Internet crusaders poking holes in Conroy’s filter

Incompetent Australian communications regulator, the ACMA, has really been given the run around over the past little while. My last post gave a bit of a description of the recent farce that has surrounded the ACMA’s blacklisting of an anti-abortion website, and subsequent threat of fines to Whirlpool if they chose not to terminate their display of the URL in question.

iTnews reports today that brave Internet users have placed the offending link on the ACMA’s own Wikipedia entry. The iTnews article questions whether a “link deletion notice” will be sent to Wikipedia’s web host, as one was sent to Whirlpool’s. This seems somewhat unlikely, but the more important and interesting question to me is: if the filter were in place today, would the ACMA be obliged to blacklist their own Wikipedia entry?

If the answer is “yes”, how far will this go? Will my blog be blacklisted for linking to the ACMA’s Wikipedia entry which in turn links to a blacklisted website? If not, why not? What’s the difference between linking to a banned website and linking to a website which has a link to a banned website?

Those of us who denounce Stephen Conroy and his ridiculous Mandatory Internet Filter have known for a long time that the scheme is unworkable on a theoretical basis, but it’s bittersweet that we are now seeing practical evidence of its unworkability. If Conroy doesn’t grow up, admit his zealous support of this policy was disgusting, and resign his position as Minister, we will see more and more problems like this.

UPDATE: The link to the anti-abortion site is repeatedly being taken off and put back on the Wikipedia page. A screenshot can be found here.


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