Technology Security

Australian Internet blacklist leaked?

We received news from Sophos that alleged list of sites banned by the ACMA, authority in charge of Great Australian Firewall.  In case you didn’t knew earlier ACMA [Australian Communications and Media Authority] is a body of Australian government. This authority created a list of 2400 websites that are not allowed to be approached by well… Australian public.

As it happens in a globally connected world, this supposedly hush-hush, top secret list allegedly found its way out of ACMA. According to the sources that had seen the list, all the websites on this leaked list contain content which is indeed illegal, such as child pornography, abuse, snuff etc. but also a link to some hacking websites. Thankfully for ACMA, the list of banned sites did not contain addresses such as Wikipedia, as recent British SNAFU proved.

The list contains addresses to the websites that are mostly banned by Sophos own Internet firewall, but it also contained interesting links to anti-abortion and a whistleblower site. All in all this list is turning into an entertaining PR disaster. Next time Aussie government criticizes China for its Internet policies, the reply will probably be "look into your own backyard first. Have a nice day".

We hope that the list won’t be expanded with the sites containing inappropriate political views, because if you’re not on the Internet, you’re not anywhere. The public protests against the Great Chinese Firewall are only valid unless you do the same and open up the Great British Firewall, Great Australian Firewall and so on. Yet, we didn’t see Germans coming on the streets publicly protesting British censorship of The Scorpions, famous German pop-rock band from the 1980s.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the problem in the first place: censorship. Regardless what is your reasoning, censorship is the beginning and end of all problems. You can see more details about this list if you visit Sophos’ blog.