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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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  • 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.

  • by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday December 21, 2009 @02:32AM (#30509574) Journal
    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 Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @02:55AM (#30509644)
    auDA requires you have some right to the name, in this case they did, they registered the business name to go along with it. They have every right to the domain name under auDA's own policies.
  • 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 jebiester (589234) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:35AM (#30509772)
    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 MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday December 21, 2009 @03:44AM (#30509804) Homepage Journal

    auDA requires you have some right to the name, in this case they did, they registered the business name to go along with it. They have every right to the domain name under auDA's own policies.

    smithm@michael:~$ whois stephenconroy.com.au
    Domain Name: stephenconroy.com.au
    Last Modified:17-Dec-2009 23:01:47 UTC
    Registrar ID:Domain Central
    Registrar Name: Domain Central
    Status:pendingDelete (Client requested policy delete)

    Registrant:SAPIA PTY LTD
    Registrant ID: ABN 94140321240
    Eligibility Type: Company

    Registrant Contact ID: C032321-DC
    Registrant Contact Name: Domain Manager
    Registrant Contact Email: Visit whois.ausregistry.com.au for Web based WhoIs

    Tech Contact ID: C032321-DC
    Tech Contact Name: Domain Manager
    Tech Contact Email: Visit whois.ausregistry.com.au for Web based WhoIs

    Its not immediately clear to me how they qualified for this name.

  • 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 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]

  • 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 doug20r (1436837) on Monday December 21, 2009 @05:37AM (#30510196)
    You are wrong about the commercial requirements. These are very minimal. Just placing some ads on their website selling Steve dolls or Steve posters etc would be enough to meet the auDA monetised website requirements.
  • 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 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.
  • 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'.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:18AM (#30511186)

    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

    Yep ~ i'll agree their a bunch of fascists...

    i saw a client battle for over 12 months to get the domain name;
    http://www.cope.com.au/

    auDA had decided that they should 'reserve' the word "cope" for their own use, and had this reservation on the name for more than 7 yrs previously.
    And by "reserving" - auDA had simply decided that no-one should ever be allowed to register the name (in case auDA wanted to), until my client decided that it was worth challenging.

  • by SEWilco (27983) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:35AM (#30511294) Journal
    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.

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