ACMA has issued Whirlpool’s web host Bulletproof Networks with a notice to remove a link to this anti-abortion web page, blacklisted by the regulator in January. At risk of their host being hit with $11,000 fines per day, Whirlpool has complied.
This comes as Senator Stephen Conroy urged those opposed to the Government’s mandatory ISP filtering plan to have faith the right legislation will be passed, saying ‘There is no political content banned in the existing Broadcasting Services Act’. He described some of the opposition as ‘conspiracy theories’.
According to Australian IT:
On March 10, ACMA issued Sydney web hosting company Bulletproof Networks with an “interim link-deletion notice” for allowing its customer, the Whirlpool internet community website, to post the link to an anti-abortion web page blacklisted by the regulator.
The interim notice, obtained by The Australian, stated that on February 19, ACMA received information that a Whirlpool forums page “may contain links to other websites that may contain ‘prohibited content’ or ‘potentially prohibited content’”.
“Bulletproof must comply with the interim link deletion notice as soon as practicable, and in any event by 6pm on the next business day,” the notice said.
ACMA said that the complainant had done nothing wrong in submitting the link for all and sundry to view.
“There is no prohibition on complainants publishing the outcome of their complaints, as has happened in this case,” an ACMA spokesman said then.
Today, ACMA said it was merely investigating a complaint it had received about the web page on Whirlpool’s website and took action against Bulletproof in accordance with the Broadcasting Services Act.
ACMA determined the anti-abortion page in question to be ‘prohibited or potential prohibited content’ after they received a complaint from Whirlpool user ‘xFOADx’. No investigation was done to determine if the photographs were real.
As the media authority is required to notify complainants about the outcome of their complaint, xFOADx published the findings on the Whirlpool forum. That letter (including the link) has now been removed as a result of the notice, but remains viewable here on STotC).
“Hopefully ACMA’s heavy-handed action will also demonstrate the futility of censoring a medium where web pages spring up by the thousands every second and information is copied at a furious pace.” EFA – Net censorship already having a chilling effect.