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Aussie firewall blocks Wikileaks

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The Great Australian Firewall has claimed another victim - some pages of Wikileaks have been added to the blacklist of websites which Australians are not allowed to look at.

The reason for the block is that Wikileaks published a list of websites banned by the Danish government. Australian websites which link to the pages face the threat of a A$11,000 fine.

The move is part of a trial masterminded by Communications minister Stephen Conroy to test technology to block sites considered unsuitable for Australians. The idea is that there will be two lists of approved websites - one for children and one for adults.

The plan was already looking increasingly ludicrous when an anti-abortion website was added to the list after a complaint. Although unpleasant - the page including apparent pictures of aborted foetuses - it was not illegal child abuse imagery.

Popular broadband discussion forum Whirlpool was threatened with fines because one of its users posted a link to the page. Conroy had previously claimed that only illegal child sexual abuse content would be included on the list.

Aussie ISPs have also railed against the idea, warning it will be expensive and ineffective, and could end up slowing internet access for everyone. ®

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