Thursday, March 19, 2009

Censor This

I'd never even thought about visiting Australia's most popular homemade porn site, until the government decided for me that soon I shouldn't be allowed to see it :

A secret list of websites deemed illegal by the communications watchdog has been leaked to the public, and includes one of the most popular sites in the country.

The site, which cannot name, is the 38th most popular site in Australia, according to web ranking service Alexa.

It is a popular pornography website estimated to be visited by millions of Australians.
It's called YouPorn. People vid themselves fucking and post the vid there for whoever's interested in watching them fuck. There are thousands of homemade porn vids at the site, watched by millions of Australians.

The Wikileaks webpage that broke the story of what sites and pages are actually on the internet blacklist has now been censored for most Australians : wiki/Australian_government_secret_ACMA_internet_censorship_blacklist,_6_Aug_2008
As has the rest of Wikileaks. All of it. Every single page. Which will make any number of the world's most powerful corporations and the governments of the United States, the UK, Israel, China and Saudi Arabia very happy indeed.

Some of the banned or blocked sites and pages on the Rudd government internet blacklist :

From what I can work out, it will be (or already is) illegal for me to directly link to the above pages, but it's not illegal for me to tell you that you can cut and paste those URLs into the address window and hit return. It's not yet illegal to visit those sites, but they're believed to be on the proposed mandatory internet filtering list. So one day soon, it might be.

More on the pages the government does not, or at soon will not, allow you to see :

* A page of 'weird pictures' on Wikipedia that has collected the weirdest pictures that have appeared on other Wikipedia pages. It's mostly bondage, fetish and Karma Sutra-type sexual positions illustrations.

* Anti-abortion websites that contain images of feotuses, along with Christian websites that are linking to graphic anti-abortion websites.

* A couple of pages on Ways To Kill Yourself. Some are serious, like hanging, others are ridiculously silly, and purposely so, like trying to microwave your head.

* Pages that have been online, in various forms, since about 1988 that detail how to cause low-key chaos in your neighbourhood, how to make your own guns and how to boobytrap your home against intruders.

* Pages of graphic images of civilians killed and wounded in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

* A page on how to use poisons to kill yourself. The most shocking thing on that page is just how many common pharmaceuticals can be used for suicide, and how small some of the fatal doses can actually be.

An interesting conspiracy theory on just what the Rudd government may be up to, from a Reddit commenter :
The Internet filtering plan seems to have been a ploy by the Labor government to win favour with Stephen Fielding, a socially conservative Christian Evangelical senator.

However, there is now no way he could support an Internet filter if it meant that it would block Australians from accessing an anti-abortion website. Any chance of an Internet filter in Australia is now dead in the water.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Labor government was somehow involved in this, as a quick way of killing off an unpopular policy without getting offside with Fielding.
No doubt there will be more to come on this....

UPDATE : Wikileaks is now available once more to Australians, and here's the list of blacklisted websites.

I'd seriously advise all readers of The Orstrahyun to not click any of the links on the Wikileaks 'ACMA Blacklist' page . From the URLs alone, there are clearly hundreds of truly demented and illegal sites there, the kind you never want showing up on your permanent websurfing records. Plus, it's not yet known if some site you visited yesterday or three years ago, even out of simple curiosity, could can be used to prosecute you in the future.

Frankly, seeing the URLs alone of many of the blacklist sites is enough to make anyone feel utter revulsion.

But should fetish sites be categorised, and banned, alongside child porn sites?

Will the growing blacklist eventually include sites that carry political tracts of what we now label, or will soon label, "extremists"?

Will mainstream media companies, already losing lots of business to independent bloggers and independent news sites, eventually lobby the ACMA to have some of the competition taken down?

And what is likely to become the most contentious question of all : How will anti-hate speech laws be used to censor sites that may be labeled anti-religious, or offensive to any one religion?