Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2009/03/19/1237054961100.html

    The Australian communications regulator's top-secret blacklist of banned
    websites has been leaked on to the web and paints a harrowing picture of
    Australia's forthcoming internet censorship regime.

    Wikileaks, an anonymous document repository for whistleblowers, obtained the
    list, which has been seen by this website, and plans to publish it for public
    consumption on its website imminently.

    Wikileaks has previously published the blacklists for Thailand, Denmark and Norway.

    University of Sydney associate professor Bjorn Landfeldt said the leaked list
    "constitutes a condensed encyclopedia of depravity and potentially very
    dangerous material".

    He said the leaked list would become "the concerned parent's worst nightmare" as
    curious children would inevitably seek it out.

    But about half of the sites on the list are not related to child porn and
    include a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight
    porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions
    such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour
    operator and even a Queensland dentist.

    "It seems to me as if just about anything can potentially get on the list,"
    Landfelt said.

    The blacklist is maintained by ACMA and provided to makers of internet filtering
    software that parents can opt to install on their PCs.

    However, if the Government proceeds with its mandatory internet filtering
    scheme, sites on the blacklist will be blocked for all Australians. The
    Government has flagged plans to expand the blacklist to 10,000 sites or more.

    In a special report, written in conjunction with the Internet Industry
    Association and presented to the Government over a year ago, Landfeldt warned
    that "list leakage" was one of the main issues associated with maintaining a
    secret blacklist of prohibited sites.

    Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, dug up the blacklist after ACMA added
    several Wikileaks pages to the list following the site's publication of the
    Danish blacklist.

    He said secret censorship systems were "invariably corrupted", pointing to the
    Thailand censorship list, which was originally billed as a mechanism to prevent
    child pornography but contained more than 1200 sites classified as criticising
    the royal family.

    "In January the Thai system was used to censor Australia reportage about the
    imprisoned Australian writer Harry Nicolaides," he said.

    "The Australian democracy must not be permitted to sleep with this loaded gun.
    This week saw Australia joining China and the United Arab Emirates as the only
    countries censoring Wikileaks."

    The leaked list, understood to have been obtained from an internet filtering
    software maker, contains 2395 sites. ACMA said its blacklist, as at November
    last year, contained 1370 sites.

    Assange said the disparity in the reported figure is most likely due to the fact
    that the list contains several duplicates and variations of the same URL that
    stem from a single complaint. Alternatively, some sites may have been added to
    the list by the filter software maker.

    ACMA said Australians caught distributing the list or accessing child
    pornography sites on the list could face criminal charges and up to 10 years in

    Opposition communications spokesman Nick Minchin said the leaking of the list
    was irresponsible but highlighted how this type of information could surface
    despite the efforts of ACMA to protect it, and could be used by those with a
    perverse interest in its content.

    "The regrettable and unfortunate reality is there will always be explicit and
    illegal material on the web and - regardless of blacklists, filters and the like
    - those with the means and know-how will find ways of accessing it," he said.

    "Adult supervision is the most effective way of keeping children safe online and
    people shouldn't be led into believing by Labor that expanded blacklists or
    mandatory filters are a substitute for that."

    Colin Jacobs, spokesman for the online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers
    Australia, said the leak was not surprising and would only get worse once the
    list was sent to hundreds of Australian ISPs as part of the Government's
    mandatory internet filtering policy.

    He said the Government could be considered a "promoter and disseminator of links
    to some pretty unsavoury material".

    "The list itself should concern every Australian - although plenty of the
    material is unsavoury or even illegal, the presence of sites like YouTube,
    MySpace, gambling or even Christian sites on the list raises a lot of
    questions," he said.

    "There is even a harmless tour operator on there, but there is no mechanism for
    a site operator to know they got on or request to be removed. The prospect of
    mandatory nation-wide filtering of this secret list is pretty concerning from a
    democratic point of view."

    The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said the leak and publication of
    the ACMA blacklist would be "grossly irresponsible" and undermine efforts to
    improve cyber safety.

    He said ACMA was investigating the matter and considering a range of possible
    actions including referral to the Australian Federal Police. Australians
    involved in making the content available would be at "serious risk of criminal

    "Under existing laws the ACMA blacklist includes URLs relating to child sexual
    abuse, rape, incest, bestiality, sexual violence and detailed instruction in
    crime," Senator Conroy said.

    "No one interested in cyber safety would condone the leaking of this list."
    Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF, Mar 19, 2009
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  2. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    annily Guest

    If and when a mandatory filter based on the ACMA blacklist is
    implemented, NOT publishing it would be "grossly irresponsible" because
    there would be no way for us to know what is being censored.
    annily, Mar 19, 2009
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  3. It's worse (stupider) that that, it's like saying:

    Gov: Within our society, we need you to comply with some of our rules.

    Joe: Sure, what are they?

    Gov: We're not going to tell you.
    John Tserkezis, Mar 19, 2009
  4. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    atec 77 Guest

    and a simple host sight off shore defeats the whole thing
    unless suddenly krudd feels his magnificent omnipotence extends to all
    and sundry making them pull the forelock ( still he will be told by the
    au public very shortly "feck off sunshine")
    atec 77, Mar 19, 2009
  5. You mean a site, don't you? And not quite.
    Well, you can't get to wikileaks.org any more. All they've done is munged DNS
    entries. The use of any proxy server based overseas will get you past that.
    http://www.proxy4free.com/ note that ports 80 and 8080 are probably unusable if
    your ISP does local proxy caching. And don't bother with any proxy server in
    China for obvious reasons.
    Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF, Mar 19, 2009
  6. This one resolves


    Same thing? (Note: no "s").

    Or a chancer cybersquatting?
    Polly the Parrot, Mar 19, 2009
  7. Its the easiest way of doing it. But not always the most effective.

    A look up on http://whois.ausregistry.com.au/whois/whois_local.jsp? report no
    data. I would expect all the other Australian registries to be the same.
    Overseas ones will list it. Hmm ... you might be able to get to by IP address.
    Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF, Mar 19, 2009
  8. Its a cybersquatter.
    Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF, Mar 19, 2009
  9. Appears so, it appears to contain a list of almost exclusively links to
    either buying, shopping, shopping comparison or otherwise pointless crap.
    John Tserkezis, Mar 19, 2009
  10. Googling wikileaks shows:

    Wikileaks - Wikileaks
    Murder: Wikileaks related human rights lawyers assassinated. On Thursday
    afternoon, Oscar Kamau Kingara, director of the Kenyan based Oscar legal aid - 81k - Cached - Similar pages

    That IP appears to go nowhere, from here anyway.
    John Tserkezis, Mar 19, 2009
  11. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    atec 77 Guest

    It took seconds to bypass the govco stuff , vpn to an overseas site
    correctly sighted and done , does cost a couple of bucks a month but for
    the price of freedom in reading
    atec 77, Mar 19, 2009
  12. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    terryc Guest

    Err, you mean hosting your web pages with links offshore does?

    It is when the filtering becomes compulsory that that has no effect.
    terryc, Mar 19, 2009
  13. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    terryc Guest

    terryc, Mar 19, 2009
  14. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    atec 77 Guest

    explain to me how a site sighted off shore with links unless listed can
    be blocked considering the list only stops some local access ,
    especially if one takes the time to use an overseas proxy or similar its
    not going to stop accesses
    Tnx in advance .
    atec 77, Mar 19, 2009
  15. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    terryc Guest

    Err, if you get the ip address back, then dns is working. might be their
    serve is down/overloaded again.

    Can never remember that site to test in this case.
    terryc, Mar 19, 2009
  16. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    Atom Egoyan Guest

    wikileaks.org is accessible as of 0030 20090320. But it really annoyed
    me that I wasn't able to access information I wanted on the assassination
    in Kenya. This is strongly redolent of that stupid UK blocking of Wikipedia
    because one page had a picture of a tasteless record cover from five years

    Atom Egoyan
    Atom Egoyan, Mar 19, 2009
  17. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    Crash Lander Guest

    Um, works fine from here (Geelong Vic)
    Crash Lander, Mar 20, 2009
  18. It's working here today. Bris, but not last night.
    The Old Bloke, Mar 20, 2009
  19. The Old Bloke, Mar 20, 2009
  20. Dr. Sir John Howard, AC, WSCMoF

    terryc Guest

    Yes, you can have your list hosted OS and the man can do SFA about it,
    but it doesn't make the linked sites accessible.

    BTW, what is your proxy service and how much?

    terryc, Mar 20, 2009
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