Feeds

Oz registrar closes John Howard satire site

Iraq 'apology' blocked at PM's behest

Security for virtualized datacentres

An Australian domain name registrar has bowed to pressure from the office of PM John Howard and shut down a satirical website resembling that of the Oz supremo and carrying an "apology" for the war in Iraq, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Veteran satirist Richard Neville's johnhowardpm.org - registered with Melbourne IT and hosted by Yahoo! - was blocked on Tuesday after just 24 hours online during which it attracted 10,500 hits. Neville told the SMH that a representative of the registrar confirmed by phone that the site had been "closed on the advice from the Australian Government".

Melbourne IT CTO Bruce Tonkin explained that the shutdown was "in response to a request from the Prime Minister's office on the basis that it looked too similar to its own site".

He added: "If we receive a complaint from an intellectual property basis claiming that a website directly infringes the rights of another site we would check it, and if it is a direct copy we would suspend the site."

The issue, however, appears not to be one of infringement, or even objections to the site's content. "The issue of whether or not the content was satirical was of no consequence to Melbourne IT," the ISP said, with Tonkin explaining that johnhowardpm.org "looks like a phishing site".

Neville rejected "any similarities between a satirical website and a phishing operation, which would typically carry an intent of data or financial theft".

Neville said he'd chosen Yahoo! as host because it "did not have any obvious policies that restricted the nature of content that could be published", adding: "If there were objections to the content on the site, isn't there a democratic tradition that I be informed of it."

A disgruntled Neville - in response to this act of "culture jamming" - has now posted a PDF version of the Howard "apology" on his own website.

The document doesn't look much like an Oz phishing expedition, although the layout certainly has an official feel. Neville should count himself lucky that he lives in a country where the democratic tradition allows this sort of thing at all. Were he being hosted by Yahoo! in China, he'd quite likely be right now languishing in a Beijing helljail with electrodes attached to his 'nads. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.