Another leaked blacklist, another two Crikey stories

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Since Friday’s Crikey story about the leaked blacklist — which Senator Stephen Conroy denied was the actual ACMA blacklist of banned Internet content — there have been further leaks. And two more Crikey stories.

Monday’s piece was Yet another ACMA internet blacklist springs a leak. I explain how the leak unfolded, and how Wikileaks published instructions for extracting the cunningly-named file Websites_ACMA.txt from a certain brand of Internet filtering software — one of the Internet Industry Association’s Family Friendly Filters and one of those provided free to (a few) Australian families by the Howard government’s now-defunct NetAlert scheme.

I also run through Wikileak’s’s legal threats, and Senator Conroy’s latest spin — that the government never intended to block all of the ACMA blacklist, just the “Refused Classification” items. It’s a shame that doesn’t match a list of seven public statements about what’s planned to be blocked.

Tuesday’s was It certainly looks like the ACMA blacklist, eh Senator Conroy?. There’s further evidence that the most recent leaked list is, almost certainly, the actual ACMA blacklist. I also look at Senator Nick Minchin’s daft attempt to portray Conroy as Big Brother over a perfectly ordinary-looking government tender for media monitoring service.

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6 comments

  1. RobinGoodfellow’s avatar

    According to Australian IT one of the ISPs participating in the trial of the internet filter is already pulling out.

    The quote I like the most is from iiNet’s Chief executive Michael Malone: “To use Conroy’s own words, the internet filter is now a dead parrot and there’s no point investing any time or money in this”.

  2. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    @RobinGoodfellow: To clarify that point, iiNet had applied to be part of the trials, but had not yet been announced as a participant. Six smaller ISPs were announced as the first batch, but iiNet was still in negotiation. iiNet has now withdrawn their application for a variety of reasons — not the least of which is that iiNet wanted to run a proper “blind trial” but the DBCDE couldn’t agree.

    1. Gail’s avatar

      Did you notice Verity Pravda has reappeared on Crikey? Rather than post in the comments on the articles, posts are here and here in Comments, corrections, clarifications, and c*ckups

      The most recent is terrifying:

      And, by the way, if we plan the filter right we only need to install it on the transit links out of the country rather than in every ISP – that is a lot more efficient and a lot more controlled.

      Followed by a claim that the revised changes to FOI would be somehow protective.

      Who is this person? That is exactly what China does. FFS.

      1. Stilgherrian’s avatar

        @Gail: I did note the return of Verity Pravda, yes. She (or he?) has been commenting on the Crikey website because comments there are automatically published (though presumably with inappropriate material removed). Emailing a comment for the Crikey daily email means you compete with others for limited space, and are much less likely to be seen — though if you do get published you reach wider audience.

        I replied to Pravda’s second comment thusly:

        Ah, Verity, I was missing you! Well, not really. But that’s how comments like this are supposed to start when the Minister’s Special Little Troll re-appears after claiming they wouldn’t be commenting on my writing again, eh? As it happens, I only mentioned Conroy as Big Brother in order to point out Senator Minchin’s stupidity in trying in invoke the idea in relation to a standard media monitoring process.

        Still, what I don’t understand is why Senator Conroy himself isn’t disowning this flawed process as a creature of the Howard government. He’s got his expert panel meeting in May. He’s got a review of existing research in the pipeline. He’s got a technical trial or something or other happening. And yet he’s still The Invisible Man on this issue.

        Overnight I’ve realised that maybe Conroy’s invisibility is because every time he does appear, even to talk abut something else, Internet filtering gets raised. I’ll be interesting to see how he goes on ABC1’s Q&A tonight.

        1. Gail’s avatar

          In this instance I think the word is shill. Both of the major issues Conroy is charged with managing are in a shambles. He’s been hiding from the press for several months and is always unavailable for comment. Perhaps his union heavy tactics don’t work so well on the general public and he has no Plan B.

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