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Originally posted by Ahabstar
Well I could be a jerk and tell the people of OZ to go get their guns and show the government just who is in charge. And then say "Oh that's right, you voted to give them up over that nut job at the marina." And then say,
Originally posted by Diplomat
Isn't Australia still basically under British authority? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
A SHOCKING list of "banned websites" did not come from the communications watchdog, says Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
The list, purported to be from the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA), was "leaked" to an international website and included an Australian dentist's page, poker websites, and a porn site ranked in Alexa's Top 50 most popular websites in Australia.
While Wikileaks is used to exposing secret government censorship in developing countries, we now find Australia acting like a democratic backwater. Apparently without irony, ACMA threatens fines of upto $11,000 a day for linking to sites on its secret, unreviewable, censorship blacklist -- a list the government hopes to expand into a giant national censorship machine.
History shows that secret censorship systems, whatever their original intent, are invariably corrupted into anti-democratic behavior.
This week saw Australia joining China and the United Arab Emirates as the only countries censoring Wikileaks. We were not notified by ACMA.
In December last year we released the secret Internet censorship list for Thailand. Of the sites censored in 2008, 1,203 sites were classified as "lese majeste" -- criticizing the Royal family. Like Australia, the Thai censorship system was originally pushed to be a mechanism to prevent the child pornography.
Research shows that while such blacklists are dangerous to "above ground" activities such as political discourse, they have little effect on the production of child pornography, and by diverting resources and attention from traditional policing actions, may even be counter-productive. For a fascinating insider's account, see My life in child porn.
In January 2009, the Thai system was used to censor Australian reportage about the imprisonment of Harry Nicolaides, an Australian writer, who wrote a novel containing a single paragraph deemed to be critical of the Thai Monarchy.
Most of the sites on the Australian list have no obvious connection to child pornography. Some have changed owners while others were clearly always about other subjects.
Australian democracy must not be permitted to sleep with this loaded gun.
The site has also published Thailand's internet censorship list and noted that, in both the Thai and Danish cases, the scope of the blacklist had been rapidly expanded from child porn to other material including political discussions.