A leaked list of \’banned\’ web pages leaked on an anti-censorship site is not an official blacklist, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says.
Wikileaks, an online repository for secret documents collected by whistleblowers, published what it claimed was a list of sites classified \’dangerous\’ by the Australian government.
It contained 2,395 entries, including child pornography, fetish and gambling sites, but also the webpages of a boarding kennel and a dentist, both based in Queensland.
But Conroy insists the list is not the one the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) provides to internet filtering companies.
“I am aware of reports that a list of URLs has been placed on a website,” he said on Thursday evening. “This is not the ACMA blacklist.
Publication \’grossly irresponsible\’
“There are some common URLs to those on the ACMA blacklist.
“However… there are URLs on the published list that have never been the subject of a
complaint or ACMA investigation, and have never been included on the ACMA blacklist.”
Conroy said the publication of the list was “grossly irresponsible”, and that it was under investigation, warning that any Australian found to be involved was “at serious risk of criminal prosecution”.
“The ACMA blacklist includes URLs relating to child sexual abuse, rape, incest, bestiality, sexual violence and detailed instruction in crime,” he said.
“No one interested in cyber safety would condone the leaking of this list”.
Australia \’a democratic backwater\’
Earlier, Wikileaks had condemned the Australian government for its attempt to censor the internet.
“Wikileaks is used to exposing secret government censorship in developing countries, [but] we now find Australia acting like a democratic backwater,” the group said on its site.
“Apparently without irony, ACMA threatens fines of up to $11,000 a day for linking to sites on its secret, unreviewable, censorship blacklist – a list the government hopes to expand into a giant national censorship machine.”
Wikileaks itself is also included on the censorship list.