Leaked list not ACMA blacklist: Conroy

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.

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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

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

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 the site.

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Talkback

14 comments
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  • Conundrum

    So publishing, or linking to, a list which may have some similar links to those on the "official Blacklist" will get you in trouble. Fair cop, but how is one supposed to know what is banned and what is not without seeing an official list?
    anonymous
  • Say what now...

    If it isn't the list, then how can they charge anyone? If it is in regards to posting those supposed few that are common with the 'real' list, then how can you hold someone responsible for posting a link when it there is no legal way of finding out what is and isn't illegal.
    anonymous
  • Sorry!? Thought crime much?

    If it's not the list, how can anyone be charged with disseminating its content or leaking it?

    This farce grows more ridiculous every day. Even if the list contains material we wouldn't want others to see, all the URLs are technically publicly accessible (we don't have border blocking yet). You can't stop people from thinking or being curious.

    Or have we implemented Room 101 now?
    anonymous
  • Subset

    The ACMA blacklist as of 6 August 2008 is probably a subset of the published list, which perhaps has had additional sites added to suit a particular filter vendor.
    anonymous
  • Censorship

    This is Australia in 2009. NO list should be secret. NO sites should be censored. Adults should be FREE to make their own choices. Children should be EDUCATED.
    anonymous
  • How do we know ?

    How do we know if Sn Conroy is telling the truth ? I mean, my first thought when I saw this was "Of course he'd say that".

    Knowing that he has a motive for denying the veracity of the leaked list, AND knowing that some inoffensive sites (like the dentist)) are on my employers filter AND knowing politricians....

    Why didn't someone ask him to prove that the wikileaks list is not the ACMA list ?
    anonymous
  • Right...

    So basically the list that has turned up is not correct but we can't see the "real" list to make certain? Right... pull the other one..
    anonymous
  • Well said..

    Let parents educate and control their own children. Let adults decide for themselves what they want to see.

    To my knowledge, no children access child porn, only adults. In 15 years of surfing, I am yet to see a child porn site. So what are we protecting here? Why this delerium about kiddy porn? How many Australians are involved in this? My guess would be less than 0.001%.
    anonymous
  • So, how many bloody lists are there?!

    So, is the real list from the real Stephen Conroy and the fake list from the fake Stephen Conroy? Wait - you can get in trouble for spreading the fake list, so it must be a real list, which means that the real list is the fake one...no, that can't be right either. Do we have two real lists and no fake ones or could there be two fake ones and no real ones? Then again, we've only seen one list, so that may be the fake...no real...no fake list and the other one doesn't exist.

    Could we just get the fake Stephen Conroy to be the minister and throw all of these idiotic lists out.
    anonymous
  • agreed

    exactly. very good point indeed.
    anonymous
  • Firewall

    If we are getting this crazy idea of a firewall.

    Why does the list need to be secret. I mean we can't access it anyway?

    What is the harm in it being public?
    anonymous
  • Couldn't agree more

    with your suggestion. If the sites are blocked, what is the harm in know which one are blocked
    anonymous
  • Not the real list...

    But we're going to block access to it anyway.

    "This week saw Australia joining China and the United Arab Emirates as the only countries censoring Wikileaks." - Sydney Morning Herald. March 19, 2009.

    Chilling to read that.

    I didn't vote for this and I'm tired of the assault on civil liberty, which this is, just in another form.
    anonymous
  • SAGE

    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.
    DOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO
    anonymous