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Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites

Guest Dean

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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, which has been seen by this website, and plans to publish it for public consumption on its website imminently.

Wikileaks has previously published the blacklists for Thailand, Denmark and Norway.

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.

The blacklist is maintained by ACMA and provided to makers of internet filtering software that parents can opt to install on their PCs.

However, if the Government proceeds with its mandatory internet filtering scheme, sites on the blacklist will be blocked for all Australians. The Government has flagged plans to expand the blacklist to 10,000 sites or more.

In a special report, written in conjunction with the Internet Industry Association and presented to the Government over a year ago, Landfeldt warned that "list leakage" was one of the main issues associated with maintaining a secret blacklist of prohibited sites.

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, dug up the blacklist after ACMA added several Wikileaks pages to the list following the site's publication of the Danish blacklist.

He said secret censorship systems were "invariably corrupted", pointing to the Thailand censorship list, which was originally billed as a mechanism to prevent child pornography but contained more than 1200 sites classified as criticising the royal family.

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Hah, that's interesting. I know we've had a blacklist here for years, but nobody really minds because it's just supposed to be things that should be blacklisted, like child pornography. Like Shan says though, there's not much of a point blocking this as anyone with basic knowledge of the internet and how to get around those kind of page blocks, will find a way to access the list.

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I am convinced that Kevin Rudd is a commie socialist.

His latest communist plan is that "Australia will become a republic." Actual quote, and this is after that the citizens rejected a republic in a referendom vote. First step to Krudd actually wearing the red star.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Too true about the Thai rules though. It was all over the papers here recently, that a guy has been jailed because he criticsed the Family on a website, and the guy in question was a tourist - so they're pretty strict over here on websites and what not.

Leaks .... They're everywhere.

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