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Australian Net Filter Protest Site Returns

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the pla-hol dept.

Censorship 75

An anonymous reader writes "The Stephen Conroy 'Minister for Fascism' website, whose stephenconroy.com.au domain was forced offline by the Australian Domain Name Administrator, has now reclaimed the name after the initial 14-day injunction expired. During those 14 days, the protesters managed to comply with the Australian domain name registration criteria. However, contrary to auDA's own rules and contrary to public quotes by the auDA CEO, the protesters were continually refused the domain. Now, however, it seems that they have unequivocally shown that they have the right to the domain and have re-registered it."

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75 comments

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653078)

\o/

well, Conroy clearly has a good case (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653086)

The parody/satire defense doesn't work in this case, because a reasonable person familiar with his politics might well believe that Stephen Conroy is currently serving as the Minister for Fascism in Australia's government!

I thought Conroy was the Minister for Fascism? (5, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653126)

Given his stonewalling of public questions, his inability to answer parliament questions in question time, his personal time spent with the Australian Christian Lobby, and his departments attempt to get the IIA to shut Mark Newton up, I'd say he's well and truly doing that role.

Re:I thought Conroy was the Minister for Fascism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661336)

No, he is a puppet of the FACTA, Christian movement, they are pushing this agenda, it will include P2P. Australia has been a communist country since 1975. All political parties want the rich to have all control and the masses to have nothing. That is why these tests have had no public input. The black lists will be locked away and only as select few will know. Australia is not a democratic country, if it was the list will be made public and an appeal mechanism would be put in place so wrong sites could be taken off the list.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653160)

Hi, just a couple of quick questions:
  • What does "fascism" mean?
  • Which policies does the fascist party of Australia advocate regarding network filtering?
  • "Fascist" is frequently used in this day and age as a pejorative insult to those with whom the speaker disagrees politically. In which ways does this man's viewpoints agree with actual, objective fascist policies? Keep in mind that there is no "right" or "wrong", merely different points of view, all equally valid.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653262)

In a modern context, "fascism" means government surveillance and suppression of free speech. In this specific case, it refers to this scumbag's policies on internet censorship. Clear enough?

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653298)

Yep. Clear as mud.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30657356)

"Fascism" has a clear meaning--in any context. At a minimum, it means a totalitarian movement where the citizen exists to serve the state. Mussolini's regime was the Europeanprototype.

Australia is not fascist, although it does censor some material.

"ists" and "isms" usually represent concepts that are more complex than intended by mere slur_throwers.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665456)

Why oh why would you bring common sense and a dose of reality into any conversation where governments are being bagged?

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661818)

In a modern context, "fascism" means government surveillance and suppression of free speech.

I like how you added the 'modern context' caveat, in order to try to cut the people that actually KNOW what fascism means off before they can correct you. You're obviously a communist*.

*by communist, I mean in the slashdot context, as a person who posted something I don't agree with. Not that outmoded definition as a type of economic system...

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653338)

Were I picking terms, I'd use "Orwellian" or "authoritarian" as a better generic pejorative for someone who supports strong government surveillance, control of access to information, and censorship of publication.

This website's owners picked "fascism", perhaps somewhat unfortunately, and I, in order to provide quality Slashdot-comment humor, had to therefore follow them. The main sense in which it's a bad fit is that historical fascism was a combination of authoritarian control over public culture with a more collectivist stakeholder-consensus economic model, and strong nationalism, and Conroy doesn't appear particularly interested in those latter two.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654588)

Were I picking terms, I'd use "Orwellian" or "authoritarian" as a better generic pejorative for someone who supports strong government surveillance, control of access to information, and censorship of publication. This website's owners picked "fascism", perhaps somewhat unfortunately, and I, in order to provide quality Slashdot-comment humor, had to therefore follow them. The main sense in which it's a bad fit is that historical fascism was a combination of authoritarian control over public culture with a more collectivist stakeholder-consensus economic model, and strong nationalism, and Conroy doesn't appear particularly interested in those latter two.

You are aware that the meaning of words change over time? I think that many, if not most people, understand that fascist=authoritarian=Orwellian in a modern context.

Seems to me that you are trying to be fascist over the use of the word "fascist". You get that "fascist" is being used as a metaphor here, don't you? You get that Shakespeare did that sort thing to words all the time? You get that words are flexible and can be used as tools? If the meaning is understood that is all that matters. The use of the word "fascist" here is clear to most people. Thus it's a success, and correct usage.

Is there any part of this you still find hard to understand? You seem to be wholly alone in this.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

aevan (903814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30656748)

He's not actually alone, it's just when ignorance becomes popular, it's the new fact. If 3 billion people start calling cats dogs, then they are now 'dogs'. Words are arbitrary in that aspect.

Words however are for communication of thoughts, and if we are able to abuse words' meanings on whim, it ratherly defeats the point of language. Personally when I think of Fascism, I think of the trains running on time :P

It is amusing though to note how people defend their changes to language as 'growth', while decrying the next generation's changes as 'aberration' and 'dumbing down'.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661222)

The use of the word "fascist" here is clear to most people. Thus it's a success, and correct usage.

I'm curious - do you you think that this should be the common case, that because something is a success it's correct?

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653390)

1. Fascism is a political ideology advocating the subsumption of all groups within the state, and internal coordination of these groups by use of the state apparatus (corporatism). In the words of the Italian dictator: "all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state".

2. To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a fascist party of Australia.

3. Fascists would presumably advocate state control of the internet, so as to draw the internet itself into the state. This not being possible, they would advocate indirect means of controlling the internet, such as by censorship. Therefore, the position of Conroy as in favor of internet censorship can be called, to some extent, fascist.

Good question... (4, Informative)

Dilaudid (574715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653462)

In 1944 George Orwell wrote: "It would seem that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox hunting, bullfighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else."

Recently on Slashdot the term has become significantly less specific.

Great questions DNS-AND-BIND, & some more here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653506)

"Hi, just a couple of quick questions:
What does "fascism" mean?
Which policies does the fascist party of Australia advocate regarding network filtering?
"Fascist" is frequently used in this day and age as a pejorative insult to those with whom the speaker disagrees politically. In which ways does this man's viewpoints agree with actual, objective fascist policies? Keep in mind that there is no "right" or "wrong", merely different points of view, all equally valid."
- by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday January 05, @05:45AM (#30653160) Homepage

Good points DNS-and-BIND (or rather, good questions for clarification on your part).

I'd also like to further your questions in fact! Only 2 more questions, actually, on MY part:

#1 - I'd like to know what it is that the Australian gov't. is supposedly blocking out that are "so bad to block out"...

I mean, because if they're blocking out KNOWN purveyors of malwares (any types) or KNOWN botnet "C&C" servers for example? Well, then, if those 2 are the case here & that's it?

Well, I'd have to say they're on the "right track"!

(And, I certainly can see malware makers &/or botnet masters being "p.o.'d" about being 'shot down' @ the DNS/ISP/BSP level for instance, before they can even GET anywhere (for most folks that is, there are ways to circumvent things after all))

----

#2 - Plus, on the "political front" (the province of scumbags largely imo @ least)?

I can see your points there, & how I perceived them is that in that case, that their opponents would use ANYTHING to try to cut these folks down in Aussie gov't., so they can 'take the reigns' themselves.

Yes, even IF the folks instituting this filtering are out to do good (the current folks in Aussie gov't. instituting this filtering) because the current gov't. in Australia's opposition are just "grasping for power" themselves and are attempting to discredit the folks in power (who apparently are doing this filtration currently)

APK

P.S.=> I ask the same things DNS and BIND does here, & what I did about blacklisting, because in THAT case? So-called "blacklisting" does work & work well (on the SIMPLEST PRINCIPLE OF ALL, in "you can't get burned if you don't go into the fire")... apk

Re:Great questions DNS-AND-BIND, & some more h (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30663520)

The list of what is blocked is classified, you cannot have access. The filter is supposedly to block kiddie pron but since the list is classified there is no way to be sure.

More importantly, it's a slippery slope, once the filter is in place and maintained by the government then it is just begging to be politicised into censoring opposing political viewpoints or things which aren't illegal but are "wrong" (where "wrong" is probably defined by the Christian lobby).

Finally, it is technical suckage; the blacklist will add latency to already latent connections. It is ironic that Rudd is rolling out a high speed broadband system only to deliberately insert bottlenecks in the form of filtering routers.

First of all, thank you for the reply & info. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669478)

"The list of what is blocked is classified, you cannot have access. The filter is supposedly to block kiddie pron but since the list is classified there is no way to be sure." - by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05, @07:44PM (#30663520)

I don't like the "classified" part of that myself. Hence, I see YOUR concern here on that note. I do agree on the "kiddie pr0n" part though (what a world it is, when "people" (twisted freaks is more like it in that case) find "their jollies" with small children - they're one of the FEW redeeming qualities humanity has imo @ least, & when sickos like that "get off" on molesting them? I get OUTRAGED myself - nutjobs of THAT nature ought to be hung by their balls & whipped to death imo, I kid you not!)...

----

"More importantly, it's a slippery slope, once the filter is in place and maintained by the government then it is just begging to be politicised into censoring opposing political viewpoints or things which aren't illegal but are "wrong" (where "wrong" is probably defined by the Christian lobby)." - by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05, @07:44PM (#30663520)

That IS indeed, a distinct possibility: I don't trust politicians myself, IN GENERAL (not all). I don't think they understand that VALID CRITICISM is better than unjustified "praises"... critique, valid critique that is, makes one STRONGER for it.

However, I do agree that filtering child pornography is valid & should be filtered, alongside what I noted (in known malware purveyor sites or those that bear malicious scripts in their content, adbanners that do the same & yes, there have been many a case of that the past few years, alongside botnet "C&C servers" (& the rest of what I noted in this regards also, etc./et al)).

----

"Finally, it is technical suckage; the blacklist will add latency to already latent connections. It is ironic that Rudd is rolling out a high speed broadband system only to deliberately insert bottlenecks in the form of filtering routers" - by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05, @07:44PM (#30663520)

Sometimes speed is NOT "of the essence" & mandatory though... certainly NOT in the case of child porn or malicious websites &/or adbanners OR botnet "C&C servers) etc. et al.

APK

P.S.=> All in all, thank you once more, for the information... personally?

I not only would have went after the child pr0n, but also what I noted (as it is a large & CO$TLY problem for the past decade now online) as well!

So - this is why I do this (HOSTS file usage) here -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1461288&cid=30273506 [slashdot.org] to do it, myself, AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY FULL CONTROL OVER IT, from my OWN PC no less!

(Actually circumventing YOUR noted points actually & yet providing the same valuable & customizable blocking features, and also allowing one to GAIN MORE SPEED literally... take a read there, IF you are interested (others here were, they rated that post quite highly @ +4 upwards moderation)... apk

Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (1)

Vryl (31994) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653530)

"Keep in mind that there is no "right" or "wrong", merely different points of view, all equally valid."

Bollocks!

Complete nonsense. If your point of view is that it is fine to have non-consensual violent sex with children under the age of 6, then you are clearly wrong, and your point of view is not valid at all.

[INSERT A BILLION OTHER EQUALLY RIDICULOUS EXAMPLES]

Conroy's desire to control and censor the population easily satisfies the modern, post war, definition of fascism, as it is popularly used.

Re:Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653642)

Well done for picking an emotive issue in an attempt to cloud the argument.

However, at various times and places, it has been perfectly acceptable to kill children.

There is no right and wrong. Just public opinion. Just because that opinion is held very strongly, doesn't make it any more "right".

Re:Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653752)

Sure - Hiroshima, Dresden, Nagasaki, etc ...

Re:Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (1)

Vryl (31994) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653800)

It's a weak argument, and it is not going to get you anywhere. There is right and wrong, and the "it's my opinion and I'm entitled to it" is also wrong.

You are not entitled to opinions on things you know nothing about (such as moral relativism, the position you are espousing).

"fascist" is a good term, easily understood by most people, to describe Conroy's actions. He is a nasty piece of work.

Re:Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30654090)

I stopped reading at, "You are not entitled to opinions."

Jackass.

Re:Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30654226)

The only jackass is you, mentally adding the fullstop.

Re:Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654828)

Well, that's your opinion, but I guess you're not entitled to it.

Re:Have I been trolled, or are actually a fuckwit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30663692)

How do you justify your moral absolutism? The idea that you can definitely know right and wrong is astoundingly arrogant and generally relies on appeal to authority (God usually). The fact that different moral viewpoints exist in the first place is also rather contrary to a universal morality.

The world isn't fair and the universe is uncaring, if it did care then cruelty would be physically impossible and that is not the case. It obviously follows that moral systems are built on something which is inherently amoral making them relative to the purveyor. QED.

Facism is a merger of State and Corporations (1)

boorack (1345877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30656818)

Benito Mussolini used to say that facism should be called corporatism because it's a merger of state and corporations. Franklin D. Roosevelt also had in interesting observation in one of his speeches: "The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power."

Sticking to those (informal) definitions, US is a full fledged facist state today. Along with Russia, to some extent China and some others. It seems that facism sadly became a dominant form of government in the world.

Re:Facism is a merger of State and Corporations (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664594)

This is the entire point and you hit the nail right on its head. The problem in Australia? ... Conroy is one step ahead in the wrong direction ... pushed by LARGE corps AND the Christian lobby, of which sucker Rudd is the leader (he just misses out on the small beard under his nose).
And yes, Conroy is a mean/nasty piece of work.
And I am NOT proud to be Australian.

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30657882)

In general terms, right wingers would prefer communist over fascist because they think fascist is a slur on the right in general, and leftists are the reverse.

However, in a very real sense, communists actually pretended to have high moral principles of power to the people. Of course this was all theory and no practice, but at least they could make that fuzzy claim.

Fascists never had this. Their closest theoretical principle was power to the nation as controlled by its rulers.

People of all stripes will have reason to argue with this summary, but they are into theories, not practice. My little summary is how they differ in practical implementation.

Thus the term "fascist" as an insult means someone with no principles other than "power to me, screw the people." "Communist" as an insult, aside from the rabid USian cold war leftovers, means someone who would grab your property in the name of the people, ie, a fascist who pretends to be wearing sheep's clothing in the name of the people. Fascists always pretend to be wearing wolf's clothing in the name of the country.

Wheter they be fascists, communists, authoritarian, dictatorial, or any other name you can think of, it all comes down to them wanting to run your life because you are incompetent and not to be trusted.

Forgive my ignorance (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653434)

Forgive my ignorance .. i assume he is the shadow minister for fascism then?

Lack of privileges (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654288)

> i assume he is the shadow minister for fascism then?

Sorry, I don't have "root" for Australia, so I can't read /etc/shadow to find out...

Re:well, Conroy clearly has a good case (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654804)

He is.

What do you say to something like this? (1)

Andorin (1624303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653094)

An injustice occurred, and now it's been righted. I suppose I could say "goodo" or "w00t" or something. I mean, it's just a little weird, because I'm used to attacking wrongs, not praising rights.

Oh, wait. "managaed" in TFS is a typo. There, I've justified my comment.

On a more serious note, I mean it when I say "good for them." I do admit that it's a little weird for a parody/criticism website of a person to use a URL that is not obviously parody/criticism. But I tend to err on the side of the little guy when he's pitted towards the big guy.

(Also, it's a little ironic that the issue behind the website's existence is online censorship.)

Can I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653770)

I'd like to have my twenty seconds back.

AuDA is run by evil people bent on evil methods (5, Insightful)

gavron (1300111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653116)

I was once an expert witness in a court case in Australian Federal District Court where AuDA stole the domain names of my client and tried to keep them.

AuDA is the epitome of an organization that is operating outside its moral guidelines.

AuDA should be removed and a responsible organization put in its place,

Sorry, Australia. You allow this crap to control your access to DNS. You hurt yourself only, not the real world.

E

Re:AuDA is run by evil people bent on evil methods (3, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653348)

AuDA is the epitome of an organization that is operating outside its moral guidelines.

Governments and government departments around the world have no concept of morals, so don't expect anything like that from them. Money talks! You can just sit there and be a good person and pay the taxes they take from you for their bent pet projects and backhanders.

Re:AuDA is run by evil people bent on evil methods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653570)

It's well known that AuDA board members operate link farms with .au domains. They shouldn't be allowed to under their own rules, but they make the decisions.

Re:AuDA is run by evil people bent on evil methods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653936)

if you dont have a abn dont bother trying to get an .au domain unless you want a id.au domain also it costs almost 4 times the cost of a .com domain

Re:AuDA is run by evil people bent on evil methods (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663160)

if you dont have a abn dont bother trying to get an .au domain unless you want a id.au domain also it costs almost 4 times the cost of a .com domain

ACN or BRN, actually. Some people can't get a .com.au but can get an ABN. (Sole traders?) Maybe the rules have changed since I last looked. Personally, I want Elz back. He had rules and they were followed. Naturally, he had to go.

Re:AuDA is run by evil people bent on evil methods (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664646)

*I* know ;-)
AuDA would need to remove many more websites than the Conroy parody if it would stand to the ruling that the removal was entirely due to "you do not have the right to own the domain because you business does not have anything to do with Conroy". There are so many cases of domain NAMES owned by companies in Oz that have absolutely NOTHING in common with the business.
AuDA and Conroy belong in the same pot.

YAY! (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653216)

YAY! About time. I still don't understand the motivation of AuDA. Maybe they're a bunch of jerks.

Outcome (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653296)

Kevin Rudd isn't sitting up in The Lodge scanning the opinions of contributors to this site. OTH he is surely paying close attention to public opinion and the opinions of certain members of parliament who hold the balance of power.

I think it is important to avoid giving Rudd and Conroy ammunition at this point. Do not behave like a bunch of idiots. Public opinion is fragile. I am reminded of the pilots dispute of almost 20 years ago. The Government swung public opinion their way early on and the pilots never had a chance.

Re:Outcome (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663704)

I think it is important to avoid giving Rudd and Conroy ammunition at this point.

Ultimately what we want is to give Rudd one bullet and tell him to use it on Conroy.

You're right in the fact that Rudd is running a very populist government but he cant do a backflip on this policy just yet as he will piss off too many other people. It is an election year and given the disarray the Liberal party are in it's a fairly safe bet Rudd will be re-elected so long as he doesn't screw it up. Elections are the perfect time to clear the government of any embarrassments, the press is attacking Conroy on the (perceived) failures of the NBN and I think this has a better chance of getting him removed then the net filter unfortunately.

Re:Outcome (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663960)

Old story. Back in the days when dumb computer terminals were a new idea a museum had one set up so that people could play with it. Typing words, etc. Of course school groups would come through and it would get covered with rude words so some bright spark wrote a program to filter out the rude words.

Everybody was happy until a bright young geek in a school group saw the flaw in the system. The filtering program had to have a management interface with a way to display the banned list. If that interface could be found much typing could be saved and much embarrassment created...

The big flaw in the filter is that nobody can ever know what is being filtered, otherwise bypassing the filter can be made trivial and the filter will its self be a handy list of nasty stuff for people to go to. So if the filter ever becomes a political tool there will be no easy way for the public to find out. I think this flaw should be pushed as the most important problem in the system.

sex with a maRe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653336)

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Re:sex with a maRe (-1, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653446)

cocain, it's a hell of a drug.

Re:sex with a maRe (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664680)

and Conroy has taken lots of it ;-) considering that drivel.

Not about free speech at all. (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653496)

The domain name is stephen-conroy.com. I'd say, that's trademark infringement. Like, you could own stephen-conroy-sucks.com, but, having a site that has the capacity to mislead people in order to get hits is as wrong as calling something Cheerios when it is not.
The irony here is that they basically are saying that someone is a fascist in order to protect their right to lie. I wonder if, really, the rest of the their message is actually honest.

Re:Not about free speech at all. (1)

growse (928427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653532)

Except it can't be trademark infringement, because there is no company or entity which trades under the name of 'Stephen Conroy'. A 'Trademark' is a 'Mark' under which you 'Trade'.

Re:Not about free speech at all. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653644)

A 'Trademark' is a 'Mark' under which you 'Trade'.

It's your name. The problem here is that the runners of the site know full well that they could put up signs saying stephen-conroy.com in public, and people would go and click on them and get this political message. It's a put on. But really, what's at stake here is that they are arguing for a right to lie, and they shouldn't have it.

Re:Not about free speech at all. (3, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653688)

It's only a lie if they're claiming to be something they're not. I don't think it follows that a domain name which is someone's name is therefore a site created by that person and/or speaks for that person. Given that names->people aren't 1:1, I think it takes a particularly non-logical step to assume that's true.

There's nothing stopping me creating "bob-smith.com" and putting a page there which says "I think people called bob smith are stupid". Nor should there be.

And on your last point, I believe every individual should have the right to lie whenever they want.

Re:Not about free speech at all. (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654104)

There's nothing stopping me creating "bob-smith.com" and putting a page there which says "I think people called bob smith are stupid". Nor should there be.

I wish you had too - it would be a huge improvement over what is currently on that site.

Re:Not about free speech at all. (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662020)

A sight that says "I think people called bob smith are stupid" immediately makes clear to your visitors that you are not Bob Smith sending out your political message, your someone who thinks he's stupid.

This site however looks very professional and uses pictures of Stephen Conroy in such a way as to appear to be affiliated with him. Not until reading the text under the picture of him speaking does the mental dissonance make you realize that this is a parody site, assuming you are interested to read that far.

Whether or not you agree, I and a large amount of the internet will assume FirstnameLastname.com or similar of a notable figure with a professional look and pictures of that figure to be associated with them. So I would be in support of the right to protect your name in such a way.

And on your last point,

I believe every individual should have the right to lie whenever they want.

I see we will probably never resolve this discussion as I would like some restrictions on when someone can lie, hence my disagreements with you above.

Re:Not about free speech at all. (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662132)

If the registrars for .com had enforced the same sort of policies that the registrars for .com.au have, perhaps people would still remember that "com" is supposed to be short for "commercial". :-)

Re:Not about free speech at all. (1)

Lunzo (1065904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665206)

You're wrong, mate.

1. The owners of stephenconroy.com.au have a registered business name in Australia called Stephenconroy. Therefore they're allowed to register the .com.au site.
2. I sincerely doubt there's any trademark infringement. Have you got a registered trademark for your name?
3. The Minister Stephen Conroy is a person so isn't entitled to a .com.au domain (com means commercial).
4. Stephen Conroy could make use of plenty of other sites, e.g. his political party's site or something in the more official sounding .gov.au TLD. He isn't exactly prevented from expressing his views on the web by not getting that one particular domain name.

Re:Not about free speech at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665404)

They registered the business name 'stephenconroy' in Victoria late last year. They can keep the name for now.

These guys are not helping (4, Informative)

arctanx (1187415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653526)

As an Australian protesting against the proposed filter I find the activities of stephen-conroy.com frustrating. There are strict rules on the registration of .au domains. This has always been the case -- they may look draconian to outsiders used to the standard .com .org etc. TLDs, but that's how it is for us. And it's not such a bad thing. We can be more sure upfront that a .com.au site is actually an Australian business.

It's tempting to look upon auDA shutting down their registration as censorship. But it's not. They registered a domain which has nothing to do with a business. Then in a display of immaturity they have registered the precise business name STEPHENCONROY in Victoria so that they can legally register the domain. This is not helping our cause at all... it's just showing protesters against the filter to be against the spirit of well-meant laws.

Frustrating Government offices with stupid behaviour is not going to stop this filter. Making the general voting public aware of it and concerned about it might. May luck be with us in that endeavour.

Re:These guys are not helping (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30653640)

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, the business name was granted to them before auDA took their domain away.

It appears that they always did have a valid reason to have that domain and auDA's actions were taken hastily and in a manner that could have denied them the domain. The fact that they did not clearly state their valid reasons is in fact a very good argument AGAINST hasty action. Had auDA acted in a fair and reasonable manner the dispute could have been dealt with and resolved without needing all this hullabaloo.

auDA behaved like a bunch of pricks rather than like a responsible authority.

Re:These guys are not helping (2, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653660)

Mod parent up. AuDA are in fact a bunch of retards for many reasons, but this is not one of them. Simply, the domain as registered did not originally meet the criteria for a .com.au domain (a valid, registered Australian business).

Didn't know they got around this by actually registering a business called STEPHENCONROY. That is pretty funny :)

Re:These guys are not helping (0, Offtopic)

arctanx (1187415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653782)

Hmm... If you'll excuse the random question, did you ever use telnet talkers back in the day? I remember a Cimexus on one called Sim City a little over 10 years ago...

Re:These guys are not helping (0, Offtopic)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653792)

Yes. That's me.

Believe it or not, I'm actually married now to someone I met on Sim City (talker.com:8200 if I remember correctly), hahaha.

Re:These guys are not helping (-1, Offtopic)

arctanx (1187415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30653824)

Oh, congratulations! I assume it's who I remember. :) Well I'll stop spamming slashdot now. No doubt I'll encounter you again elsewhere. I was... "sheepmaster" I think back then? Cripes, I shouldn't say these things on replies to a post where I want people to take me seriously. Ah well.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

countach (534280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654092)

The "strict rules" are a bunch of baloney when you can spend fifty bucks or something to register a vaguely related business name for no particular reason, and thereby hold the domain. They might as well just give up on the rules and make it a free for all.

I might add that I had problems with auDA ages ago because they wouldn't let me register the exact name of my company, which I had owned from well before the internet was popular, just because my company name was considered "generic" or some crap. I appealed and won, but I still consider auDA to be a bunch of retards.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654222)

Are you stating that only a business can get a domain name from this group? That in itself is censorship. If this is the case, then things in AU must be in worse shape than I previously imagined.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662054)

He's saying that only a business can get a .com.au name from this group. The "com" is short for commercial, meaning a business, so this does not seem to be an unreasonable policy.

What on Earth would have been wrong with, for example, stephen-conroy.org.au?

Re:These guys are not helping (5, Informative)

sinyk (1713328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30654300)

DISCLAIMER: I have a direct relationship to stephenconroy.com.au.

The real issue here is that the domain administrator chose to give us less than three hours to explain our eligibility for the site before closing it down. This is contrary to their published policy as well as other documented instances of this arbitration process, which all seem to indicate that generally ~ 1 week is provided for the respondent to make representations regarding their eligibility. We became aware of another policy complaint lodged with auDA on 21-12-2009 where they responded to the complainant stating that their investigation would take up to 30 days. To this date we are still unaware of any reply form auDA regarding this, which seems to indicate a direct contrast between the way this and our complaint was handled. We specifically asked auDA about how this complaint was different a number of times and these questions were all flatly ignored in return correspondence.

Further to this, auDA flatly refused to rationally consider to any statements regarding our eligibility following the initial three hour period. This seems to indicate that the 14 day 'pending-delete' period the domain was placed in is superfluous, as all arguments following the initial 3 hour period were ignored. Again, we questioned this, as well as the extremely short 3 hour takedown window, a number of times and again all questions were flatly ignored in return correspondence.

Your comment regarding laws seems a little ill-conceived: there are no 'laws' regarding domain registration criteria in Australia - this is handled solely by auDA as an independent body with absolutely no regulatory oversight whatsoever. They make the rules, enforce them how they see fit, and are accountable to nobody. As is quoted on our website:

"This incident reflects worrying concerns about the power that private domain name regulators have to silence critical political speech without going through legitimate legal channels." -- EFA

If nothing else this whole scenario (which, as we're been repeatedly saying, is ultimately a red-herring in the whole censorship debate/movement) has brought international attention to the Anti-Censorship cause. At times we've been taking tens of thousands of hits per day from all over the world, many of which it's rational to assume are from people who were previously unaware of the fight going on here. Love us or hate us, we want exactly the same thing as everyone else -- to see this whole filthy thing dropped. Our methods may have been to date somewhat more guerilla than others, but we're getting the word our en masse.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662092)

DISCLAIMER: I have a direct relationship to stephenconroy.com.au.

OK, cool; perhaps you can answer the obvious question. Why did you want stephenconroy.com.au and not, for example, stephenconroy.org.au? Since you are not in fact a business, the latter (or some variant thereof) would have been the more correct choice.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664826)

I always wondered why your lawyers never put the point up "but then AuDA needs to take more domains/websites offline as there are so many websites that claim they have got something to do with the domain name but when you look closer they have not. I get frustrated when Google searches return results that have got nothing to do with what I am searching for and is biased by "incorrect" domain names.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

arctanx (1187415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668062)

Indeed, I will concede that the 3 hours in which to present your case was rather harsh. Nobody should be expected to pull together their information in so short a time, valid use of the domain or not. All the same, I don't think stephenconroy.com.au deserved more than, say, 24 hours, as their site was obviously not intended for commercial purposes. Common sense, please!

And indeed clearly others who have commented have had bad experiences with auDA which I haven't had to face. All the same, the website was obviously not selling a product. I'm a fan of following common sense and the spirit of the law. Perhaps you speak truth when you say that these are not strictly speaking 'laws', but policies which auDA has implemented, but they are a standard, have been for some time, and freer alternatives exist. I do not believe that auDA is fundamentally undermining our democracy by not allowing a protest site to occupy a .com.au domain.

I also agree that the site has brought attention to the anti-censorship issue -- but in the wrong light. I am pleased that the site brings publicity to the issue but the fact that the site is using underhanded tactics to have the right to register a domain undermines their cause, if you ask me.

Goodness knows that I'm not personally offended by the use of stephenconroy.com.au as a protest site, but the last thing we need is more ammunition against the protesters suggesting that we are disrespectful of Internet policies that aren't actually inherently bad.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

Willbur (196916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677684)

Oh for Mod points. Arctanx is right. There are at least three quite separate issues here:

    a) Stephen Conroy's policies are woefully misguided. They will have the opposite effect on child protection to that publicly claimed, causing an increase the pain and suffering of many children.
    b) Even so, registering this protest site is not a good response. Have the site, but put it in stephenconroysucks.com.au.
        - I much prefer Australia's rather stricter DNS rules to the loose ones in the US. This is not a freedom of speech issue, it's a truth in advertising issue.
        - Applying for a business name as a workaround is not a good thing. It will make the laws either a) more complex, or b) more vague so that they cover all the misleading behaviour.
    c) Regardless of whether the AuDA rules are good, the AuDA implementation looks like it needs some work. Having said that, I'm a fan of stricter policing of au DNS rules. Noone was taking the server down - they were simply saying it can't have a particular domain name.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

doug20r (1436837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30660928)

You are wrong around the registration requirements for .com.au domain names. Simply selling advertising relating to the domain name is enough to show a 'close a substantial connection' and qualify and the stephenconroy.com.au. name could easily meet these requirements. Things have changed since the auDA took over, and the auDA has allowed the .com.au domain name space to become full of parked monetised websites.

Re:These guys are not helping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661574)

Laughs, sensible laws you say. Well you must be under 18.
1.Conroy is not listening, he only hears what he wants by "Yes" people. I know of this and same for a former NSW Premier, he liked "Yes" people, anyone that had different ideas was shoved aside, my friend was a former MP, talking and watching what they went thru, they quit the game.

Re:These guys are not helping (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665518)

The first people in this country from the general public to hear about this filter tells the story of what it is all about. Here's the link [theaustralian.com.au] you can draw your own conclusions.

How's about's gettin'g som'e goo'd spell'ing there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30659670)

I' reall'y get annoy'ed whe'n people ca'nt spel'l or the'y spel'l with everythin'g apostrophe'd in the wron'g place's.

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