Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/20/aussie_firewall_/

Wikileaks tells Aus censorship minister to rack off

Muddled Conroy threatens lawyers

By John Oates

Posted in Government, 20th March 2009 12:35 GMT

Wikileaks has told the Australian Chief Censor communications minister, Stephen Conroy, to reel his neck in after the gaffe-prone politician threatened a police investigation to find out who leaked his secret blacklist of sites banned in Australia.

Conroy claimed the list published yesterday of sites banned in Australia was not the full Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) list. But he also threatened a police investigation and possible legal action against the leaker.

So which was it? A fake list or a leaked list? We know at least some of the URLs are on the blacklist because the page apparently showing images of aborted foetuses is on the list, and ACMA told the man who reported the page that it was going on the list. Bizarrely the list also contained online gambling sites, Wikipedia pages and even the site of a Queensland dentist. Wikileaks has since published new versions of the list.

Conroy said in a press release:

There are some common URLs to those on the ACMA blacklist. However, ACMA advises that there are URLs on the published list that have never been the subject of a complaint or ACMA investigation, and have never been included on the ACMA blacklist.

ACMA is investigating this matter and is considering a range of possible actions it may take including referral to the Australian Federal Police. Any Australian involved in making this content publicly available would be at serious risk of criminal prosecution.

But the publisher of Wikileaks, Sunshine Press, and its legal adviser Jay Lim said:

Under the Swedish Constitution's Press Freedom Act, the right of a confidential press source to anonymity is protected, and criminal penalties apply to anyone acting to breach that right. Wikileaks source documents are received in Sweden and published from Sweden so as to derive maximum benefit from this legal protection.

Should the Senator or anyone else attempt to discover our source we will refer the matter to the Constitutional Police for prosecution, and, if necessary, ask that the Senator and anyone else involved be extradited to face justice for breaching fundamental rights.

Wikileaks recently faced down the South African government which tried legal action to get the site to remove documents relating to an inquiry into the country's banking system. The site also published documents outlining standard operating procedures at Guantanamo Bay and the membership list of the BNP.

Conroy wants the list to form the basis of feasibility trials for the Great Aussie Firewall which will filter internet access for all citizens. ®