Poker Blacklist Under Review

Admin. - June 8, 2009

Government said to be considering review of banned Websites following embarrassment over leaks.

The Federal Government is considering a review of a secret blacklist of banned Websites that includes online poker sites, according to Australian media.

The review would be conducted by a panel or prominent Australians or by a parliamentary committee.

The blacklist, maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, is supplied to the makers of Internet filters, but publication of the list is illegal.

Website Wikileaks embarrassed the government in March when it published a list of sites it claimed were on the blacklist. Apart from child porn, rape and extreme violence sites, the list included online poker sites and even the Website of a dentist.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told a Senate hearing in late May that the Government was "considering options for greater transparency and accountability in respect of the blacklist."

The blacklist is being used as the basis for trials to test the feasibility of a controversial government plan to block banned Websites at the Internet Service Provider level.

The plan has been met with widespread opposition, with many saying that filtering devices will not solve the problem of illegal Websites.

Licensed betting outlets fear that their Websites will be wrongly blocked under the plans, a fear heightened by the fact that many major betting Websites, including Betfair, William Hill Casinos, Party Poker and FullTiltPoker, were found to have appeared on the leaked blacklist.



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