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Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:18

Aussie cocks up blocking websites again

Written by Nick Farrell



Not fair dinkum

The Australian government appears to be stuffing up its first attempt to censor the internet through a blacklist of sites issued to ISPs. The Federal Government confirmed its financial regulator required Australian Internet service providers to block websites suspected of providing fraudulent financial opportunities.

The government was worried about a cold-calling investment scam using the name ‘Global Capital Wealth’, which ASIC said was operating several fraudulent websites — www.globalcapitalwealth.com and www.globalcapitalaustralia.com. In its release on that date, ASIC stated: “ASIC has already blocked access to these websites.”

But the whole thing back fired and 1,200 websites were wrongfully blocked by several of Australia’s major Internet service providers. One, Melbourne Free University, might have been blocked by “the Australian Government.”

Melbourne Free University’s website was hosted at the same IP address as the fraud website, and was unintentionally blocked. Once ASIC were made aware of what had happened, they lifted the original blocking request but the site was offline for a week.

The government is working with enforcement agencies to ensure that Section 313 requests are properly targeted in future.

Nick Farrell

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