Australia censors Wikileaks?

18 03 2009

Though I’m not hearing it reported anywhere else, so I could very well be wrong, my attention has been brought to the following paragraphs in this article.

An Australian anti-censorship activist submitted the page to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), requesting that they censor it, under their internal guidelines. The activist wished to expose the “slippery scope” of the proposed Mandatory Internet Censorship scheme.

The press release and the list itself have now been placed into the secret Australian government blacklist of “Prohibited Online Content”.

The content on the blacklist is illegal to publish or link to in Australia, with fines of upto[sic] $11,000 a day for contraventions.

The ACMA blacklist is proposed to become the list with which the Australian Government will mandatory block all Australians Internet requests. Presently censorship of access attempts by ISPs is voluntary. The Australian government has faced strong opposition over the scheme, with the Liberal (conservative) and Green (liberal left) opposition parties stating they will vote against it.

So if this is correct, I could be find for doing this.

Doesn’t really seem like much of a crime.  Politically, it has drastic ramifications when a website such as wikileaks is, possibly, ‘banned’ as an ‘evil’ website when most supporters of democracy would demand something similar to ensure transparency.  They’re hardly terrorists.

To explain things in better detail, PrisonPlanet also contained a copy of an article appearing in TheAge.  It’s essential reading to anyone reading this post.  Especially for this quote,

Speaking at a telecommunications conference last week, Senator Conroy urged Australians to have faith in MPs to pass the right legislation.

Despite previously saying his scheme would be expanded to block “refused classification” content that includes sites depicting drug use, sex, crime, cruelty and violence, he said opponents of his plan were spreading “conspiracy theories”.

Speaking of wikileaks, more tragedies befall the organisation.

On Thursday afternoon, Oscar Kamau Kingara, director of the Kenyan based Oscar legal aid Foundation, and its programme coordinator, John Paul Oulo, were both shot dead at close range in their car less than a mile from President Kibaki’s residence. The two were on their way to a meeting at the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights.

Both had been investigating extra-judicial assassinations by the Kenyan Police. Part of their work forms the basis of the “Cry of Blood” report Wikileaks released on November 1 last year and subsequent follow ups, including a UN indictment last month.

Since 2007 the Oscar foundation has documented 6,452 “enforced disappearances” by police and 1,721 extra-judicial killings.

The murders come just two weeks after United Nations Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings Professor Philip Alston called on on Kenya’s Attorney General and Police Commissioner to be sacked.

The murder of Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulo

The murder of Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulo

On 18 February 2009, the Oscar Foundation presented its findings for use in a parliamentary debate.

The Oscar Foundation vehicle was blocked by a minibus and a Mitsubishi Pajero vehicle, both of which had been following them along State house road. Several men were in the two vehicles. Two men got out, approached the vehicle of Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu, and shot them through the windows at close range.

According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the minibus was in police uniform whilst the other men were wearing suits. The closest eyewitness to the incident was shot in the leg and later taken away by policemen.

A coalition of civil society organizations released a statement blaming police for the murders.

“These were very decent men who had done more work than anybody in examining police killings,” said Cyprian Nyamwamu, the executive director of the National Convention Executive Council, a non-governmental organization advocating social and economic reform. “I have no doubt that is why they were killed.

Though it probably doesn’t mean much coming from myself, given that I’m of little influence or status, my sympathies go out to the families of these men.

You may read the rest here.








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