Government internet control questioned through FOI
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission have unveiled a list of websites it has blocked for supposedly supplying fraudulent financial information, under a controversial section of the Telecommunications Act.
ASIC has been operating under Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act to identify and then require ISPs to block sites they feels provide fraudulent financial opportunities. Section 313 has been widely questioned because it forces ISPs to block sites according to material deemed questionable by the government. It has already had some unintended effects; 1200 innocent sites were inadvertently blocked in April, another 250, 000 sites were accidentally blocked from Australia browsers since.
Freedom of Information requests have revealed widespread use of Section 313 for online law-enforcement, but digital rights campaigners and those interested in a free internet say the laws are potentially very exploitable, their use being largely secretive, non-transparent and almost never reported.
A full analysis of information released by the Government, as weel as its approach to implementing Seciton 313 has been performed by digital rights proponents at Delimiter.