Tagged With clean feed

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Legislation to enable mandatory censorship legislation will hit Parliament next month. To highlight the issue during the week of Australian Day, Electronic Frontiers Australia is backing a 'blackout' campaign encouraging people to darken their social networking profile pictures and web sites.

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Many of us find the prospect of mandatory Internet censorship worrying, but we often ignore the fact that there's already a system in place that allows content to be effectively removed from Australian sites. Over at APC, I've written up an explanation of how ACMA uses "link deletion notices" to stop links to content it has deemed objectionable. The legislation isn't just a hollow threat, as it was recently used to remove a link on respected broadband site Whirlpool. Of course, with broader-based censorship (as favoured by the government) this process would become more widespread, and the list of content deemed "prohibited" much longer. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

BLACKLIST: Government cracks down on Whirlpool.net.au

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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.

Row over web blacklist

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The long-discussed testing of ISP-level Internet filtering, with six companies taking part: Primus Telecommunications, Tech 2U, Webshield, OMNIconnect, Netforce and Highway 1. Primus is the largest of those, and the absence of top-tier ISPs (like Telstra, Optus or iiNet) has attracted much comment. A test involving smaller ISPs might not be very conclusive, but look on the bright side: it could go so badly that the plan gets abandoned altogether. We can only hope. Meanwhile, If you are using one of the participating ISPs and have opted in for testing, share your experience in the comments.