by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 21st 2009 7:17am
With the news that Australia has decided to censor the internet, a group of protesters decided to set up a website complaining about this effort by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (who laughably called internet filters "100% effective" based on absolutely no metrics). In setting up this protest site, they were able to register the domain stephenconroy.com.au. Not surprisingly, that got some press attention, and suddenly the Australian domain authority, AuDA, took notice. As Slashdot points out, AuDA completely circumvented its usual due process mechanism, and it gave the holders of the site a grand total of 3 hours to defend themselves. When they asked for more time, they were shut down. Now, there are legitimate questions about whether or not they deserve this domain name. But you would think that AuDA would be willing to at least give them the normal amount of time to craft a reply and defend why the site is legit. The speed of the takedown certainly suggests political motivations -- more than a typical review process -- and highlights the very problem the site was set up to illustrate: why it's bad when the government can suddenly snuff out websites with views it does not like.
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