[LINK] ACMA: Links to links now banned

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Sat May 9 18:39:34 AEST 2009


> Aussie censors implement six degrees of separation policy
> Links to links now banned
> By John Ozimek
> Posted in Law, 7th May 2009 05:02 GMT
> The Australian Government yesterday broke new records for web  
> censorship by requiring the takedown not just of a page containing  
> harmful content, nor even a page linking to harmful content, but a  
> page linking to a link to allegedly harmful content.


> Bulletproof pulled the link. This sequence of events was then  
> reported on by Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc (EFA), who  
> describe themselves as "a non-profit national organisation  
> representing Internet users concerned with on-line freedoms and  
> rights".
> In a report that included the now infamous link, they wrote: "This  
> demonstrates not only that the blacklist targets a wider range of  
> material than child abuse (where the Minister’s rhetoric has been  
> focused) but also that the lines between art, obscenity and  
> political speech are not as bright and clear as politicians would  
> have us imagine... Viewing or possession [of] RC content is not in  
> itself illegal unless the content falls afoul of some other statute,  
> such as those governing child-abuse material".
> They added: "Despite the Minster’s (ridiculous) assertions that he  
> means well and we should take it on faith that the filter will be  
> effective and benign, this latest episode demonstrates how serious  
> run-ins with the censors can be, that it does not only happen to  
> purveyors of the ‘filth’ politicians rail against. These sorts of  
> incidents will multiply as mandatory filtering is introduced, more  
> controversial content is prohibited, and mirroring, linking and  
> circumvention become common."
> It was therefore drearily predictable that ACMA would descend on EFA  
> like the proverbial ton of bricks – and lo, yesterday they did  
> exactly that, serving their latest "link-deletion notice" on EFA.
> This time, EFA pointed out the cost of this sort of action. They  
> said: "This system, which costs Australian taxpayers millions each  
> year, is clearly unworkable". However, there are also clear  
> political dangers. As they further observed: "If a link to a  
> prohibited page is not allowed, what about a link to a link? At what  
> number of hops does hyperlink become acceptable?"

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request

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