Posted March 18, 2009 8:16 am by with 5 comments

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It’s been a little over 2 years since Australia announced it would move forward with plans to start censoring the internet. Now there’s a mini-uproar down-under because Australian regulators plan to impose AU$11,000-day-fines (about $7,200 US) to anyone that links to banned content.

While most of the banned sites are publishing illegal content new action by the Australian Communications and Media Authority has raised concerns that the regulator could add to the lists sites that it objects to, but are not actually illegal.

For example:

The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.

Wikileaks was added to the blacklist for publishing a leaked document containing Denmark’s list of banned websites.

The blacklist includes 1370 sites but the government is pushing to expand that list to more than 10,000 sites.

There’s a lot of really nasty content online, but is imposing $7k-a-day fines really the way a modern western democracy wants to go? What if the US followed suit? Could it even happen in a country that prides itself of a citizen’s freedom of speech?

This kind of government censorship sends shivers down my spine, how about you?

  • Jack

    Policy like this will really hurt Australia developmentally and will only create even more of a taboo for the subject. Mark Australia off of my list of potential retirement locations.

  • Now the United States can get even more ahead of Australia. It really is too bad though. I used to want to visit Australia. Now I think I will just stay in the good old US of A.

    Thanks for the update,

    Nate @ Debt-free Scholar’s last blog post..Introducing…Top Ten Posts For Frugal Scholars

  • So does the “Blacklist” link to the banned sites? I guess they’ll have to fine themselves if it does :.)

  • Ouch, while I salute their effort I don’t think this approach is going to be as affective as they could hope. Besides, in the global market who really cares what one country does (or doesn’t do) when servers can be relocated in a few minutes.

    Christopher Ross’s last blog post..How to make a post sticky in WordPress

  • I think the value of the internet is that it is free and uncensored, to a certain degree. I think the internet should stay free from government interference, as that’s what makes it so great.

    Blake Griffin’s last blog post..The Top Three Content Management Systems