Shhh…. Wikileaks.

Via Catallaxy articles and comments this week I’ve learnt that hyperlinking, in a blog article such as this, to one of the sites on the governments secret list can cost you $11000 per day in fines. I wish they would publish the list so I could avoid making that mistake. Although when Wikileaks did publish the list (presumably to help out law abiding citizens such as myself) we then learnt that linking to the Wikileaks leaked copy of the list can cost you 10 years in jail. Ouch.

Caution means I’m too scared to link to the wikileaks site. However the URL begins with wikileaks, ends in org, and there’s nothing in the middle. Shhh, don’t tell anybody, it’s a very dangereous website. And try and keep your voice down because “they” might be reading this site.

In other news Wikileaks put out this press release;

WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE (for immediate release)
Thu Mar 19 23:07:20 EDT 2009

“Wikileaks to Conroy: Go after our source and we will go after you.”

The Stockholm based publisher of Wikileaks today issued a warning to the Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Steven Conroy, who is responsible for Australian internet censorship.

Senator Conroy issued an official media release yesterday in response to Wikileaks’ release of last year’s confidential Australian internet censorship blacklist. The Senator said that his department, “is investigating this matter and is considering a range of possible actions it may take including referral to the Australian Federal Police. Any Australian involved in making this content publicly available would be at serious risk of criminal prosecution.”

The Senator is perhaps unware of the legal and diplomatic risks associated with the statement.

Sunshine Press Legal Adviser Jay Lim stated:

“Under the Swedish Constitution’s Press Freedom Act, the right of a confidential press source to anonymity is protected, and criminal penalties apply to anyone acting to breach that right.

Wikileaks source documents are received in Sweden and published from Sweden so as to derive maximum benefit from this legal protection. Should the Senator or anyone else attempt to discover our source we will refer the matter to the Constitutional Police for prosecution, and, if necessary, ask that the Senator and anyone else involved be extradited to face justice for breaching fundamental rights.”

Senator Conroy may wish to consider the position of the South African Competition Commission, which decided to cancel its own high profile leak investigation in January after being advised of the legal ramifications of interfering with Sunshine Press sources.

Please don’t tell anybody I told you about this.

26 thoughts on “Shhh…. Wikileaks.

  1. I just don’t see the angle on this one at all. Why on earth are Labor pursuing this dead duck policy of censorship? It’s just not winning them any friends.

  2. Sure it is. There are enough social conservatives that would think this is a great idea. They poll test any major policy that would cause them heat.

  3. I suppose you’re right jc. It’s just such a bummer! There are more effective ways for parents to filter content for their kids and it is completely free and doesn’t lend itself to becoming an instrument of oppression.

    How is it that I still manage to assume that political policy isn’t just a cynical vote grabbing ploy? I simply must stop being so gullible.

  4. “There are more effective ways for parents to filter content for their kids and it is completely free and doesn’t lend itself to becoming an instrument of oppression.”

    And there are more effective ways for parents to stop their kids getting fat than to ban Soft Drinks at school. The problem is parents are lazy, they don’t want to do it themselves, they expect the government to ban anything that might hurt their child so they don’t have to do any parenting themselves.

  5. Yobbo; your trouble is that you have far too much faith in human nature, the parents you mention don’t give a shit whether the government does it for them or not. They can’t be bothered.

    The ‘saving the little children’ thing is just a strawman designed to give them control of what you can see, while anyone who opposes them will be subjected to accusations of not caring about child abuse, while poker sites are being banned.

    Mate; You really have to treat the sate with a little skepticism. 🙂

  6. Some parents might be slightly different to other parents — what can the government do? Replace all parents with robots so that each child can have an identical childhood?

    Any human being has the ability to take responsibility for their own actions, many people have had tough, abusive childhoods and then grown up to become phenomenal adults. That doesn’t mean that it’s ok to abuse kids, but it does mean that the best thing we can do for them is to encourage a free and open society, so that children who are abused (and there will always be children who are abused) will have the freedom to create a life for themselves without interference from coercive forces.

  7. Terje,

    I agree, although I don’t have and have no desire to ever have ankle biters, generalizations like this do more harm than good (generally speaking!).
    I would like to see a decent bit of social darwinism come into play here. The “somebody oughta do somethin'” brigade have got to realize that they are the somebody. It is not always somebody else’s fault/responsibility. To paraphrase my grandmother “the (insert diety of your choice) helps those who help themselves”, not a bad adage to live by.

    As far as Mr Conroy’s (let’s face it he really is a twit) actions are concerned I think we can all agree he is leading us down a dangerous path that is going to end in tears. Too bad the current work place reforms didn’t manage a double dissolution, I was kinda looking forward to that…

  8. Correction to the last sentence “Too bad the current work place reforms didn’t manage to trigger a double dissolution, I was kinda looking forward to that…”

    I talk good English though but…

  9. The Maoists didn’t release enough propaganda on this one. Don’t worry, after that $900 ‘stimulus’ hits the peasant bank accounts and the people have their new iphones, it’ll be like taking candy from a baby.

  10. Rudd needs the internet censorship program to cover his ass.

    He is about to give ‘free’ notebooks to all school children. He has to have a good story to tell when some rabid feminist-bible-bashing-bleeding-heart-professional-welfare-mum-victim screams that little joey saw a pair of naked tits on the internet.

    Violating the human rights of 21 million Australians lets him say ‘at least the governent tried’.

    Socialism begats oppression. Oppression begats socialism.

    The State is not your friend.

  11. I know I always repost Reddit comments, but this one is brilliant:

    “There seems to be a bit of controversy on reddit about this, and perhaps I can clear things up a bit.
    In Australia the ACMA has a “blacklist”. It contains a list of websites that “probably” contain illegal content. Although it is perfectly legal for anyone in Australia to access those pages, (as long as they don’t commit a crime in doing so, such as downloading child pornography), it is however illegal for an Australian website to link to a blacklisted webpage. The ACMA hasn’t received much attention in the past because the list only appeared to contain sites that were clearly child pornography.
    Now, the problem is that it appears the proposed Internet filter will block any page on the blacklist (I must emphasise that no internet filter exists at this stage). This has raised a lot of questions, such as who decides what goes on the blacklist, and what content can be deemed illegal.
    Over the last few days, a bunch of anti-censorship activists have been trying to test the boundaries of the legislation. One activist found an anti-abortion website that contained explicit pictures of aborted foetuses. The activist submitted the website to the ACMA, and was informed that the site probably contained illegal content and had been added to the blacklist. At this stage, a whole bunch of activists started linking to the anti-abortion website on as many Australian forums as possible, trying to test whether the government would enforce the law. Yesterday, it became known that had received a request from ACMA to remove the link.
    I think everyone can realise how fucking brilliant this is. 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.
    edit: I should also mention that the wikileaks Danish banned sites page was also submitted to the ACMA by an anti-filter activist.”

  12. speaking of the site you’re not allowed to link to, it apears to be unreachable – has it been blocked already?

  13. “Although when Wikileaks did publish the list (presumably to help out law abiding citizens such as myself) we then learnt that linking to the Wikileaks leaked copy of the list can cost you 10 years in jail.”

    What an oppressive shithole we live in.

    Taxes collected with legislation, ten years gaol for saying what banned websites actually are.

    This really is dire straits stuff and no one seems to care. This is disturbing.

    Rudd has a Charles Stewart complex.

    I’m starting to think Yobbo (Sam Ward) is correct. Maybe we should move to a less oppressive shithole, but that would break my heart.

    An Open Letter to Her Excellency, Quinten Bryce:

    It is your duty to dismiss Rudd and his thuggish Government which has Governed unconstitutionally.

  14. I’ve learnt that hyperlinking, in a blog article such as this, to one of the sites on the governments secret list can cost you $11000 per day in fines.

    What Act please? As far as I can tell there is no such offence.

    linking to the Wikileaks leaked copy of the list can cost you 10 years in jail. Ouch.

    If it’s true, but I don’t think it is. What is the offence? What legislation applies?

  15. Its interesting that our cousins over the other side have the same problem, only possibly worse. Obama has been quietly establishing offices for a number of areas which are in the White House and not subject to Congressional oversight, much to the growing disquiet of both sides. He is now establishing an office of the National Cyber-security Advisor. SJ Reidhead a very widely respected blogger has reported on it:

    “…Forthcoming legislation would wrest cybersecurity responsibilities from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and transfer them to the White House, a proposed move that likely will draw objections from industry groups and some conservatives. CNET News has obtained a summary of a proposal from Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would create an Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, part of the Executive Office of the President. That office would receive the power to disconnect, if it believes they’re at risk of a cyberattack, “critical” computer networks from the Internet.

  16. Michael Sutcliffe – New Hampshire? It’d be cold in winter. It’s true that they don’t take liberty for granted over there – their state motto is Live Free or Die

  17. I’ve got a better idea- claim that new island that is forming near Tonga! Like Minerva, only this would be new land! I don’t know what status this would have in international law, but possession is 9/10ths of the law! (Yes, life would be hazardous for the first few years, but so are all pioneering efforts!)

  18. Go Sunshine Press.

    Ben – I think the censorship (unfortunately) must be quite popular or at least worthy of serious political investigation.
    Because otherwise it would have (and should have) been laughed off, and never had a hearing in the first place.

    Filpe – I certainly hope that comment is right.

    Continuing from Mark’s comment, I also think someone more legally minded could document any unconstitutional activity by the government and try to get an article written up in the papers. Is the CIS or policy magazine onto this unconstitutional angle?
    I reckon it may help knock Kruddy Rudd off his popularity podium.

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