Dec 21, 2009

The swift takedown of stephenconroy.com.au

Just hours after a bit of media publicity, an anti-Stephen Conroy website was pulled down by authorities. Was this a routine domain deregistration or something more sinister?

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

The Fake Stephen Conroy website at stephenconroy.com.au that Crikey mentioned on Friday lasted just two days. At 5pm AEDT Friday it was taken offline by .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA), the industry self-regulatory body for Australian internet domains, who deleted the domain with less than three hours notice.

The site’s content, including the header “Stephen Conroy: Minister for Fascism”, is now online at stephen-conroy.com instead, where auDA has no jurisdiction — although it’s hosted in the same location.

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5 thoughts on “The swift takedown of stephenconroy.com.au

  1. Stilgherrian

    In a story over at ZDNet.com.au, auDA confirms that they received no communication from Senator Conroy, but that this was a routine thing.

    [auDA CEO Chris] Disspain said that there was no element of censorship in its decision to investigate the site, but rather just a concern about whether the company really had cause to use the stephenconroy name. “We don’t care what the website says or does. It’s not our issue. The question is, are you eligible for the domain?” he said.

    The domain name has not been taken out of Sapia’s hands as yet, only made inactive, Disspain said. Sapia had fourteen days from last Friday to show that it is eligible to hold the name. If the company is able to prove a connection to the name, for example via showing it offers a product or service carrying the name, it will be allowed to keep using the domain.

  2. David Sanderson

    Oh well, maybe that police state, or Burmese-style dictatorship, we have been hearing so much about is some way off then.

  3. David Sanderson

    Stephen Conroy’s response article demonstrates how farcically ill-conceived this article was. Stilgherrian so wanted this stuff to be evidence that we were going headlong into some kind of censorship-driven tyranny that he failed to use adequate journalistic restraint and care.

    This article was of a piece with the zealotry and fast and loose use of the facts in the article that appeared the previous day, the infamously titled “Internet filtering: first step on the path to Burma?”

    If you are interested in this issue then I suggest you read the article comments as well where he resorts to unsupportable claims of misrepresentation rather than dealing forthrightly with the offered critique.

  4. skipjack

    Conroy’s office has previously been involved in attempting to silence critics of the proposed filter.

    Mr Conroy’s assertions that we should refer to his FAQ page for facts on the proposed internet filter is a complete and utter joke.

    Both the minister’s comments, and his FAQ page are not a reliable source of impartial facts. They are completely biased in favour of the filter, which is his stated position. They make no attempt to give an impartial account as they are designed to persuade in favour of the minister’s stated position.

    The minister’s comments demonstrate his lack of credibility. He has not shown any willingness to engage or consult internet users on this issue, but claims he has. There has been no consultation. Just a farcical trial.

    Rather, we are forced to endure an endless stream of empty rhetoric from Mr Conroy.

    The next step will be forcing ISP’s to monitor users who download pirated movies and audio recordings.

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