Secret lists of websites in two countries have been leaked online to Wikileaks, a known site for publishing secret information and putting it to the public, as the Australian Government has announced that they will delay the live trial of the controversial internet filtering scheme that would, according to experts, cripple our internet connection.
Denmark’s list of 3863 websites was published yesterday onto Wikileaks, and is to believed to contain websites that contain illegal material, such as child pornography. The government compared its own filtering scheme to the ones in countries like the aforementioned Denmark. However, unlike Australia’s plans, the Danish filter is optional, with the big 3 internet service providers a part of the fitler.
Earlier in the week, Thailand’s filter was published on the web, with 1203 sites being listed – effectively banned from being viewed in Thailand. The sites, including hundreds of YouTube videos, blogs, cartoons and an article from the Economist magazine have been banned because of “Lèse majesté” – also known as criticising the king. Only Thailand practise this law.
Also noted from Wikileaks’ press release, out of the YouTube videos being blocked, 24 Charlie Chaplin videos and all of Hillary Clinton’s campaign videos have been added to the censorship lists. Also, numerous pages on Thai discussion boards have been blocked, even though they are moderated and self-censored to avoid being closed by bureaucrats.
Delaying the Live Trial
The Government has said last night that the trial of the new filter after news surfaced about an Internet Industry Association report, commissioned by the previous Howard government, found that a web filter would be ineffective and easy to circumvent. It has delayed the trial to begin in mid-January, and an announcement on who will be participating will also be announced at that time.
The federal opposition has slammed the government of the bungled handling of the filter, and compared it to its bungled handling of the national broadband network.
"Prior to the election, the now government, in opposition, made these broad-sweeping promises… to eliminate child pornography from the internet with this filter system," Senator Nick Minchin, opposition communications spokesman, said on ABC radio. "Now they’ve got to make good on their promise and they’re finding it much more difficult in government of course than in opposition."
The filter trials were to begin today, Christmas Eve.