$11,000/day fine for a hyperlink
Wednesday March 18th 2009, 3:29 pm

An anti-censorship advocate who reported an ‘offensive’ website to ACMA as a test of their policies, succeeded in getting the site added to the present ACMA banlist. Now ACMA is threatening Whirlpool with $11,000/day fines for publishing a link to the site they’ve now banned. The ACMA banlist is proposed to be used as the basis for Labor’s mandatory internet filter.

Banned hyperlinks could cost you $11,000 a day

Asher Moses

March 17, 2009 – 11:48AM

The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.

Wikileaks was added to the blacklist for publishing a leaked document containing Denmark’s list of banned websites.

The move by the Australian Communications and Media Authority comes after it threatened the host of online broadband discussion forum Whirlpool last week with a $11,000-a-day fine over a link published in its forum to another page blacklisted by ACMA – an anti-abortion website. (link is live, ACMA ban doesn’t do much, does it? -Ed.)

ACMA’s blacklist does not have a significant impact on web browsing by Australians today but sites contained on it will be blocked for everyone if the Federal Government implements its mandatory internet filtering censorship scheme.

But even without the mandatory censorship scheme, as is evident in the Whirlpool case, ACMA can force sites hosted in Australia to remove “prohibited” pages and even links to prohibited pages.

Online civil liberties campaigners have seized on the move by ACMA as evidence of how casually the regulator adds to its list of blacklisted sites. It also confirmed fears that the scope of the Government’s censorship plan could easily be expanded to encompass sites that are not illegal.

“The first rule of censorship is that you cannot talk about censorship,” Wikileaks said on its website in response to the ACMA ban.

[…] (balance of story at SMH)

All proof positive that what anti-filtering advocates have said all along would be the worst nightmare- the government isn’t going to use the filter to censor porn, it’ll be used to suppress political speech.

Well, fuck that.

Sit back and watch, children. You’re about to see one of the biggest backfires in Australian politics, followed by one of the most celebrated backflips. It may even result in the dissolution of the OFLC and even the end of ACMA’s ability to ban content.

It will NOT be pretty.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

-weez


5 Comments so far
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Wikileaks? Him no work for me!

Comment by @ndy 03.19.09 @ 5:24 pm

see here

Comment by weez 03.19.09 @ 6:10 pm

Cheers.

Comment by @ndy 03.19.09 @ 10:50 pm



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