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Australia prepares for week of protest against web filters after the Anonymous group hit key websites last week

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Key Australian websites have been hit by a ‘peaceful protest' against the application of web filters by the Anonymous group.

Australia's iTnews claimed that ‘Project Freeweb' will see events planned in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Canberra at various times on Saturday 20th February.

More than ten members of the Anonymous group, which took credit for the prolonged denial-of-service (DoS) on Australian Government websites last week and hit the office of the Australian Prime Minister last year, are expected to attend each event. These attacks were labelled ‘Operation Titstorm'.

A Project Freeweb organiser, who goes by the alias 'Infinite', told iTnews: “We wish to oppose this filter because we're not only representing Australia, but the world. If passed, this legislation will set a disturbing precedent at an international level. The public, not the Government, should have the right to decide what is deemed appropriate for you or your family to be exposed to."

Another activist, who went by the name ‘Coldblood', told BBC News that the activists did not support the creation of illegal content, but banning it would not tackle the issue.

He said: “If something is illegal which is done on the internet the government should try and prosecute them. If they ban it [then] it will just appear somewhere again. What they really need to do is go after the people who are making this content.”

A statement by the system administrators guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) posted after the DoS attack, said it condemned the efforts.

It said: “While SAGE-AU believes that imminent internet filtering legislation will fail to work, it has condemned DoS attacks as the wrong way to express disagreement with the proposed law.

“SAGE-AU points out that the impact of DoS attacks is frequently felt less by government agencies than by system administrators, many of them SAGE-AU members, who are responsible for managing websites and servers.

“SAGE-AU believes the funds allocated for internet filtering would be better spent on activities that are proven solutions to the problems identified by the federal government.”

It recommended, rather than blocking, encouragement of ‘family-friendly' ISP services, improved parent education and more rigorous enforcement.

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