One of the key elements of controversial plans to filter Australian Internet access is the use of a "blacklist" maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to identify banned sites. While the list is supposed to be secret (since the content of the sites it lists is purportedly illegal), ACMA doesn't seem to be going to particularly strong efforts to protect it, as Fran Foo points out in a report for AustralianIT. On the one hand, this is a kind of reassuring reminder that most attempts at censorship fail. On the other hand, the apparent willingness to embrace inconsistency isn't a very promising sign for how policies might be applied if a full-scale filter is introduced.
Web Blacklist Already Under Fire
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As anyone who works in a school or childcare centre will attest, Australian parents come up with some pretty weird names for their offspring - including Google, Tron and Hippo. While most names are reluctantly approved by the state or territory's Registry of Births, there are a few that you just can't get away with.
The government's My Health Record (MHR) system promises to bring together a bunch of different healthcare data so that a trip to the hospital or doctor won't require lots of information being recorded over and over again. It should reduce some costs as healthcare providers can access pathology and other analyses without repeating tests and will simplify how we deal with some agencies. But it's also being implemented in a pretty ham-fisted way, with everyone's consent assumed unless they opt out. I've been looking at the system. Here's what I'll be doing.