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Censorship Your Rights Online

AU Authority Moves To Censor Net Filtering Protest Site 225

Posted by kdawson
from the shortcutting-the-udrp dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On Friday the Sydney Morning Herald reported that an Internet censorship protest site had been set up under the banner 'Stephen Conroy: Minister for Fascism' and was ironically registered under the very name of the Australian Communications Minister responsible for trying to mandate the compulsory filtering scheme in federal law, stephenconroy.com.au. Within hours of the story being published, auDA, the Australian Domain Name Authority, had shut down the site, giving the owners only 3 hours to respond to a request to justify their eligibility for the domain. Normally auDA would allow several days to weeks for this process. An appeal to request an extension was denied, with no reason given. The site was quickly moved to a US domain, stephen-conroy.com in order to stay active while the dispute with auDA is resolved."
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AU Authority Moves To Censor Net Filtering Protest Site

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @02:23AM (#30509534)
    I think this is somewhat justified. Sure, where do you draw the line but this site was registered under a false name -- that of someone in Parliament. There's always the mature way and the immature way to handle things, and in this case with the people who created the same, they took the immature route. There's a time and a place for things, this sort of thing is more suited to personal jokes between friends and groups on Facebook.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by clang_jangle (975789)
      But OTOH "Stephen Conroy" is unlikely to be a unique name. And besides, as a public figure he's a fair target for satire. Then again, I'm not Australian and for all I know their laws could be quite different about that sort of thing. Sounds terribly draconian though. 3 hours to respond? Come on...
      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) * on Monday December 21, 2009 @05:46AM (#30510254) Homepage Journal

        Your first point is valid. Your second point is valid. 3rd point, about not being Australian? Doesn't matter. Men the world around can recognize a douche, no matter what language the douche speaks, or what culture the douche is from. Pussies are pussies, they need to be washed from time to time, and there really isn't much variation on douches. Form follows function.

        Does anyone have an email, so that we can all tell the douche he is obviously a douche?

        • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Monday December 21, 2009 @06:57AM (#30510548) Journal

          That's it. No more slashdot posting for you today. Come back when you've gotten laid.

        • by Golddess (1361003)
          I think you misunderstand. Not being Australian wasn't about "I don't know if Stephen Conroy is a douche", but seemed more along the lines of "I don't know if this is legal".

          Or to put it another way, just as something being legal / illegal does not mean it is moral / immoral, so to does it not indicate that something is not douchie / douchie.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Cultural context matters, If this was china, not only would the originators have been arrested, but the Chinese public would have agreed with the move.

      • by dov_0 (1438253) on Monday December 21, 2009 @06:05AM (#30510356)
        In Australia at least it is a requirement that you actually have a registered business to obtain a .com.au domain name for a start. The domain name must also be directly related to your own business. auDA are well within their rights, as there is no evidence to show that the protest group actually has a business called 'Stephen Conroy'.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SEWilco (27983)
          Whoever registered the domain made a mistake. If the domain is registered to Stephen Conroy and at his address, then the domain has been given to Conroy and he could do whatever he wants with it. Redirecting the domain doesn't require government action, merely Conroy's action.
      • by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Monday December 21, 2009 @08:35AM (#30510988) Homepage

        That's true. But this is a moot point, given that it was nobody by the name of Stephen Conroy has anything to do with the website in question.

    • by bmo (77928) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:58AM (#30509848)

      >I think this is somewhat justified.

      No, it's not. Not in the least.

      It's political speech. If there's *any* sort of speech that needs protecting, it's "controversial" political speech because mainstream political speech doesn't need protection as much. Stephen Conroy doesn't like criticism. Well, boo-hoo, cry me a river. It doesn't matter if it's "immature" or not. What's next, banning editorial cartoons that Steven doesn't like, or throwing people in prison that Steven doesn't like? He has now demonstrated that he won't stop at child pornography. This is *exactly* why Steven Conroy's "protect the children" censorship should be shouted down.

      Steven Conroy is a fascist with a stick up his arse, pure and simple.

      I'm in the States, and Steven Conroy makes me want to punch him.

      --
      BMO

      • by cheekyboy (598084) on Monday December 21, 2009 @05:49AM (#30510258) Homepage Journal

        its ironic these pricks of govt people love it when they see Iranians or Iraqis protesting their own govt or saddam , they love to see NK denouncing Kim Jong.

        But the second the same thing happens in western countries, oh no, we have to ban it, its evil.

        Get the F out of here you stupid politico fascists , we can shit on your face all day, we have that right. The fact the politicos get their own better retirement and health benefits proves they are above the human slaves.

      • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday December 21, 2009 @05:55AM (#30510288) Journal

        If I act/dress like Steven Conroy goose-stepping through the streets, THAT is parody. If I create a passport with his name on it, then that is fraud.

        They should have registered the site in their own name, then it would be parody and they would probably win in court (don't know aussie laws on parody but presuming they are as similar to EU/US laws as you can expect from a continent of criminals).

        Mind you, the fact that the registry changed its normal procedure for this case shows that this is a real attempt at suppression of critical thoughts. Then again, everyone knows not to use local registers for anything, they are all corrupt but without the global oversight the .com.org.net have to work under.

        But if you want to parody/critize, you need to know what battles to fight. Like the show "Have I Got News For You". They can only do what they do because they got lawyers watching the entire show, who decide what joke/satire is worth it and which isn't. You can make far harder satire, if you give the enemy only the satire itself to fight. Not accidental criminal/libel stuff that they can use to shut you down.

        For instance, I can say that George Bush is the monkey whose brain was served in The Temple of Doom, but if I then hint "which leads him to cheat on his wife" I am opening myself up to much to attack. This side is now attacked because it faked the registry, neatly allowing the attacked to side-step addressing the charge of facism.

        Just as my post may now be modden down for attacking Bush, or the criminal aussie remark, rather then the main point I am trying to make.

        • by rolfwind (528248)

          If I act/dress like Steven Conroy goose-stepping through the streets, THAT is parody. If I create a passport with his name on it, then that is fraud.

          They should have registered the site in their own name, then it would be parody and they would probably win in court (don't know aussie laws on parody but presuming they are as similar to EU/US laws as you can expect from a continent of criminals).

          Wow, so you're comparing a website to a passport? That's really.... wow. Have you also given thought about multip

          • Wow, so you're comparing a website to a passport? That's really.... wow. Have you also given thought about multiple people having the name Steven Conroy?

            Australia already holds the view that .com.au domains are for businesses, and that their name should be related to the company's name. I think this is a completely reasonable restriction; I would welcome it for .com as well. It would all but eliminate domain squatting if you had to get a business license to go with every domain, yet would not prevent savvy individuals from forming a vanity business for a single vanity domain. In any case, this is the way the rules are written for .au, though not for .us, so the standards are different. As a consumer, I welcome some meaningful protection; if you accept that trademarks are a legitimate concept, this isn't much of a leap.

            • by RKThoadan (89437)

              This is a valid point, but someone above you claimed they did register a business. Beyond that, there is clearly some political weight being thrown around due to the abnormal 3-hours to respond issue.

            • Australia already holds the view that .com.au domains are for businesses, and that their name should be related to the company's name.

              Good for Australia, however, I think that ICANN might not mind quite as much.

              Also, from the description of it (work's independent thought filter is active) I believe that if the general public can't tell that it is satirical, then we as a species have bigger problems going on. "Fake Stephen Conroy"? Seems pretty obvious to me.

              • by ultranova (717540)

                Also, from the description of it (work's independent thought filter is active) I believe that if the general public can't tell that it is satirical, then we as a species have bigger problems going on. "Fake Stephen Conroy"? Seems pretty obvious to me.

                To be fair, half the time when I hear someone's political opinions I'm not sure if they're supposed to be parody or not. The same is true of religious views (yes, this includes atheists, google "Rational Response Squad" and "TheAmazingAtheist"), and all too of

        • by mpe (36238)
          If I act/dress like Steven Conroy goose-stepping through the streets, THAT is parody. If I create a passport with his name on it, then that is fraud.

          If the passport was supposedly issued by a country which dosn't currently exist, e.g. the DDR, People's Republic of Australia, etc then it could still be parody or satire.
      • by whitehatnetizen (997645) on Monday December 21, 2009 @05:59AM (#30510316)
        As much as I agree with you, you don't seem to understand that the group that registered the domain committed fraud. also in Aus, to have a .com.au domain, you need to either have a registered business/trading name related to the domain, or have the domain be your actual name. as far as I can tell, neither of these were the case and so it is fraud.
        • ...to have a .com.au domain, you need to either have a registered business/trading name related to the domain, or have the domain be your actual name....

          So, if one of the members of this dissident group is sometimes called "Stephen Conroy", then they have met the second test and the domain name is legitimate.

          It might take longer than three hours to muster the paperwork showing that provenance though.

      • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Monday December 21, 2009 @06:50AM (#30510520)

        If there's *any* sort of speech that needs protecting, it's "controversial" political speech

        I'm all for protecting free speech, but that does not mean we need to protect every manner of expressing that speech. You don't get to go through town on a loudspeaker at 2am without getting cited for noise ordinances just because your message happens to be "VOTE OUT OBAMA!" You don't get to spray paint your message on my garage. We already accept sensible limits on these means of expression without necessarily supporting censorship of the message, and that is rightly so.

        In that same vein, I have absolutely no problem with the website saying WHATEVER it wants about Senator Conroy and his Internet filtering crap. In fact I applaud it. I do NOT think that having something to say about him entitles them to a domain name compromised entirely of his name, particularly when registering such a domain appears to be in violation of the registration rules. If they want to create an organization called No To Conroy or some such, and register notoconroy.com.au or notoconroy.org.au or what-have-you, more power to them. Keep the message out there. Just not like this.

    • by Tuoqui (1091447)

      They also could have run it under the website name Minister-of-Fascism too

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      I think this is somewhat justified. Sure, where do you draw the line but this site was registered under a false name -- that of someone in Parliament. There's always the mature way and the immature way to handle things, and in this case with the people who created the same, they took the immature route. There's a time and a place for things, this sort of thing is more suited to personal jokes between friends and groups on Facebook.

      Your argument reminds me of the Alien & Sedition Acts [wikipedia.org] which would have ma

    • I agree that this is an egregious violation of the Minister's personal intellectual property: it is a form of identity theft and the website should be forced to rename itself.

      Eventually.

      I do think this is one of those times where the wheels of justice should grind very, very slowly. We've got a Minister who is hell bent on destroying personal freedom of information. The first, and often the most effective, means of defending against Big Government trampling on the individual's rights is to scream as lou

    • Why is everybody dancing around the giant elephant in the room, instead of pointing to it?

      That elephant is the definition of the line that separates what is ok from what is not. (Well, it’s a bit different for everybody, but you get my point.)

      In law the separation is simple: It’s is only illegal, if it’s not a fact and hurts somebody. Facts are facts.
      Now it might be in “political correct” “dispute” whether he’s a fascist. But in reality, he is. So it’s n

    • > I think this is somewhat justified. Sure, where do you draw the line but
      > this site was registered under a false name

      Where do you get that?

      > -- that of someone in Parliament.

      So what?

  • To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrokenHalo (565198) on Monday December 21, 2009 @02:23AM (#30509538)
    I'm no fan of Stephen Conroy's Great Wall of Australia, but the owners of the site in question can't have any claim to legitimacy if they fraudulently use someone else's name to register it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nulldaemon (926551)

      I'm no fan of Stephen Conroy's Great Wall of Australia, but the owners of the site in question can't have any claim to legitimacy if they fraudulently use someone else's name to register it.

      Normally I'd agree with you but a satire of a political figure is, imo, legitimate use of a domain.

      • Re:To be fair... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @02:31AM (#30509564)

        not in .com.au, it isn't. Have you seen the requirements to register a .com.au? Satire doesn't cut it, I'm afraid:

        1. To be eligible for a domain name in the com.au 2LD, registrants must be:
        a) an Australian registered company; or
        b) trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or
        c) an Australian partnership or sole trader; or
        d) a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or
        e) an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
        f) an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
        g) an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or
        h) an Australian commercial statutory body.

        There is no

        i) in it for teh funnees.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's not the supposed legality of the site that is the main problem in my view, it is the fact that they were not given much time before the site was pulled down. According to the site this is not very common, usually sites have a few days to respond. Coupled with the fact that the office is closed for christmas, there domain may 'expire'. The EFA has also accepted to help, which means it must not be as clear cut as mentioned above.

        • Intriguing that the registration body was happy to take the money and not do the checks first though. When I transferred my last .com.au the registration crowd wouldn't accept the digitally signed and encrypted certificate from the Australian Securities and Investments Corporation on its own as proof of claim to the name... for some reason they felt a scanned image of my Driver Licence was good insurance %-) This registrar seems to accept vapour as proof. Is AuDA going to kick their butt... somehow I don

        • by gavron (1300111) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:17AM (#30509712)
          I was once an expert witness in a case where AuDA stole domains from someone who legitimately registered them.

          AuDA is a fascist organization [organisation]. They do what they want, use their funds to hire high-powered lawyers, and out-spend those who seek to use their services within their fascist rules or even those used by the rest of the Internet world.

          I think Australia is a beautiful wonderful place, and have many friends there. When they can free their government from AuDA and their Big-Content masters, it will be a better place.

          Oh yeah I need a punchline to get the karma masters happy. AuDA and Australia fascists: step off.

          E

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kestasjk (933987) *
            I'd like to hear the details of this before I take it at face level. As much as I am opposed to Conroy and his barmy internet filters as an Australian I do also recognize that .com.au has different requirements than a .com domain, and still take stories like yours with a pinch of salt. Please back it up.
            • by gavron (1300111)
              The domain name owners should contact Erhan Karabardak from http://www.coopermills.com.au/ [coopermills.com.au]

              He's the Au lawyer who really knows domain name law and has previously taken on AuDA. He's also the guy who can authorize [authorise] whatever information deserves to be public.

              E
              Full disclosure: I don't work for Erhan, CooperMills Lawyers, AuDA nor am I involved in any current aspect.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by TubeSteak (669689)

          not in .com.au, it isn't. Have you seen the requirements to register a .com.au? Satire doesn't cut it, I'm afraid:

          Satire and Parody are constitutional free speech issues, not something that can be restricted by a TOS.

          Australia seems to have waited until 2006 to pass parody/satire exemptions into law.
          http://www.copyright.org.au/pdf/acc/infosheets_pdf/g083.pdf [copyright.org.au]

          • "Satire and Parody are constitutional free speech issues, not something that can be restricted by a TOS."

            Not in our constitution mate, as with the UK free speech in Oz is a tradition not a commandment.
            • by bmo (77928)

              >Not in our constitution mate, as with the UK free speech in Oz is a tradition not a commandment.

              Maybe it's about time that changed.

              --
              BMO

          • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Informative)

            by beav007 (746004) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:53AM (#30509828) Journal
            The problem is not the domain name, it was the name used to register the domain name. Also, satire and parody are not welcome in .au domains. The domain name must be your business name, or a derivative of your business name. Anything else gets squashed. That's the rules for owning a .au address.
            • by ColaMan (37550)

              That's the rules for owning a .au address.

              er, a .com.au address, perhaps. .org.au/.net.au rules and regs are a bit looser.

              If they'd used the .org.au address, (cough and their correct contact details cough) they'd probably would have gotten away with it, what with being an organisation against the policies of Stephen C.

            • douchebusters.com.au would work for these guys then?

              Who ya gonna call? DOUCHEBUSTERS!!

          • by smash (1351)
            Free speech is nothing to do with the ability to register .com.au. Its not that they're posting this on the internet, its that .com.au domains require a related business entity tied to them for registration. No australian company number or business number = no entitlement to the .com.au domain.
          • by selven (1556643)

            I disagree. If I own a website, I have the right to censor, say, socialist opinions from it. If I own a mall, I can kick people out for disagreeing with me. Freedom of speech only applies to the government.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            Satire and Parody are constitutional free speech issues

            So the US constitution even protects Australians' rights? Cool.

        • by Dan541 (1032000)

          Unfortunatly I have to agree with the censor on this one. However it doesn't excuse only 3hrs notice.

        • So this is an act of civil disobedience, used in an effort to secure the rights of Australian Internet users.

          It is, then, similar to the acts of civil disobedience that were perpetrated by Martin Luther King and by Gandhi.

          Now be a good little law-abiding aussie: go take your seat at the back of the bus, shut up, and read only what we say you can read. Or the nice cop will haul your ass to jail.

        • All your points are, in practice, completely invalid bullshit.* As proven by the original DNS records, as shown in comment [slashdot.org]
          #30509804 above.

          Seems the registrars are grating domain names, like the US patent system in granting patents. ;)
          ___
          * I know that you’re not at fault here. So this is not going against you at all.

      • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by EdIII (1114411) * on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:02AM (#30509666)

        Normally I'd agree with you but a satire of a political figure is, imo, legitimate use of a domain.

        No, it's the legitimate use of a website, specifically its content. A domain brings in a lot of other talking points, such as trademark law, trademark dilution, etc.

        I think it is pretty damn good argument that if your name is not Stephen Conroy, or have a service contract with Stephen Conroy, that you cannot own the domain legally.

        Of course, I absolutely despise domain name squatters, so I may be a little biased in this regard. Ownership and registry of domains has to be reworked regardless.

        People get the political satire argument a little confused and immediately try to apply to it to domain names, which I just don't think is appropriate. If you make some content in the spirit of political satire and get it published at the New York Times, it is at the New York Times. If video, it could be shown on Comedy Central, or some other entertainment channel. It is still being presented through another distribution channel where it is clear that it is not being presented by the target of the political satire.

        In some ways, you might even look it as being libelous and even impersonation. Would a reasonable person conclude that it was not Stephen Conroy making the statements? Would a reasonable person conclude that the Stephen Conroy, or somebody named Stephen Conroy own and condone the content of that domain? Could a reasonable person sue Stephen Conroy for the content of the domain?

        The Internet is just too new right now. I don't think we have really answered these questions yet, or been forced to deal with them enough yet.

        I hate censorship as much as the next person, but putting your protest in the man's name? I don't think you should do that. Get something like censorship-in-australia.com.au or something.

        I may completely disagree with Stephen Conroy's politics, but I will wholeheartedly support the idea that he has the rights to own that domain and make arguments that it be turned over to him. Please note that I limit that to StephenConroy or Stephen-Conroy, etc. Not Stephen-Conroy-is-a-complete-douche.com.au.

        Of course... if the protesters can find another man named Stephen Conroy and make an agreement with him that could make it a lot more interesting to me.

        • Since you can easily change your name to Stephen Conroy, no person named Stephen Conroy has any inherent right to the domain. A website under any name could be libelous, but that is for a court to determine based on real damage, not on hypothetical damage sustained in the minds of imaginary "[un]reasonable people."
          -Steven Conroy
      • Let me fix that for you:

        Satire of a political figure that we don't like is legitimate use of a domain.

        What would happen if the domain in question was called "Obama: Fascist President" or some such? I mean, disregarding the obvious racism aspect for a moment.

    • by rastilin (752802)

      I'm no fan of Stephen Conroy's Great Wall of Australia, but the owners of the site in question can't have any claim to legitimacy if they fraudulently use someone else's name to register it.

      That's a legitimate reason to take their domain away, not censor it. The main reason people complained about the great firewall is the fear that it might be used to silence speech the government dissaproves of. How is this not a direct example of just such a thing?

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Monday December 21, 2009 @02:32AM (#30509570) Homepage Journal

    You can't censor in secret anymore. Either you can pull a China/North Korea/Cuba/Most of the Middle East and just outright limit, filter and forbid in the open and go full tilt enforcement while not hiding the fact you're being a douche about it, or you can go hands off and only enforce your countries top level domain. Few people in the US use a .us top level domain, though the popularity is increasing. .com is for the world and can be hosted anywhere nearly transparently. It's time Australia figures that out.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jebiester (589234)
      Once Conroy's filter is up and working it won't matter where it's hosted. If the government can pressure auDA to shut down the site, it can certainly add it to the national filter so that no one in Australia can visit it.
      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        Right, but they're working on obtaining the same level of freedom as North Korea in the eyes of the world. As far as I'm concerned they're working on that goal pretty hard.

  • For what it's worth (Score:3, Informative)

    by megrims (839585) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:01AM (#30509658)

    You're only allowed to register .com.au domains that correspond to the names of businesses that you own, or your own name. This isn't censorship so much as rule enforcement.

    • by timmarhy (659436) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:07AM (#30509680)
      yes and in any other case you'd only have 3 hours to respond? this is clear cut government intervention on a topic they should keep their fucking nose OUT of, and precisely the kind of thing that should be fought.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TapeCutter (624760) *
        "this is clear cut government intervention"

        No it's clear cut corporate intervention [zdnet.com.au], unless you want to go for the standard conspiracy theory crap.
        • The corporation itself has a GAF attitude (give a fuck). What we have here is someone in power with a stick up their arse wanting to clean house. Please, do tell me what this 'standard' conspiracy crap is? Aliens, mind rays? See, TapeCutter, I don't really understand because I've been blinded by the sheer obviousness of what has transpired. If you think there is no little boys club right up at the top looking out for its own, well, perhaps you need to learn to be a little more cynical in life. I spent more

        • by Techman83 (949264) on Monday December 21, 2009 @04:38AM (#30510004)

          No it's clear cut corporate intervention [zdnet.com.au], unless you want to go for the standard conspiracy theory crap.

          Considering how irritatingly slow auDA are at handling any kind of request (think a month to 6 weeks, yes I have witnessed this), I find it highly unlikely that they weren't at least prod'd into action via external forces (ie Senator Conroy or one of his cronies).

          I guess it's not like they have a history of doing this... Oh right they do -> Filtering out the fury: how government tried to gag web censor critics [smh.com.au]

          • The OP claimed "government intervention" in this specific case not some other case and he did it without a shread of evidence, I never claimed auDA or the government were good/bad/indifferent, just that auDA did this off their own bat.

            Some people don't need a prod to attempt to suck up to government OTOH they could have done it deliberately knowing many people would blame the government. I don't know their "hidden" motive and neither do you.
          • by Dhalka226 (559740)

            Alright, but so what? I suppose nobody likes to see preferential treatment, especially when they're not the ones receiving it, but I don't see a particularly big deal about it. In fact, I think you could argue that it's more important and thus should be a higher priority for them to act in a case where a famous person or government officer is involved, since the potential damage to both that person and others is greater than if it was your name or mine that was misappropriated.

            What I'm much more interes

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Inda (580031)
      Does some other poor unfortunate Australian sole share his name with Stephen Conroy?
      • > Does some other poor unfortunate Australian sole share his name with Stephen Conroy?

        No, but there's an australian mackerel named John Howard, and three separate goldfish named Kevin Rudd. It is expected the goldfish will be devoured in a fraternity prank by the next adminstration.

  • by Muskstick (1522069) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:53AM (#30509834)
    ...that Bob Brown is the best choice for PM, The Greens really have the only policies that make sense. Can you all imagine no Labor or Liberal bastards calling the shots and the country actually being run by someone who cares about it rather than these insane power hungry pollies with mad personal agendas to fulfill.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cujo_1111 (627504)
      Do you truly think that the Greens could do better?

      They have these dreams of 100% renewable energy by 2020, but without massive debt and taxation, it would be impossible.

      Also, their obsession with carbon emissions and their fear of nuclear power, means that their goal is near on impossible in the short to medium term.
      • But if we don't want to use carbon-fuels because they are running out, then nuclear ain't much better.

        And Australia got a better chance at renewable energy then most countries because they got far more land available to put it on, and you can't import cheap coal electricity to make green energy to expensive.

        Nuclear is far less economical then the nuke industry wants to make it appear. Would you trust a coal producer to tell you the truth about coal?

      • by trawg (308495)

        Do you truly think that the Greens could do better?

        I see it as the following options:

        a) Jack Johnson
        b) John Jackson
        c) The Greens

        I'm a bit over the first two options. Pretty keen to see what someone else can do when given the chance.

    • by ghostdoc (1235612)

      I'm a climate skeptic though...so no Green for me.

      I'm voting Pirate if we can stand anyone up for it :)

      http://pirateparty.org.au/ [pirateparty.org.au]

    • by bh_doc (930270)

      I don't hold much faith in the Greens in this area when they pull stunts like this: http://www.nointernetcensorship.com/node/54 [nointernetcensorship.com]

  • This is mainly a "hind-site" phenomenon. Someone idiotic tries to stop getting attention by trying to silence someone over the Internet. Because of this, it spreads like wild fire. That's because people love to mock idiocy. Often it's because a notable person or entity is trying to stifle free speech, and we love to get all up in arms about it. That's because the news is interesting in some way.

    Don't let this fool you into thinking that information cannot be kept down. And don't think that it isn't happ

  • hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by smash (1351) on Monday December 21, 2009 @05:24AM (#30510154) Homepage Journal
    Whilst I agree that the move was a bit.... bastardly (by the AU registry).... the domain does not comply with the .com.au regs and should have never been approved registration in the first place. To register a .com.au, you need to provide proof of ownership of a business name or trading name that relates to the domain name being registered (BEFORE getting the domain).

    I suspect someone within the AU registry side-stepped some processes to get the domain through.

    This may sound strange to americans, but over here in australia, com.au is fairly strictly regulated.

    Good to see .com is still up though, I agree with the cause :)

    • by AGMW (594303)

      .... the domain does not comply with the .com.au regs and should have never been approved registration in the first place. ...

      In which case surely the powers that be should be chasing those who are supposed to enforce the rules rather than the people who got past them! It's not their fault the rule enforcers would rather have the money than enforce the rules!

  • I am not be condicending. It seems all countries' rights are being eroded quickly, but Australia seems to be going quicker than most. As a US citizen, I'm thinking of just buying some cheap woodland and building a cabin. Eating squirrels and cooking over a fire would stink, but at least no one would come to put me in prison for something I didn't even know I did.

    (Hi NSA/Echelon! Hope you are having a nice day. I once threw a paper cup out my car window.)

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      It all goes back to this group who got behind the left and right of Australian politics and positioned their people over many years.
      http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s1358912.htm [abc.net.au]
      Note the part about "lesbians .. should be burnt at the stake along with all the other witches. " and "implored Christians to pray to bring down Satan's strongholds including bottleshops, brothels and Buddhist Temples. "
      They now have key people on both sides and are showing their lust for many new powers.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Eating squirrels and cooking over a fire would stink, but at least no one would come to put me in prison for something I didn't even know I did.

      What about when the Fish & Game department gets you for hunting squirrels out of season?

      (Hi NSA/Echelon! Hope you are having a nice day. I once threw a paper cup out my car window.)

      Also, just for that, I'm going to have to ask you to go sit on that bench over there marked "Group W", with all the mother-rapers, father-stabbers, and father-rapers.

  • While this kind of thing is permitted to go on, Australians cannot consider themselves a free people. In the U.S., there are quite a few reasons we should no longer be considered a free people as well, but this example of censorship is pretty extreme. In fact, both examples are extreme... the original cause and the satirical response.

    • But the whole point about .com.au is that its name space follows the existing name spaces for businesses and companies in Australia. Australians are free to register elsewhere if they don't want to follow that rule.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      So because I can't get a FL driving license because I live in NJ, the US is not a nation of free people?

      Citizens of the United States are not a free people because Microsoft won't let me hold my Voodoo goat sacrifice ceremony in their reception?

      It isn't censorship, they can put the content on a domain name they meet the requirements for having. Sure the US has looser restrictions (well no restrictions) on their domain names.

      Of course Australia is being heavy handed on the censorship, but this is a private e

  • by Skapare (16644) on Monday December 21, 2009 @07:39AM (#30510752) Homepage

    ... the domain name being registered was stephen-conroy-facist.com.au or stephen-conroy-destroys-freedom.com.au or something like that.

  • the name is a registered business/company name or trademark or statutory authority or association.

    They can fast track it because it is fucking obvious it isn't in this case.

  • If the australians are happy with that scheme, they will do nothing against that government.

    After all, the legislation is tabled to be proposed right before the next federal election, eh?

  • Politicians ALWAYS use the "to protect the children" line to create laws that are used for political censorship.

    They push these laws through with hoards of whiners crying that something must be done to stop child pornography, but the true aim is never that.

    The true aim of any law that tries to catch "online predators", or kiddy porn distributors is really to stop political dissent.

    How often have we heard the cry that "they" need to circumvent basic rights of freedom to "protect the children". This is always

  • I find it amusing that they managed to do this (though it does sound like they were within their rights to do so) just before they close for 3 weeks.

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