Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Filter spam instead, Conroy!

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-11-12

Conroy’s unholy rush for centralized censorship of the internet using secret lists (see and shows supreme confidence in the ability to perform a massively complex task.

So why doesn’t he try a far easier one that would bring massive benefits to the nation, and would go at least some of the way to opening up the bandwidth he’ll squash with his filtering.

How about filtering everything through ports 25 (SMTP) and 465 (SSMTP) so that spam gets removed?  If you cannot do that for technical or political reasons, then don’t try and filter the rest of internet!

The Spam Act 2003 (Cth) with associated regulations and amendments makes such emails illegal, and this also covers spam SMS.  There’s a way to win friends in the populace (although your corporate donations will probably suffer).

Spam is a massive problem for businesses and the network generally. The percentage of mail messages going into businesses that is spam is now typically 75% or more (as reported to me by operational security types) – choking bandwidth, and making downstream users pay for something ISPs could filter easily.

It’s much easier to go through email as it is limited to only a few ports, whereas the nasty perverts can do all sorts of crypto, proxy and port redirection stuff – especially for peer to peer transfers.

So, Conroy… how about walking before you can fly!

While you are about it, how about you get someone with appropriate clearance to ask the DSD how many false-positives they get with their state-of-the-art Echelon system that listens to all electronic communications for keywords anyway, flagging them in real time?  What would happen if they blocked all flagged phone calls?

Seriously Conroy, you might be fine dealing with TV executives, but you seem way out of your depth on technical information management issues.  I reckon you should have a quiet chat with the good folk at DSD and AGIMO, who are actually well informed, to know what you are up against.

See Also:

Learn more about the gory details from the well-respected Electronic Frontiers Australia via their Learn More page at the site.


One Response to “Filter spam instead, Conroy!”

  1. […] "Filter spam instead, Conroy" (2008-11-12), I argued that Australia would be better of if Conroy pushed for a proper spam […]

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