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Gambling News Down Under: Australia Website Blacklist Debacle

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Mar/24/2009

Evidence is mounting that the list of websites published by Wikileaks is almost certainly ACMA's "secret" blacklist. Senator Stephen Conroy claimedthe first leaked list, dated August 2008, was too long to be real. 2395 URLs instead of 1600-odd. However, more recent lists, leaked late Friday night, are another story.

"There's not much if any room for doubt that the Wikileaked lists of 11 and 18 March are anything other than the ACMA blacklist," says Irene Graham, who maintains censorship information website Libertus.net.

Even apart from the giveaway file name, "Websites_ACMA.txt", ACMA'sstatistics for November 2008 say they added an item "RC-Publication" that month. That means an electronic version of a print publication, like a book or magazine (remember them?), which had been "Refused Classification". It's the only "RC-Publication" item ACMA has ever blacklisted.

When books are banned, it's not a secret. The Classification Review Board'sdatabase shows, to choose a completely random example, that on 27 February, 2007, they banned The Peaceful Pill Handbook by Phillip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart.

Mainstream media reported that Nitschke then published the book online in October 2008, hosted outside Australia. The leaked blacklist dated 11 March, 2009, shows the relevant website added on 12 November, 2008 -- the same month ACMA added their solitary banned book to their list. Coincidence? Yeah right.  

"This is turning into the Grim Reaper and Y2K of 2009 all in one!" says Australian Media Man, Greg Tingle. "I wouldn't be surprised if this stays one of the hottest news stories in Australia for all of this year.  This effects ever man, women and child.  The word on the street is that the Australian government has gone to far and will be thrown out of office at the next election."

Alistair Prescott Reporting for Gambling911.com

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