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Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

Australian Net Filter Protest Site Returns 75

Posted by kdawson
from the pla-hol dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Stephen Conroy 'Minister for Fascism' website, whose stephenconroy.com.au domain was forced offline by the Australian Domain Name Administrator, has now reclaimed the name after the initial 14-day injunction expired. During those 14 days, the protesters managed to comply with the Australian domain name registration criteria. However, contrary to auDA's own rules and contrary to public quotes by the auDA CEO, the protesters were continually refused the domain. Now, however, it seems that they have unequivocally shown that they have the right to the domain and have re-registered it."
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Australian Net Filter Protest Site Returns

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  • Good question... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dilaudid (574715) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:52AM (#30653462)

    In 1944 George Orwell wrote: "It would seem that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox hunting, bullfighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else."

    Recently on Slashdot the term has become significantly less specific.

  • by arctanx (1187415) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:09AM (#30653526)

    As an Australian protesting against the proposed filter I find the activities of stephen-conroy.com frustrating. There are strict rules on the registration of .au domains. This has always been the case -- they may look draconian to outsiders used to the standard .com .org etc. TLDs, but that's how it is for us. And it's not such a bad thing. We can be more sure upfront that a .com.au site is actually an Australian business.

    It's tempting to look upon auDA shutting down their registration as censorship. But it's not. They registered a domain which has nothing to do with a business. Then in a display of immaturity they have registered the precise business name STEPHENCONROY in Victoria so that they can legally register the domain. This is not helping our cause at all... it's just showing protesters against the filter to be against the spirit of well-meant laws.

    Frustrating Government offices with stupid behaviour is not going to stop this filter. Making the general voting public aware of it and concerned about it might. May luck be with us in that endeavour.

  • by sinyk (1713328) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:13AM (#30654300)
    DISCLAIMER: I have a direct relationship to stephenconroy.com.au.

    The real issue here is that the domain administrator chose to give us less than three hours to explain our eligibility for the site before closing it down. This is contrary to their published policy as well as other documented instances of this arbitration process, which all seem to indicate that generally ~ 1 week is provided for the respondent to make representations regarding their eligibility. We became aware of another policy complaint lodged with auDA on 21-12-2009 where they responded to the complainant stating that their investigation would take up to 30 days. To this date we are still unaware of any reply form auDA regarding this, which seems to indicate a direct contrast between the way this and our complaint was handled. We specifically asked auDA about how this complaint was different a number of times and these questions were all flatly ignored in return correspondence.

    Further to this, auDA flatly refused to rationally consider to any statements regarding our eligibility following the initial three hour period. This seems to indicate that the 14 day 'pending-delete' period the domain was placed in is superfluous, as all arguments following the initial 3 hour period were ignored. Again, we questioned this, as well as the extremely short 3 hour takedown window, a number of times and again all questions were flatly ignored in return correspondence.

    Your comment regarding laws seems a little ill-conceived: there are no 'laws' regarding domain registration criteria in Australia - this is handled solely by auDA as an independent body with absolutely no regulatory oversight whatsoever. They make the rules, enforce them how they see fit, and are accountable to nobody. As is quoted on our website:

    "This incident reflects worrying concerns about the power that private domain name regulators have to silence critical political speech without going through legitimate legal channels." -- EFA

    If nothing else this whole scenario (which, as we're been repeatedly saying, is ultimately a red-herring in the whole censorship debate/movement) has brought international attention to the Anti-Censorship cause. At times we've been taking tens of thousands of hits per day from all over the world, many of which it's rational to assume are from people who were previously unaware of the fight going on here. Love us or hate us, we want exactly the same thing as everyone else -- to see this whole filthy thing dropped. Our methods may have been to date somewhat more guerilla than others, but we're getting the word our en masse.

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