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Blacklisted hyperlinks could bring $11,000 fine each day

     
8:02 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.

Wikileaks was added to the blacklist for publishing a leaked document containing Denmark's list of banned websites.

The move by the Australian Communications and Media Authority comes after it threatened the host of online broadband discussion forum Whirlpool last week with a $11,000-a-day fine over a link published in its forum to another page blacklisted by ACMA - an anti-abortion website.

Article Link : [smh.com.au...]

Not just blacklisted sites.

.... what are the broader legal implications of linking to sites that don't want you to link to them , or indeed illegal sites ?

Woz

9:15 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Good to see the SMH are calling their bluff with a link.

Onya
Woz

10:18 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It seems bizarre to fine people for linking to sites on a hidden list.
How could they know they should not link when the list is secret?
10:59 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So lemme get this straight, if your site is hosted in Australia, you are not allowed to link to these 1300+ sites, but they're not going to tell you who they are?

Surely the solution is not to host your site in Australia?

1:28 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Very happy not to be living in Australia.
3:36 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What a way to kill links to your competitors- just send e-mail to all the sites linking to them saying your competitor's sites are on the blacklist!
5:37 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Mmmm. Think of the additional problems caused by Parasite Hosting.

What if the link is nofollowed? Can you bring down competitor blogs or other UGC sites by posting links?

5:47 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's all a big linkbaiting scheme!
8:06 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If they don't want the site linked to it needs to be taken offline. This smacks of book burning to me.
8:51 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If they don't want the site linked to it needs to be taken offline.

That's a much easier solution, but much less profitable.
8:54 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That is the strangest thing I have ever heard.
9:44 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This is absolutely insane. Only a few years ago, many of us would be forgiven thinking that such overt censorship tactics had been forever eliminated - at least, in countries we call democracies.

Apparently, Australia and the UK (which now also has free speech-stifling repressive laws) do not qualify as such any more.

11:45 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Most of the sites on the list are disposable #*$! domains which are no longer active. There could be millions of these which are easily moved.
1:14 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Whats the deal with all this neo fascist government in the name of democracy nowdays? How is Australia any different than Hitler, Stalin or a Commie in this regard?
Am I the only one who can't see any difference?

Oh lets ban Youtube also, because I saw two queens one cup.

1:50 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The Australian 'internet filter' is aimed to stop minors from viewing #*$!ography.
The Australian government is claiming a voter mandate for the measure, because the religious right got their petitions out.
The Minister (thats government minister, not minister of religion!) charged with implementation isn't backing down, despite massive backlash from the IT community.
getup.org.au has run a major campaign against it.
A large proportion of the child protection industry is also recognising that this is neither an effective nor sensible solution to the problem.
I can see this being an election issue, next time around.
The system is still 'in trial' and we are expecting that the results on performance will be bad enough that it will can the system - but we aren't holding our breath.

(Aussies on the forum over 18 - you've written to your local MP and State Senators, right?)

2:48 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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leadegroot, out of curiosity could you explain how the religious right was powerful enough to get this through and then anti-abortion sites ended up on the black list? That's sort of an interesting turn around.
3:57 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Come on, How many of you ultra-lib WebmasterWorld members would like to see Rush Limbaugh [.com] on that list?

Admit it. Don't be hypocrites...

4:02 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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@woop01 - as I understand it, it was the graphic nature of the anti-abortion material that got it banned, (I suspect there was some video, although I haven't been there myself) rather than its general anti-abortion message. Someone on another forum suggested that the wiki abortion page be submitted, but the consensus was that plain information doesn't meet the rules.

Its one of those things - no matter who you are, once you set up a government department with secrets, they'll do what they want, not necessarily what you set them up for.

(but really, don't ask me to explain! I've never been able to comprehend the inner workings of the mind of a politician! ;))

(sorry mods, not sure this is anywhere near on topic :( )

5:04 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What if I made a comment on a blog post using the link of the blacklisted site, would it cause the owner of the blog to be fined?
5:11 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Come on, How many of you ultra-lib WebmasterWorld members would like to see Rush Limbaugh [.com] on that list?

Probably as many as ultra-conservative webmasterworld members who would like to see Michael Moore .com on the list.

What an inane post.

6:01 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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potentialgeek

"Very happy not to be living in Australia."

Ditto, Amen

With the world's most efficient tax office, rampant police corruption (for a so called 1st world country) and a series of federal agencies who perhaps should be on everyone's blacklist (vis-a-vis the Australian Federal Police and the "Bali 9"), they can keep their BBQ'd shrimp and near beer. So my Aussie based forum gets spammed, I do not know, 1 year later I get a bill for over $4 million?! Sounds like Indonesia.

9:07 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So where exactly is safe harbour anymore?

DMCA rules out the US.

Similar laws to DMCA rule out UK.

Aparently, Australia is now out.

The CRTC is thinking of trying to impose CanCon laws on the net (if you're Canuck, you prolly have equal love for both CanCon and the CRTC).

Net Neutrality? The EU and the UN are arguing over the definition of the term, a good sign we're screwed.

Where do we go? Really?

9:16 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Governments and politicians are the same all over the world now a days. The difference between so called democracies and Chinese commies or religious fanatics in middle east no longer exists.

I am glad I don't live in Australia and don't host any site in Australia.

[edited by: iThink at 9:19 am (utc) on Mar. 18, 2009]

9:20 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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rampant police corruption (for a so called 1st world country)

Two Australian states, Queensland and New South Wales, publicly purged a bunch of corrupt police about two decades ago. That's old news, not particularly relevant, and is a pretty cheap shot. In fact, it's fair to say that the statement is flat-out wrong.

Very happy not to be living in Australia.

you don't know what you're talking about.

12:51 pm on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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yeah, you dont want to live here, the year round great weather, endless ocean and outback, nice people, open minds and a rather under-exploited internet scene are a real pain.

This is the first nail in the coffin of the internet filter but might be a smoke screen for something a little less heavy handed around the corner.

2:20 pm on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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i'd say if it was a link to a spy or malware site that downloaded some garbage onto your computer, i could think of a number of things a violator can be liable:

- computer damages
- identity theft and the money costing in fraudulent purchases
- time lost from work to fix issues with id theft

i had to lose 2 days of work with my cousin when his license was stolen, and someone used it to get $2k in parking tickets and register a vehicle in another state. if dl information is on your computer and somebody does the same thing, you could lose time that you could have used making money.

2:48 pm on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I can't see why it's a big deal, just don't link to "questionable" sites. If anything, this will help most of you rather than hurt you as it will help clean up the web a bit.

Hopefully you all realize that the web will be cleaned up someday, best to keep your site legal before the #*$! hits the fan. In 5-10 years the web will be a much different place.

3:12 pm on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully you all realize that the web will be cleaned up someday... In 5-10 years the web will be a much different place

Cleaned up by whom?

On who's behalf?

By who's standard of 'clean' (religious fundamentalists and tree-hugging hippies take different views, as will different countries)?

At host side or ISP? or in transit?

And again, can you get hit if the link is nofollowed from User Generated Content?

Can I kill the WikiMonster?

[edited by: Shaddows at 3:13 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2009]

8:13 pm on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Good point about UGC. What a pain that will be for site owners.
8:46 pm on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Cleaned up by whom?

you see it now with the amount of bloggers and webmasters that are getting sued for libel.

On who's behalf?

organizations being defamed

By who's standard of 'clean' (religious fundamentalists and tree-hugging hippies take different views, as will different countries)?

a court of law's

And again, can you get hit if the link is nofollowed from User Generated Content?

another argument substantiate its use

Can I kill the WikiMonster?

just don't get caught ;)

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44