about this will object to it, no question.
I sure as hell do! No social networking? That probably means no Myspace, Facebook, hell even Youtube might be counted as a social networking site!


Holy God, where did it mention Social Networking? If that's the case, I'm not even concerned any more, given that every Australian and her dog has a Myspace or Facebook these days.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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