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Govt's website black list leaked on internet -

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Govt's website black list leaked on internet

Broadcast: 19/03/2009

Reporter: John Stewart

Part of the Federal Government's top secret black list of banned websites has been leaked to an
overseas internet site. Most of the list contains website addresses for sites which contain child
pornography. Anti censorship campaigners say the leak shows that attempts by governments to filter
the internet will fail.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES: Some internet addresses from the Federal Government's top secret black list of banned
website, have been leaked to an overseas internet site.

Most of the list contains website addresses for sites which contain child pornography.

While the Government insists it's not the official blacklist, anti-censorship campaigners say the
leak shows that attempts by governments to filter the internet will fail.

John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART: It's a list the Government did not want you to see, but today parts of it were freely
available on a whistleblower's website called Wikileaks.

The list of websites banned by the Australian Communications Media Authority mostly relate to child
pornography. But the list published on Wikileaks also includes online gambling websites, Wikipedia
entries, euthanasia sites and links to YouTube.

Anti-censorship campaigners say the leak is proof that the Government's internet filter trials are
futile.

STILGHERRIAN, TECHNOLOGY WRITER, CRIKEY.COM.AU: As soon as you try and make something secret, there
will be someone who wants it to be not secret. Either because they feel politically that it's wrong
that it's secret, or for monetary gain. I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there who'd
pay good money to get their hands on the current list and distribute it amongst people who would
find the material of value to them.

JOHN STEWART: Stilgherrian is a technology writer for the online news site crieky.com. He says the
list also contained some Australian businesses which had nothing offensive on their website but
were still on a banned website.

STILGHERRIAN: Now the story is, his website was hacked into a couple of years ago. It was used by
organised crime to host illegal material but it's been a long time since that was cleaned up. It's
fine, but his website is still on the list.

JOHN STEWART: The owners of the Brisbane based dental surgery did not know that their website was
on a banned list.

KELLY, DENTAL SURGERY MANAGER: We would have not had any foreseeable future with our website
because it would've been banned. We would not have even known them to be banned, it would've come
to the point that someone would've tried to access it and they couldn't because we had no idea.

JOHN STEWART: The Shadow Minister of Communications, Nick Minchin, says the leaking of parts of the
banned list shows just how hard it could be for the Government to bring about a mandatory internet
filter.

NICK MINCHIN, OPPOSITION COMMUNICATIONS SPOKESMAN: So while I condemn completely the leaking of
this list, it does point to the potential dangers of pursuing the internet service provider level
filtering proposal that Senator Conroy is so actively chasing.

JOHN STEWART: Government blacklists of websites from Thailand and Denmark have also been linked on
the internet. The office of the Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says the leaking of parts of
the blacklist is grossly irresponsible and may be referred to the Australian Federal Police.

John Stewart, Lateline.