Friday, March 20, 2009

Australian Media Regulator Black-Lists A Pro-Life Website

If you ever wondered what might be the consequences of allowing the government to regulate the internet content - take a look at what's going on in Australia. There, as it turns out, a legitimate web site could be black-listed if its content is deemed "potential prohibited"; and merely posting a link to a black-listed site could earn your hosting provider a $11,000-a-day fine:
CANBERRA, Australia, March 19, 2009 ( - The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is coming under fire from free-speech advocates after it threatened the host of a popular Australian online discussion forum with a $11,000-a-day fine for publishing a link to an American pro-life website that ACMA had previously blacklisted.

The controversy erupted after an anonymous online user lodged a complaint with the ACMA in January over graphic images of aborted unborn children on, an American pro-life site.

According to Australian IT, the individual who originally reported the page said his goal was to test the system and show that legal webpages could end up on the blacklist. The ACMA's Internet blacklist was launched to block illegal child pornography.

About two weeks later, the ACMA told the complainant that it was "satisfied that the internet content is hosted outside Australia, and the content is prohibited or potential prohibited content." This was taken to mean that had been blacklisted.

Pro-life advocates, while supporting bans on pornography, are concerned that corrupt beaurocrats may use such lists may to target legitimate websites.

To express concerns contact the communications Minister in the Australian government:

No comments: