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Yellow Pages could face fines up to $11,000 per day... [Mar. 19th, 2009|09:59 pm]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |confusedconfused]

According to iT Wire

by Adam Turner
Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Telstra-owned Yellow Pages online directory is just one of more than 40 sites which faces fines of up to $11,000 per day for linking to the website of Maroochy Boarding Kennels - wrongly included on Australia's secret list of banned websites .

The Maroochydore boarding kennel and a Queensland dentist are included on the Australian Media and Communications Authority's secret list of 2,395 banned websites, which has been published on whistle-blower site Wikileaks. Both apparently banned sites are linked to by dozens of Australian websites, including online directories such as the Yellow Pages.

The list of 2,395 sites is supposed to target child pornography but lists online gambling sites, YouTube links, regular porn and fetish sites. It is to form the basis of Australia's mandatory ISP-level internet filtering list.

The ACMA threatens fines of up to $11,000 a day for linking to sites included on secret blacklist. There is no recourse for sites listed, sparking fears the list could be abused for political or business espionage purposes.

The inclusion of Queensland businesses Dental Distinction and Maroochy Boarding Kennels would seem to confirm fears that sites could be incorrectly added to the list. According to reports, Dental Distinction was previously a victim of hackers which may have triggered its inclusion on the list.

The publishing of the secret blacklist may signal open warfare between free speech advocates and the Australian government.


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From what I heard on an ABC Breakout podcast it appears that "legitimate" websites are sometimes hacked for the purposes of uploading and downloading "illegal" material (where "illegal" can mean "only partly illegal").

In any case the printed version of the Yellow Pages contains ads for adult stores where semi illegal material is being sold. I notice the New South Wales police were out in force on Penrith station today using sniffer dogs to detect illegal drugs and booking people for not having a valid railway ticket. Around 15 to 20 police officers were involved and one sniffer dog.

There was no evidence of them targeting the three adult video shops in the area which routinely sell semi legal material (illegal to sell, but legal to own and purchase) despite having raided two stores in or near Penrith High Street in 2005 allegedly (according to the local press) with the intent to charge the stores with criminal charges under the Enforcement Act of the New South Wales government. There are now three adult video stores in or near Penrith High Street.

I understand Nathan Rees (Premier of New South Wales) will be in Penrith next week for a function. He and his government seem to be oblivious to the illegal sale of semi legal material even though the matter has been raised repeatedly in the New South Wales Parliament.

The Minister for Broadbanned and the Digital Economy has denied the leaked list is the true ACMA list at the alleged date of the alleged leaked list but despite this denial it is seemingly a criminal offence to distribute copies of it or to access URLs listed on the allegedly fake list which seemingly contains URLs to kennels and dentists and from what I have been reading to perfectly legal Australian gambling sites.

I have booked an early morning train trip to Canberra on Saturday to absorb as much as I can of the "March in March" protest at Parliament House and have arranged a booking to Brisbane next Tuesday where the issue is being debated at the Queensland University of Technology. On Wednesday when I return it will be my 65th. birthday. Brisbane is quite pleasant on a sunny day. It is actually one of my favourite cities. I have a confirmed reservation at the event despite there being a similar discussion in Sydney sometime in April and have arranged accommodation at a hotel at Kangaroo Point.

see also the Somebody Think of the Children blog

lots of links related to this major news story not possible to list in this short posting
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