What might be the most bizarre thing to escape Senator Conroy’s mouth during his appearance on Q&A (more so than his technical explanation of how a website hacking took place) was his assurance that under his ministry the ACMA blacklist had not been added to. Possibly realising his mistake, or poor choice of words, he followed it up by saying that ACMA do sweep their list for redundant links and add new ones.

As I noted earlier this week, a site I submitted to ACMA in March is now included in the most recently leaked Australian blacklist on WikiLeaks. It’s included under the March 2009 site additions. Furthermore, ACMA also included a now famous anti-abortion website on their list in January. It’s general knowledge that ACMA is still operating and adding websites to a blacklist.

Senator Conroy also said there was nothing anti-censorship about blocking RC material. Mark Newton doesn’t believe that and nor do I. He points out in his wrap up of tonight’s show that operators of anti-abortion sites would likely disagree.

The Minister for Communications added that Australians cannot currently view this material. This is incorrect.

RC content consists of a broad range of content which is legal to possess and purchase in this country (with the exception of Western Australia and prescribed areas of the Northern Territory). Only a very small portion of it is categorised as child pornography and this material is illegal under state criminal codes.

RC includes content which describes, depicts, expresses or otherwise deals with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.

Because ‘fetishes’ are not permitted under an X18+ classification, adult websites which contain more than vanilla sex are also likely to be deemed RC or potentially RC.

While Senator Conroy said there was a compelling argument to block RC material, he failed to acknowledge that the ACMA blacklist also includes content classified or protentially classified R18+ and X18+. It may also include commercial MA15+ content which does not meet age-restriction requirements.