Leaked list not ACMA blacklist: Conroy

Summary:Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that the list of prohibited internet addresses leaked by an unknown party is not the ACMA blacklist.

update Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that the list of prohibited internet addresses leaked by an unknown party is not the ACMA blacklist.

Steven Conroy

Stephen Conroy at the ATUG Awards last week
(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)

"I am aware of reports that a list of URLs has been placed on a website. This is not the ACMA blacklist," Conroy said in a statement.

"The published list purports to be current at 6 August 2008 and apparently contains approximately 2,400 URLs whereas the ACMA blacklist for the same date contained 1,061 URLs," he said

He admitted the list contained some common URLS, but said that other URLs on the list had never been the subject of a complaint or ACMA investigation.

Conroy also took the chance to slam the unknown party which leaked the list of URLs, saying they could be the target of criminal prosecution.

"ACMA is investigating this matter and is considering a range of possible actions it may take including referral to the Australian Federal Police. Any Australian involved in making this content publicly available would be at serious risk of criminal prosecution," Conroy said.

"The leak and publication of prohibited URLs is grossly irresponsible. It undermines efforts to improve cyber-safety and create a safe online environment for children."

Conroy said that no one who was interested in cyber-safety would condone the leaking of the addresses which included URLs relating to child sexual abuse, rape, incest, bestiality, sexual violence and detailed instruction in crime.

The real ACMA blacklist had been formed in 2000 and was currently provided to filtering software vendors, Conroy said.

He also outlined how far ACMA's powers went in regards to prohibited URLs. "Under current law, ACMA has the power to issue take-down notices for prohibited URLs hosted in Australia. However, it has no power to do the same for content hosted overseas," he said.

Topics: Censorship, Government : AU

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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