Re: Censorship


I don't use Optus nameserver anyway. 

I can connect to the LiveLeak IP address from a US hosted virtual machine that I control. I cannot connect to it from my system here in Australia. Seems to me that Optus has blocked the IP address, as I said.

Re: Censorship


If they are blocking at IP level then they are doing more then they do for a LAWFULLY implimented block e.g. torrent sites via a court order.


I dont notice as I always use a VPN.


Telstra is not blocking liveleak either (and they didnt host the video to start with, so Optus is well off track with the so called reason on this one)

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Re: Censorship

[ Edited ]

I'd differ from @Paddylee  in that I think on this instance actual IP addresses we're blocked (which is possibly why some unintended sites have been caught up). Telcos are well aware of the problems of IP blocking given the huge stuff up a few years back when they used that method to comply with legal requests to block copy infringment sites. I'm not sure why they used IP addresses again this time, other than to speculate that its a more robust form of blocking then DNS blocking.


On the legality of the blocks, its always funny when people bring that up. The cost and hassle of prosecuting a legal case is massive. Better just to say you'll be looking elsewhere once your contract is up as Optus are much more likely to listen to that IMO. A quick look at the general agreement does have some clauses (bolding mine):



2.3         In using the Service, you must comply with all laws, all directions by a Regulator and reasonable directions by Optus

2.4       You must not use, or attempt to use, the Service:

  • to break any law or to infringe another person’s rights;
  • to expose Optus to liability;

2.5       You:

(a)         must not use, or attempt to use, the Service to transmit, publish or communicate material which is defamatory, offensive, abusive, indecent, menacing or unwanted; and

(b)        acknowledge that, where the Service is a Carriage Service, Optus may be required to intercept communications over the Service and may also monitor your usage of the Service and communications sent over it.

2.7       To the extent permitted by law, you acknowledge that Optus makes no warranty in relation to the performance or characteristics of any software supplied in connection with the Service


Or this bit:


Our rights to suspend the service

We may suspend the service at any time without liability if there is an emergency.


But ultimately this isn't about contractual legality. Its slightly bigger picture. State/Legal censorship is completely standard in pretty much any society. There is a lot of material and things that don't end up on television or in the newspaper etc. because they are deemed defamatory, offensive, abusive, indecent, menacing or unwanted. This doesn't stop people from skulking around and sharing such material in the shadows but it does mean that the majority of the population can be, well civilised. People have generally viewed the internet as a place with lots of 'shadows' to skulk around in. However that doesn't really cut it any more IMO. Its a place where actual children now go and should be treated as such.


Personally I don't see much that can be disputed about blocking this terrorists message. One of the biggest motivators for such people is the idea of being a martyr, of getting their message out there and propogating hate. As the NZ PM said, even stating their name is a form of infamy.


I agree Optus are opening themselves up to a can of worms suggesting they are responsible for monitoring content, but perhaps they can also see the writing on the wall as governments around the world are moving to hold even the giants like Facebook accountable for this sort of material. But I don't see this temporary and clunky action amounting to much in the medium term. The adults should all be able to look at their live action masacres again soon enough.


Peter Gillespie

Re: Censorship


They are blocking it at the IP level. I tried pinging and get no response.


I have written 2 formal complaints to Optus regarding this and have had no reply.

Their behaviour is beyond disgusting, I will be making a complaint to TIO and the ACCC if I don't get a response to my complaints by the end of the week.


Anyway have my Aussie broadband NBN installation booked in for next week, and it looks like I'll be moving my mobiles to Telstra if they have unblocked Liveleak, best of a bad bunch but not much other choice.


Congrats Optus, I have been a loyal customer for 10 years, put up with some crap but been mostly happy. I'm off and I won't be back, I hope everyone else on here does the same.


Re: Censorship


Liveleak, Zerohedge and 4Chan I know for a fact never hosted any video. So this negates the argument Optus has put forward and your defense of them.


The contract conditions you quoted have nothing to do with remote websites, they relate to the Optus customer.


I'm confused as to why you are trying so hard to defend this indefensible decision? Do you get kickbacks from Optus for shilling on their forums?


At the end of the day, Optus have taken it upon themselves to be the arbiters of decency and at a whim, with no governmet or community support they have banned random websites that thousands of their customers enjoy. They have broken their contract with us, they have ignored all requests for an explanation beyond a cookie cutter response they cut and pasted from the other ISP's.. I guess you won't care Peter until they start blocking your gardening and soy appreciation websites, by then it will be too late.

Re: Censorship

[ Edited ]

 I don't see any of the quoted terms being relevant. A reasonable direction by Optus is just that - a direction. Blocking an IP address is not a direction, and Optus has not directed me not to access LiveLeak, so the block is not even the enforcement of a reasonable direction.


Even the watching of the particular video on LiveLeak would not infringe anyone's rights (unless Optus are seeking to argue that the video was posted there in breach of the creator's (i.e. the terrorist's) copyright). I doubt Optus have received a complaint from the copyright holder.


Accessing the video would not expose Optus to liability.


Retrieving the video would not constitute transmission, publishing or communication of material.


Even if Optus were required to intercept communications, that would not amount to a requirement to block them. Indeed, if the authorities were to require Optus to intercept communications, I think they'd be pretty annoyed if Optus proceeded to block those same communications.


As to the wider question of whether blocking was a reasonable response, notwithstanding the contractual issues, decisions on such matters are not for companies to make. If the government wants to try to pass laws enabling it to require telcos to block such content, let it do so. It may or may not succeed, and the process will be subject to scrutiny by interested parties.


My own Internet use is entirely personal, but there are businesses using Internet access for mission critical purposes. They don't need spur-of-the moment knee-jerk reactions by their service provider that can cause collateral damage.


My access options are currently rather limited, because the NBN isn't available to me yet. When it is, I'll have to look at whether I'd prefer an Internet service provider that confines itself to providing me with an Internet service, and leaves ethical and moral issues to those whose responsibility they are.

Re: Censorship


Optus specified their moral "obligation" to block the aforementioned sites "temporarily."


Telstra reversed their bans after several hours, its now been several days and there has been no news from Optus.


No authorative body has mandated bans on these sites except for hte "good will" of Optus, i genuinely want to go to the TIO seeing as Optus is denying me access to a service I pay for

Re: Censorship


Both great posts @SylviaElse2 , @NachoManAndy 


I'd think Optus would nominally agree with you (as yes the talked of a 'moral obligation' rather than any specific legal recourse). At this point I would have thought the blocks should be lifted given the 'emergency' has well passed (unless the sites are hosting it on their landing page?). I agree that this sort of thing needs to be properly codified in law. The main trick will be to keep unwanted material away from those that don't (or shouldn't) want it but still perhaps provide access that those that do. 


Peter Gillespie

Re: Censorship


At this point, they've either forgotten or just don't care.

Re: Censorship


So now Liveleak is back.. 10 days too late.


Still no 4Chan or 8Chan.. Just pathetic.


5 days until I get my  Aussie Broadbands NBN.. can't wait.


Added bonus of not having to talk to robotic unhelpful support staff any more and being ignored by whoever is supposed to answer complaints.

I hope this costs you big Optus, hope the shallow virtue signalling was worth it.




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