GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Web censorship hits home

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The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.

According to Wikileaks, a site I regurlarly visit, the content on the blacklist is illegal to publish or link to in Australia, with fines of up to $11,000 a day for contraventions.

It disturbs me that there is a list of prohibited sites that I am not allowed to see and yet I can be fined for viewing or linking to – and that’s just a Danish list.

I have never seen an Australian list – there must be one as they have just added new sites to it?  So, how can you know if you might break the law?

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Written by Greg Naylor

18 March 2009 at 9:08 pm

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  1. Government’s internet censorship blacklist leaked

    The list has been made available on wikileaks, a document repository maintained by popular internet encyclopedia website Wikipedia, which allows whistleblowers to anonymously upload potentially sensitive text files.

    The list contains 2395 links which the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) secretly blacklisted. It details a plethora of pedophilia and abusive pornography websites, but interestingly also includes Wikipedia and Myspace links, online poker sites, regular gay and straight porn sites, euthanasia sites, satanic sites and fetish sites.

    Wikileaks also states that ACMA now threatens fines of up to $11,000 a day for linking to sites on the list. Comparing Australia to communist and morally restrictive countries, it said that “this week saw Australia joining China and the United Arab Emirates as the only countries censoring Wikileaks.”

    ACMA said that distribution of the list, or accessing material on the list, could lead to criminal charges and up to 10 years in prison.

    At least we can find out if the sites we visit are on the list.

    Greg Naylor

    19 March 2009 at 2:27 pm


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