3824013 story Australia's Vast, Scattershot Censorship Blacklist Revealed 401 Posted by timothy on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:59PM from the please-don't-click-here dept. mask.of.sanity writes "Australia's secretive Internet filter blacklist held by its communications watchdog has been leaked, revealing the government has understated the amount of banned Web pages by more than 1000. Multiple legitimate businesses and Web sites have been banned including two bus companies, online poker sites, multiple Wikipedia entries, Google and Yahoo group pages, a dental surgery and a tour operator. Andrew Twaits, CEO of Betfair, a billion-dollar business blocked by the blacklist, was furious the government has potentially annexed tens of millions of dollars in revenue after the Betfair.com gambling site was blacklisted. The blacklists were reportedly leaked by a Web filter operator to wikileaks which has published the full list of banned URLs. Outraged privacy advocates say the government has effectively lied about the amount of URLs included in the blacklists, totaling more than 2300, and the type of content which it would ban. The leak follows a series of attacks on the watchdog in which irate users successfully lobbied for web sites to be banned, only to be threatened with an $11,000 fine for publishing the link contained in the PR response. It was also revealed the watchdog can ban Web sites at a whim, with no accountability."