Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

Australian Net Filter Protest Site Returns 75

An anonymous reader writes "The Stephen Conroy 'Minister for Fascism' website, whose 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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Australian Net Filter Protest Site Returns

Comments Filter:
  • The parody/satire defense doesn't work in this case, because a reasonable person familiar with his politics might well believe that Stephen Conroy is currently serving as the Minister for Fascism in Australia's government!

    • by Freaky Spook ( 811861 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @06:37AM (#30653126)

      Given his stonewalling of public questions, his inability to answer parliament questions in question time, his personal time spent with the Australian Christian Lobby, and his departments attempt to get the IIA to shut Mark Newton up, I'd say he's well and truly doing that role.

    • Hi, just a couple of quick questions:
      • What does "fascism" mean?
      • Which policies does the fascist party of Australia advocate regarding network filtering?
      • "Fascist" is frequently used in this day and age as a pejorative insult to those with whom the speaker disagrees politically. In which ways does this man's viewpoints agree with actual, objective fascist policies? Keep in mind that there is no "right" or "wrong", merely different points of view, all equally valid.
      • In a modern context, "fascism" means government surveillance and suppression of free speech. In this specific case, it refers to this scumbag's policies on internet censorship. Clear enough?
        • Yep. Clear as mud.

        • by MarkvW ( 1037596 )

          "Fascism" has a clear meaning--in any context. At a minimum, it means a totalitarian movement where the citizen exists to serve the state. Mussolini's regime was the Europeanprototype.

          Australia is not fascist, although it does censor some material.

          "ists" and "isms" usually represent concepts that are more complex than intended by mere slur_throwers.

        • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
          In a modern context, "fascism" means government surveillance and suppression of free speech.

          I like how you added the 'modern context' caveat, in order to try to cut the people that actually KNOW what fascism means off before they can correct you. You're obviously a communist*.

          *by communist, I mean in the slashdot context, as a person who posted something I don't agree with. Not that outmoded definition as a type of economic system...
      • by Trepidity ( 597 )

        Were I picking terms, I'd use "Orwellian" or "authoritarian" as a better generic pejorative for someone who supports strong government surveillance, control of access to information, and censorship of publication.

        This website's owners picked "fascism", perhaps somewhat unfortunately, and I, in order to provide quality Slashdot-comment humor, had to therefore follow them. The main sense in which it's a bad fit is that historical fascism was a combination of authoritarian control over public culture with a mo

        • Were I picking terms, I'd use "Orwellian" or "authoritarian" as a better generic pejorative for someone who supports strong government surveillance, control of access to information, and censorship of publication. This website's owners picked "fascism", perhaps somewhat unfortunately, and I, in order to provide quality Slashdot-comment humor, had to therefore follow them. The main sense in which it's a bad fit is that historical fascism was a combination of authoritarian control over public culture with a

          • by aevan ( 903814 )
            He's not actually alone, it's just when ignorance becomes popular, it's the new fact. If 3 billion people start calling cats dogs, then they are now 'dogs'. Words are arbitrary in that aspect.

            Words however are for communication of thoughts, and if we are able to abuse words' meanings on whim, it ratherly defeats the point of language. Personally when I think of Fascism, I think of the trains running on time :P

            It is amusing though to note how people defend their changes to language as 'growth', whi
      • 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.

      • "Keep in mind that there is no "right" or "wrong", merely different points of view, all equally valid."


        Complete nonsense. If your point of view is that it is fine to have non-consensual violent sex with children under the age of 6, then you are clearly wrong, and your point of view is not valid at all.


        Conroy's desire to control and censor the population easily satisfies the modern, post war, definition of fascism, as it is popularly used.

      • Benito Mussolini used to say that facism should be called corporatism because it's a merger of state and corporations. Franklin D. Roosevelt also had in interesting observation in one of his speeches: "The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling pr
        • by jobst ( 955157 )

          This is the entire point and you hit the nail right on its head. The problem in Australia? ... Conroy is one step ahead in the wrong direction ... pushed by LARGE corps AND the Christian lobby, of which sucker Rudd is the leader (he just misses out on the small beard under his nose).
          And yes, Conroy is a mean/nasty piece of work.
          And I am NOT proud to be Australian.

      • In general terms, right wingers would prefer communist over fascist because they think fascist is a slur on the right in general, and leftists are the reverse.

        However, in a very real sense, communists actually pretended to have high moral principles of power to the people. Of course this was all theory and no practice, but at least they could make that fuzzy claim.

        Fascists never had this. Their closest theoretical principle was power to the nation as controlled by its rulers.

        People of all stripes will hav

    • Forgive my ignorance .. i assume he is the shadow minister for fascism then?
    • He is.
  • An injustice occurred, and now it's been righted. I suppose I could say "goodo" or "w00t" or something. I mean, it's just a little weird, because I'm used to attacking wrongs, not praising rights.

    Oh, wait. "managaed" in TFS is a typo. There, I've justified my comment.

    On a more serious note, I mean it when I say "good for them." I do admit that it's a little weird for a parody/criticism website of a person to use a URL that is not obviously parody/criticism. But I tend to err on the side of the little gu
  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @06:34AM (#30653116)
    I was once an expert witness in a court case in Australian Federal District Court where AuDA stole the domain names of my client and tried to keep them.

    AuDA is the epitome of an organization that is operating outside its moral guidelines.

    AuDA should be removed and a responsible organization put in its place,

    Sorry, Australia. You allow this crap to control your access to DNS. You hurt yourself only, not the real world.


    • by Wowsers ( 1151731 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:21AM (#30653348) Journal

      AuDA is the epitome of an organization that is operating outside its moral guidelines.

      Governments and government departments around the world have no concept of morals, so don't expect anything like that from them. Money talks! You can just sit there and be a good person and pay the taxes they take from you for their bent pet projects and backhanders.

    • by jobst ( 955157 )

      *I* know ;-)
      AuDA would need to remove many more websites than the Conroy parody if it would stand to the ruling that the removal was entirely due to "you do not have the right to own the domain because you business does not have anything to do with Conroy". There are so many cases of domain NAMES owned by companies in Oz that have absolutely NOTHING in common with the business.
      AuDA and Conroy belong in the same pot.

  • YAY! About time. I still don't understand the motivation of AuDA. Maybe they're a bunch of jerks.

  • Outcome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:12AM (#30653296) Homepage Journal

    Kevin Rudd isn't sitting up in The Lodge scanning the opinions of contributors to this site. OTH he is surely paying close attention to public opinion and the opinions of certain members of parliament who hold the balance of power.

    I think it is important to avoid giving Rudd and Conroy ammunition at this point. Do not behave like a bunch of idiots. Public opinion is fragile. I am reminded of the pilots dispute of almost 20 years ago. The Government swung public opinion their way early on and the pilots never had a chance.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      I think it is important to avoid giving Rudd and Conroy ammunition at this point.

      Ultimately what we want is to give Rudd one bullet and tell him to use it on Conroy.

      You're right in the fact that Rudd is running a very populist government but he cant do a backflip on this policy just yet as he will piss off too many other people. It is an election year and given the disarray the Liberal party are in it's a fairly safe bet Rudd will be re-elected so long as he doesn't screw it up. Elections are the perf

      • Old story. Back in the days when dumb computer terminals were a new idea a museum had one set up so that people could play with it. Typing words, etc. Of course school groups would come through and it would get covered with rude words so some bright spark wrote a program to filter out the rude words.

        Everybody was happy until a bright young geek in a school group saw the flaw in the system. The filtering program had to have a management interface with a way to display the banned list. If that interface could

  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:00AM (#30653496) Homepage Journal

    The domain name is I'd say, that's trademark infringement. Like, you could own, but, having a site that has the capacity to mislead people in order to get hits is as wrong as calling something Cheerios when it is not.
    The irony here is that they basically are saying that someone is a fascist in order to protect their right to lie. I wonder if, really, the rest of the their message is actually honest.

    • by growse ( 928427 )
      Except it can't be trademark infringement, because there is no company or entity which trades under the name of 'Stephen Conroy'. A 'Trademark' is a 'Mark' under which you 'Trade'.
      • by tjstork ( 137384 )

        A 'Trademark' is a 'Mark' under which you 'Trade'.

        It's your name. The problem here is that the runners of the site know full well that they could put up signs saying in public, and people would go and click on them and get this political message. It's a put on. But really, what's at stake here is that they are arguing for a right to lie, and they shouldn't have it.

        • by growse ( 928427 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:47AM (#30653688) Homepage
          It's only a lie if they're claiming to be something they're not. I don't think it follows that a domain name which is someone's name is therefore a site created by that person and/or speaks for that person. Given that names->people aren't 1:1, I think it takes a particularly non-logical step to assume that's true.

          There's nothing stopping me creating "" and putting a page there which says "I think people called bob smith are stupid". Nor should there be.

          And on your last point, I believe every individual should have the right to lie whenever they want.
          • There's nothing stopping me creating "" and putting a page there which says "I think people called bob smith are stupid". Nor should there be.

            I wish you had too - it would be a huge improvement over what is currently on that site.

          • A sight that says "I think people called bob smith are stupid" immediately makes clear to your visitors that you are not Bob Smith sending out your political message, your someone who thinks he's stupid.

            This site however looks very professional and uses pictures of Stephen Conroy in such a way as to appear to be affiliated with him. Not until reading the text under the picture of him speaking does the mental dissonance make you realize that this is a parody site, assuming you are interested to read that fa
            • If the registrars for .com had enforced the same sort of policies that the registrars for have, perhaps people would still remember that "com" is supposed to be short for "commercial". :-)

        • by Lunzo ( 1065904 )

          You're wrong, mate.

          1. The owners of have a registered business name in Australia called Stephenconroy. Therefore they're allowed to register the site.
          2. I sincerely doubt there's any trademark infringement. Have you got a registered trademark for your name?
          3. The Minister Stephen Conroy is a person so isn't entitled to a domain (com means commercial).
          4. Stephen Conroy could make use of plenty of other sites, e.g. his political party's site or something in the more offici

  • Comment removed (Score:5, Informative)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:09AM (#30653526)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, if I'm not mistaken, the business name was granted to them before auDA took their domain away.

      It appears that they always did have a valid reason to have that domain and auDA's actions were taken hastily and in a manner that could have denied them the domain. The fact that they did not clearly state their valid reasons is in fact a very good argument AGAINST hasty action. Had auDA acted in a fair and reasonable manner the dispute could have been dealt with and resolved without needing all this h

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cimexus ( 1355033 )

      Mod parent up. AuDA are in fact a bunch of retards for many reasons, but this is not one of them. Simply, the domain as registered did not originally meet the criteria for a domain (a valid, registered Australian business).

      Didn't know they got around this by actually registering a business called STEPHENCONROY. That is pretty funny :)

    • The "strict rules" are a bunch of baloney when you can spend fifty bucks or something to register a vaguely related business name for no particular reason, and thereby hold the domain. They might as well just give up on the rules and make it a free for all.

      I might add that I had problems with auDA ages ago because they wouldn't let me register the exact name of my company, which I had owned from well before the internet was popular, just because my company name was considered "generic" or some crap. I appea

    • Are you stating that only a business can get a domain name from this group? That in itself is censorship. If this is the case, then things in AU must be in worse shape than I previously imagined.

      • He's saying that only a business can get a name from this group. The "com" is short for commercial, meaning a business, so this does not seem to be an unreasonable policy.

        What on Earth would have been wrong with, for example,

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

      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.
      • DISCLAIMER: I have a direct relationship to

        OK, cool; perhaps you can answer the obvious question. Why did you want and not, for example, Since you are not in fact a business, the latter (or some variant thereof) would have been the more correct choice.

      • by jobst ( 955157 )

        I always wondered why your lawyers never put the point up "but then AuDA needs to take more domains/websites offline as there are so many websites that claim they have got something to do with the domain name but when you look closer they have not. I get frustrated when Google searches return results that have got nothing to do with what I am searching for and is biased by "incorrect" domain names.

      • Comment removed based on user account deletion
        • by Willbur ( 196916 )

          Oh for Mod points. Arctanx is right. There are at least three quite separate issues here:

          a) Stephen Conroy's policies are woefully misguided. They will have the opposite effect on child protection to that publicly claimed, causing an increase the pain and suffering of many children.
          b) Even so, registering this protest site is not a good response. Have the site, but put it in
          - I much prefer Australia's rather stricter D

    • You are wrong around the registration requirements for domain names. Simply selling advertising relating to the domain name is enough to show a 'close a substantial connection' and qualify and the name could easily meet these requirements. Things have changed since the auDA took over, and the auDA has allowed the domain name space to become full of parked monetised websites.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus