Protesters cause website to briefly go offline

Hackers protesting the secret censorship blacklists of the Australian government exposed by Wikileaks (see previous InfoPowa reports) caused the online censorship board's web page to be taken briefly offline Thursday, reports the Wired.com blog.

Whilst Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was doing the talkshow rounds trying to rationalise the secretive censorship moves of the government's Australian Media and Communications Authority, the hackers hijacked the agency's website to protest revelations that the government planned to require ISPs to block public access to thousands of websites, many of which are innocuous.

The hackers executed a little censorship of their own, replacing the AMCD public message with their own tongue-in-cheek version that started: "We are part of an elaborate deception from China to control and sheepify the nation..."

The federal government's actions have triggered protests across Australia, with critics slamming it as censorship. Internet providers argue that the sort of filtering being considered by the government could slow browsing speeds, and point out that illegal material such as child pornography can be traded on peer-to-peer networks or chats, which would not be covered by the filter.

Several Internet providers are conducting trials of the filter, but three of Australia's biggest ISPs have withdrawn from the trial.

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