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Australia leaves the internet

Invasion Australia Day censorship protest

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It's Australia Day tomorrow, and the country's subjects are using it to mark a week of protests against government plans for compulsory internet censorship.

www.internetblackout.com.au/ is calling for opponents of the government's plans to black out their profile picture on social networking sites, black out their websites, write to their MP and join a real world protest too.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy seems determined to push ahead with compulsory filters despite the failure of the pilot scheme.

Opponents complain that the system will not work to protect children and will give parents a false sense of security. It will also cost Australian ISPs good money to run, instead of investing in better broadband networks.

Conroy's blacklist was heavily criticised by ISPs and Google. The list, which ended up being leaked, was also found to contain lots of quite unobjectionable content wrongly listed as pornographic or otherwise too unpleasant for the famously sensitive Aussies.

About 500 websites have already signed up - visitors are greeted by a black pop-up window explaining what is wrong with Stephen Conroy's plans.

There is, of course, a Facebook group with 3,394 members.

Lobbyists in New Zealand ran a similar blackout campaign against copyright laws. ®

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