Less Than A Third Of Australia's Censor List Actually About Underage Images

from the moral-panic-for-censorship dept

For years and years and years, the Australian government has been looking to come up with a rationale for censoring the internet. The most recent plan has gone through some hiccups with mass protests. But, of course, the gov’t has continued to push on, claiming that such a censored blacklist is important to stop child porn. Except… a few months back, the censored list was leaked, and a review of the list now shows that less than 32% of the sites were actually about child porn (via Michael Scott).

This is one of the (many) reasons why such secret blacklists are always a bad idea. Given the opportunity to censor content, it’s too tempting not to expand the list with general stuff the censors “don’t like” rather than the actual intended purpose of the list. And that, of course, is why gov’ts always insist that such lists should be secret rather than publicly reviewable. Of course, it’s worth noting that as part of the admission that the list has such a small percentage of what was supposed to make up the entire list, the Australian government says that it’s having the police look into the leak of the list. Why? The only thing the leak exposed was how the gov’t was lying to the public. That shouldn’t be illegal. That should be welcomed whistle-blowing of gov’t abuse.

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Comments on “Less Than A Third Of Australia's Censor List Actually About Underage Images”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“From Wikileaks, May 26, 2009


Shorter and more direct link:


“This week saw Australia joining China and the United Arab Emirates as the only countries censoring WikiLeaks. We were not notified by ACMA.”

Sounds mostly like Wikileaks has a personal ax to grind.

Grokk says:

The problem with the Australian government is that most of the people who hold the power have very small minded views on what’s best for everyone.
Mostly it’s just selfishness on their part in trying to push their views onto the rest of our society.

It seems that the folks that get into the political arena all have the drive to be there and force their own personal agenda on the rest of us, while most open minded Australians couldn’t give two shits about most anything and never bother to run for political positions.

There’s just too many fanatics or money grubbing greedy bastards running all levels of our politics from local councils through state and federal government.

Sometimes I think it’d be great to stand up and do something about it, but then the urge passes and I fall back to a “She’ll be right mate” state of mind.

At the end of the day we bitch and moan about it, but get over it either way.

Yeebok (profile) says:

If you’re gonna have a dig, anon, at least enter a name. It’s pretty ordinary without one.
That said the sooner they get over the stupid idea the better – everyone knows it’s gonna happen anyway, the trials are a joke so they won’t show any ill effects on speeds. Finally, you’ll find that there’s also a “test” ban relating to abortion – which isn’t illegal, nor child porn – yet it made it to the list too.
Of course if it gets up here, do people from ‘similar countries’ like Canada / UK / US think your pollies won’t try it on since it already works somewhere else.. ?

Anthony (profile) says:


The biggest reason the current Government is attempting to bring this in is because they have a minority senate. The ALP need the support of the 6 Greens, 1 independent, and 1 Family First (read Christian nutcase) to get anything passed. The conservatives have more members in the senate than the ALP, and if just 1 of the non-major parties vote with them then the legislation is defeated. The ALP want to suck up to Mr Family First Christian nutjob to encourage him to vote with the ALP on other matters. In the late 90s the Conservatives needed another Christian nutcase(independent this time) to get things through the senate and they were sucking up to him. But the conservatives and Greens both oppose the filter, so there’s no chance of it going ahead.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Good Job

I could not agree more. The disinfecting light of public exposure is the best way to reign in knuckle-heads.

Ronald J. Riley,

Speaking only on my own behalf.
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

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