Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Australian Internet Censorship

by johnofgwent

One of the "comments waiting to be moderated" on this blog the other day caught my eye. Like many it wasn't particularly relevant to the subject - we get a LOT of those (!) but it was interesting.

Having followed it up I found it involved every true patriot's best pal the founder of wikileaks - the site that handed Diane Abbott all our names and addressses - (well, that's what she thinks but she hasn't worked out lots and lots of them are false yet. No matter.) It seems that there have been rather concerted efforts recently to get the site shut down. Ah, you might think, at last, the illegality of the act in publishing "that list" has finally come home and caused a few doors to be kicked in.

Er... well, no actually. It's absolutely fine in "the government's" eyes for illegal acts to be carried out against political parties who stand for exposing the truth about the lying corrupt bunch currently able to claim an Sw1A 0AA business address (but for how much longer, I wonder). It is perfectly acceptable to villify those who stand as candidates for political office for the honour to serve the electorate and the country. And it is perfectly acceptable to distribute electoral leaflets screaming a warning that "unless you get out there and stop them" those people will succeed and gain "unfetttered access" to "unlimited unaudited european parliamentary expenses".

No, what has brought the mighty wikileaks site into the crosshairs of the establishment's weapons of mass destruction was its decision to publish a list showing that A Queensland Dentist is on a list of sites Australians prevent their citizens and visitors from viewing.

It's all a storm in a teacup, yes ? Well NO actually. That one specific case highlights everything that is politically incorrect about internet censorship. It appears that for a brief period some time ago someone - presumably a teenage kid with a grudge about a toothache - hacked into the computers serving this dental practice's website and redirected it to a child porn site.

In this country at the moment anyway such an act would render the perpetrator liable to prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act. But in Australia it caused the owner of the site to be penalised by having his domain listed on an Internet Blacklist of sites the Autralian Government require all ISP's to ban from being viewed by someone in that country. The excuse given is that such measures are needed to combat terrorism and child pornography. But the fact that a totally innocent victim has been on that list for a while - unable to understand why no-one is visiting their website - and the utter lack of any audit or control over why someone goes onto that blacklist in the first place are two bloody good reasons why this needs to be exposed for the shambles it is. And indeed, it seems that only after the list was made widely available did a "mass cleanup" take place allowing sites falsely tarred and feathered - including, it seems, the dentist in question - to be restored to the people.

Out of interest, I wonder if expat or travelling patriotic brits with a hankering to check out politics back home can (still) see the British National Party Website.

Can they (still) see this blog I wonder ?


The Green Arrow said...

Thank you for writing about this subject JOG. I have had it in my to do list for too long. Now I can delete it.

When someone did a tit for tat and posted on Wilkileaks the entire mailing list of the UAF and Searchlight rubbish, including the names of Members of Parliament, Union Officials, etc, etc. Wilkileaks had it removed within an hour.

I know that this blog is still barred in Liverpool Libraries and should I imagine also in a lot of other tax and ratepayer funded sites.

Anonymous said...

Yep i can see both sites here in Perth Western Australia.

ProudGeordie said...

News this morning that the government want to force social networking groups to hand over the friend list of every member. This way they can see who is friends with whom in a way they never could when people met in the pubs that are now closed.

More and more encroachments on our freedom "for your protection". Give us back the right to bear arms and bring our soldiers back from foreign, illegal wars. Let the police arrest people of any colour, creed, religion or nationality without fear of harrasment and deport criminal immigrants and lock our indigenous criminals up for a long stretch in the emptied cells.

Then we wouldn't need YOUR protection from a problem YOU created.

Anonymous said...

First off, my thanks to the author of the comment from the hemisphere under the southern cross. And greetings !

Now I heard about that uaf list leak too. It just goes to show that not all leaks are equal and some are more welcome than others.

BFB said...

Blanket internet censorship in Australia is imminent.

Silvio Burlusconi plans to use his G8 Presidency to 'regulate' the internet.