Australia censors anti-censorship site

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The auDA (Australian Domain Name Administrator) suspended the registration of the domain stephenconroy.com.au. The domain was being used by ‘fake’ Stephen Conroy against the mandatory Internet filter announced by Senator Stephen Conroy recently. auDA gives stephenconroy.com.au only three hours to respond before they block it. The satirical site has moved to http://www.stephen-conroy.com, where auDA has no jurisdiction –although it’s hosted in the same location.

The following is the representatives of the ‘fake’ stephenconroy website’s open letter to auDA’s Chris Dispain:

I’d like to take the opportunity to make the following representations to you on behalf of stephenconroy.com.au:

1) Our domain names were registered by a recognised business entity for the purpose of democratic protest against Senator Stephen Conroy. We feel that this constitutes a close and direct connection to the name. The website contains no illegal material.

2) We were given manifestly inadequate time to make submissions as to the validity of our registration. The research we’ve done indicates that this is almost unprecedented. We have been made aware of a policy dispute lodged over ‘financetech.com.au’ (auDA complaint C0908912) earlier today. In auDA’s reply Vanessa Stanford notes that an investigation of this dispute could take up to 30 days. This seems to be quite contrasting with the period of less than 3 hours we were given.

3) We are aware that auDA’s office is closed between 22’nd December (tomorrow) and 11’th January. This would mean that our domain ‘pending delete’ would expire while your office is closed and we would arbitrarily lose the domains. How do you expect to run an investigation in to our eligibility while your office is closed ?

4) We request that the stephenconroy domains are immediately returned to our control. If you would like to investigate this further we request that control is at least returned for the break period in order to avoid us arbitrarily losing them.

Please note that this is an open letter which we intend to publish and release to the press immediately. As you may be aware this issue has and continues to receive significant media interest. Given that your office is closing tomorrow we request a reply to this communication as soon as possible.

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