[LINK] ACMA Internet Filter List Leaked
rene.lk at libertus.net
Sat Mar 21 17:27:49 EST 2009
On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 12:20:47 +1100, Stilgherrian wrote:
> On 21/03/2009, at 12:06 PM, Eric Scheid wrote:
>> Serious question: is there a procedure/regime at ACMA for reviewing
>> the list
>> entries ... or are they relying on an ad-hoc complaint based
>> system? Not a wise public relations strategy, surely ;-)
> From listening to ACMA staffers answer questions in Senate Estimates,
> I was left with the distinct impression that the flushing of bad
> entries happened relatively infrequently.
Yes, it's unclear. In Feb 2008 Estimates ACMA said they update their
blacklist "weekly" but not clear whether that included deleting URLs.
A year later, in Feb 2009 Estimates, Sen Ludlam asked them why the list had
grown from about 800 URLs as they said in Feb 2008 estimates, to 1370 at 30
Nov 2008 according to Conroy answers to QoNs (odd why there was such a huge
increase in less than year given the list has been being compiled since 1
Jan 2000). ACMA's answer was "I think it is probably a combination of
things. It is probably an increase in the complaints coming to us and it
probably was not washed as rigorously as we have been doing over the last
eight or nine months."
Further info in this regard may turn up mid April by which time responses
to Feb 2009 Estimates Questions on Notice are due. One question ACMA took
on notice was:
"Senator LUDLAMIn 2008, how many URLs were added to the blacklist as a
result of investigations under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992?
Ms OLoughlinWe might have to take that on notice because there are some
pluses and minuses in terms of what goes on and what gets washed out. Are
you referring to the calendar year or the financial year?
Senator LUDLAMThe calendar year, I suppose, or just whatever records you
have perhaps going back over the last year or two. My second question was
about the degree of churn and the number that were taken
off. If you could provide a breakdown of both sides of the ledger, that
would be appreciated.
There are, however, two aspects to this issue. One is how often ACMA checks
its list and deletes URLs that no longer contain so-called 'potential
prohibited content' and the second is whether all the filter makers who
receive ACMA notifications actually delete such URLs on advice from ACMA.
(And the same applies to the question of whether all 'approved' filter
makers update their lists with new URLs to be blocked promptly on receipt
of such notification from ACMA, or don't bother to do that more than e.g.
about once a year, unless their list is leaked and it thus becomes apparent
to ACMA that the filter maker's list has not been updated since e.g. August
last year and so maybe ACMA asks questions, and suddenly the list is
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