Wikileaks reveals secret blacklist behind proposed Great Firewall of Australia

Wikileaks has published the secret list of sites blocked by Australia's state-sponsored parental filter -- a list that the government plans to expand to the entire Australian Internet, making it the basis for a new Great Firewall of Australia. The list is compiled in secret and is not readily inspected or appealed, and the officials who maintain it have secretly expanded its mandate so that "half of the sites on the list are not related to child porn and include a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist."
Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, dug up the blacklist after ACMA added several Wikileaks pages to the list following the site's publication of the Danish blacklist.

He said secret censorship systems were "invariably corrupted", pointing to the Thailand censorship list, which was originally billed as a mechanism to prevent child pornography but contained more than 1200 sites classified as criticising the royal family.

"In January the Thai system was used to censor Australia reportage about the imprisoned Australian writer Harry Nicolaides," he said.

"The Australian democracy must not be permitted to sleep with this loaded gun. This week saw Australia joining China and the United Arab Emirates as the only countries censoring Wikileaks."

Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites

ACMA list on Wikileaks (down as of 0618h GMT 19 MAR 09)

Mirrors of ACMA list


  1. Yeah, so am I, Spazzm.

    The wikileaks page with the leaked Dutch blacklist has been intermittently restricted – but by Censorware, not across the whole “australia internet” as it were.

    This is… a joke. Everyone knows it’s a joke, the industry is telling the government it is a joke, but they are still persisting.

    Apparently, thinking about the children precludes one from thinking about anything else. Common sense included.

  2. Conroy (the Minister) now claims that the leaked list is fake.

    Yet punitive action is still threatened against any Australian who links to this non-list.

    Work that out.

  3. Big step in the right direction that we now have something concrete to show people how much of a bad idea this is.

    The censoring hasn’t started in Australia yet, but I still can’t load Thing is, I can’t load it from my Dreamhost shell account either. Is the site down?

  4. I do realise that Wikileaks has most likely just been slashdotted, but it still gives me a funny feeling.

  5. Everytime I think we’re backwards in the states, at least I can look abroad and know that it could be worse.

  6. it is the duty of free humans everywhere to support free humans in Australia by attacking the Australian government via the web. Do it. One day the free humans of Australia may return the favour. We could start with a game of keep-away of Wikileak worthy files.

  7. Oh crap. 4chan is on there.

    Sure, it’s a hive of scum and villiany, but easily one of the most interesting and creative communities on the internet.

    This is just…awful.

  8. This list is NOT for the firewall. It is for a optional piece of site-blocking software provided to parents by the government …
    but shouldn’t the parents have a right to know what’s being blocked?

  9. @12: Were you surprised? Though I’m curious if the string “” only blocks /b/, or if it blocks*

  10. I haven’t been this embarrassed to be an Aussie since the “Australian guest star” episode of Baywatch.

    With this “net filter” thing from the ALP, and the “no rationalisation of game ratings” (again, ALP)… I will no longer vote ALP.

    The Greens will get my vote every time.

    “Kev07”? If I had the car sticker, I’d burn it.
    Hell hath no fury like an ex-voter scorned.

  11. embarrassed? You should be delighted! Blessed with a truly stupid opponent and granted a cause to fight that is unequivocally Right! We should all be so lucky. No go forth and get two fingers up their nose and stomp those kneecaps across the curb!

  12. AFAIK no country in the world legalizes child porn.

    So, if the government knows about these sites, since they are on the list, why havn’t the federal police shut them down yet? And if they were shut down, why would they need to be on a list, or why would a list even need to exist?

    Reportedly (i didn’t click on any of the URL’s myself) some of the sites are still up. So it seems that through negligence, underfunding, disinterest, lack of co-operation from other countries, or plain old corruption, child porn sites are actually being left up either accidentally or on purpose.

    Whats worse? The fact the sites exist? Or the fact that our government knows they exist but does nothing or is powerless to shut them down?

  13. yep i’m from perth and its dead for me. maybe ASIO is ddos’ing it?

    i was able to access it a few hours ago.

  14. If the Aussie list includes URLs for a whole load of child abuse image sites, how long before the IWF adds Wikileaks to *its* block list?

  15. @ oligore

    It’s the list used for the optional filtering provided to parents *now*, it’s also the list that ACMA are using in their trials of Mandatory censorship for everyone in Australia.

  16. @OLIGORE – it is one of the lists that would be used in the compulsory system. God knows what’s on the other ones they want to use.

    Senator Conroy is a vile and despicable man, and part of a Government that makes a mockery of democracy. It would make a nice change, if for once our Government decided not to make Australia a laughing stock in front of the entire world.

  17. Senator Conroy is maintaining that the list isn’t real, but just recently a forum member on an Australian forum just posted instructions on how to hack the ACMA blacklist out of the Australian Governments intergard content filtering software it distributed for free last year to parents, and its very very similar to the leaked list.

    — Download a copy of the Integard content filter and set it up however you want. (google integardsetup.exe)

    — Open up integard.exe in a hex editor

    — In your hex editor, do a search for “datetimepicker.js” and change it to the not-at-all-ambiguous “Websites_ACMA.txt”

    — Quickly kill the running integard.exe and save your changes.

    — Once integard.exe has reloaded, browse to — which it will now happily serve you via the web interface

  18. Spikeles: Look into “bulletproof hosting”. In a sentence, it is basically hosting on servers hidden in Eastern Europe/Russia/China and protected by organised crime. Given the general level of corruption in those areas, shutting down a site would be quite difficult.

  19. I think I am going to be a criminal, Australian Style.
    Immediate link to all this from my blog.

  20. The Aussie Govt. reaction to the internet is fueled by what is called in Oz “Wowsers”.

    The professional Outraged sorts.

    Everything is shocking and should be banned according to Wowsers.

    BUt when you have a govt who know as little about technology as this lot do, but jump to the tune as played by the equally badly informed wowsers you get this sort of fecking nonsense.

    The wowsers eye view of the world is this

    “internet has caused child pornography”

    when the facts are, that there are just as many kids in danger now as there were in the 50s, only nowadays we are AWARE of the problem and actively investigate the problem.

    When child porn was done with black and white film in home darkrooms it was effectively off the map, there was no way short of police going undercover as prisoners in the secure unit of prisons to get an “in” to the world of kiddy porn.

    The conviction rates for this crime are through the roof compared to where they were before.

    What the wowsers don’t get is THAT IS A GOOD THING.

    There isn’t more of it, there is just more of it being caught.

    The feckless demanding action from the feckless.

  21. I was most saddened to see that the list included two Adult / Porn sites that I used to subscribe to. I might add, that these are LEGITIMATE sites run by LEGITIMATE businesses that work within the law, which feature ADULTS in sexual activities. Not even a HINT of “Child Porn”, or even “TEEN PORN!” type stuff, just adults engaged in sexual acts in front of a camera.

    I will never, EVER vote Labor again.

  22. I decided to put my rage on a blog post:

    The Australian Government seems to have a list of websites that will be banned as they depict child pornography, however, it seems that many of these websites are not related in any way to it:

    about half of the sites on the list are not related to child porn and include a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist.

    And, as the list is secret, there are not established mechanisms to fight the decision of being included or even to know if one’s website is there.

    If linking to this list makes me a criminal in Australia, so be it. But I am not staying silent while the basic right of Freedom Speech is torn to pieces by obsessive governments. Child pornography is a very serious issue and should be fought, but this kind of crap does not help.

    Instead of fighting us and upsetting us, why does not the Australian Govt. works with us?
    I bet that a list of confirmed hosts of kiddie porn (not of dentists, Satan worshipers, masochists and travel agents) would attract the attention of lots of people (Including 4Chan) that would love to stop the bastards who abuse kids. Hell, I would learn myself how to contribute to a DDoS attack to stop such a thing. Despicable scum has been stopped before, and the DoS attack to Scientology was a thing to remember. It can be done, it will be done. Most of us here in this new territory are not evil people, perverted sadists who abuse children. Most of us are as disgusted and outraged as Australian politicians and we want to end the suffering. But censoring in an opaque way does not help.

    It is time for governments to wake up and smell the coffee. You cannot stop us and you will fail if you try. You cannot control the Internet anymore, we are too many and our collective intelligence surpasses all your resources. If you want to stop this problem, many of us will be happy to help, use the power of crowds wisely.

    I know it was a bit too over the top, and that no matter how despicable the scum is, it should be allowed to spread its poison, no matter if we like it or not. But for kiddie porn DDoS are totally justified.
    And yes, it was wrong against scientology, also, but I cannot say I was outraged or saddened.

  23. @17: If we take your assertion that no country which legalises child porn as a given (and I’d question that, though, as really the opposite is necessary: things are legal unless criminalised); there’s no international agreement on the definition of “child” OR the definition of “porn”.

    There was a recent post by Bruce Schneier highlighting a section of another CP related wikileaks page written by an industry insider. If you have a strong enough stomach that’s worth a read, it covers these kinds of issues.

  24. @Penjuin
    “Quite difficult” is not at all the same thing as “unachivable” or “unfeasable”. It is exactly for these kinds of situations that our tax money goes to politicians, diplomats, interpol and various black ops units.
    If OUR GODDAMN EMPLOYEES put their minds to it, decided to put this on the same level of priority as, say, copyright issues and took the fight to the UN, to EU, to Nato and to the Bindefelt group, they COULD effectivly wipe out Internet kiddy porn. It IS doable.
    Firewalling and filtering and taking away innocent peoples Internet is not even really a way to adress the problems, it’s just treating the symptoms.

    @JMTD: for those very few ISP providers that would not budge if the international community applied serious legal or economic pressure, there is allways the possibilty for concerned citicens to pass the hat and hire us some Blackwater mercs to help shut those servers down. I’m dead serious here. You could do it on a kconsiderably tighter budget than your average church collects in a couple of months.

    Bottom line: to successfully filter a site, you need their adress. If we have their adress, we CAN go get them.
    The only reason that there still are paedophiles on the Internet is because someone wants to keep them as scapegoats.



    I think that is the post.

    I am speechless after reading it. The writer is sick, obviously, barely mentioning the damage on kids caused by abusers. But, on the other hand, he exposes other interesting arguments and made me think a lot.

    I think that everybody here should read it, keeping in mind how perturbed and brilliant the writer is

  26. The only reason that there still are paedophiles on the Internet is because someone wants to keep them as scapegoats.

    The only reason that there’s child porn on the net is because somebody created it in the first place. Wouldn’t it make sense to worry more about halting production than halting distribution?

  27. At least one link is dead, to this:

  28. if all the pedophiles occupying political office were removed overnight, there would be by-elections for years afterwards. The same reason that prostitution is never dealt with rationally: too many powerful clients WANT their suppliers underground – and helpless.

  29. God I hate Stephen Conroy.

    I might write him another letter today. This will be number 4 since the Labor Government was elected. What’s the bet I don’t get a response to this one either?

  30. I decided instead of another wasted letter I would make design a stencil. I’ll be putting it on my skateboard.

    Here’s the image.

    I haven’t had a chance to 100% finish so there will be some bridges people will have to work out themselves if they want to use it.

  31. Internet Blackout day in Australia 19th April 2008
    as a nation-wide protest of the governments regressive internet policy,s

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