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Australia’s Internet Blacklist Leaked

Asher Moses reports today ‘Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites’:

The Australian communications regulator’s top-secret blacklist of banned websites has been leaked on to the web and paints a harrowing picture of Australia’s forthcoming internet censorship regime. Wikileaks, an anonymous document repository for whistleblowers, obtained the list … University of Sydney associate professor Bjorn Landfeldt said the leaked list "constitutes a condensed encyclopedia of depravity and potentially very dangerous material". He said the leaked list would become "the concerned parent’s worst nightmare" as curious children would inevitably seek it out. But about half of the sites on the list are not related to child porn and include a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist. "It seems to me as if just about anything can potentially get on the list," Landfelt said.

At the moment ISPs and others are sent this list, with the option of implement it for some (or all) customers.  The current Rudd government, with Stephen Conroy pushing it, wants this to be an Australia-wide mandatory block list. Misuse of such a list (along with the fact its implementation would slow internet access across all of Australia) is one the main reasons so many people, myself included, find national government level internet censorship abhorrent.

(It should be noted, that as this list was obtained from an ISP, it may contain links which were added only by the ISP, not from the ACMA list. I suspect that most of what’s blocked is from ACMA, especially the non-porn stuff, but the exact nuances aren’t 100% clear yet.)

Update: A story about the leaked list on the ABC is provoking a few comments!

Update 2: Conroy claims that the leaked list is not the official blacklist, although there are “are some common URLs to those on the ACMA blacklist”.  Oddly, though, Conroy is still referring the matter to police to investigate who leaked the list … which isn’t the list.

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  1. one of parent’s nightmare is when their child’s surfing to such as porn site

    we should safe our child by blacklist dangerous site

    • ierone, i agree parents should have discretion regarding what their kids see on the web. the question here is more whether EVERYONE in the whole country should have that website blocked so your or my kids don’t see it.

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