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Australia Giving Heavy Fines For Certain Outbound Links

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It’s been a little over 2 years since Australia announced it would move forward with plans to start censoring the internet. Now there’s a mini-uproar down-under because Australian regulators plan to impose AU$11,000-day-fines (about $7,200 US) to anyone that links to banned content.

While most of the banned sites are publishing illegal content new action by the Australian Communications and Media Authority has raised concerns that the regulator could add to the lists sites that it objects to, but are not actually illegal.

For example:

The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.

Wikileaks was added to the blacklist for publishing a leaked document containing Denmark’s list of banned websites.

The blacklist includes 1370 sites but the government is pushing to expand that list to more than 10,000 sites.

There’s a lot of really nasty content online, but is imposing $7k-a-day fines really the way a modern western democracy wants to go? What if the US followed suit? Could it even happen in a country that prides itself of a citizen’s freedom of speech?

This kind of government censorship sends shivers down my spine, how about you?

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