Update : Australian Networks Censor Community Education Website, Danny O’Brien and Eva Galperin and Peter Eckersley, April 11, 2013: “UPDATE 2013-04-12: Apparently as a result of this blog post, social media attention, and questions from the Australian Greens to the Australian Federal Attorney General’s Department, the block has been lifted. But there has not yet been any explanation of why these 1,200 sites were blocked in the first place…”
Huh. That’s odd. According to the Melbourne Free University (MFU), the MFU website — http://melbournefreeuniversity.org/ — has been blocked by the Federal Government.
Have you been trying to get on the MFU website and not getting through? Yes? Us too. We’ve spent a few days trying to figure out what is going on, and have finally been told that the MFU website has been blocked by the Australian Federal Government for ‘undisclosed reasons.’ Our supplier is legally prohibited from disclosing any further information to us.
We don’t if we’ve been specifically targeted or perhaps others who share our server have been, if it’s a mistake, or how long we will be unable to access it. Due to the quirks of the blocking regime, some of you will find that you can actually access it, but about 90% of the population can’t.
We can’t believe how O[r]wellian this is! This is the arbitrary exercise of authority with no transparency or accountability, or any recourse to appeal processes. We have absolutely no idea what has happened, why, how we can respond, [or] if we should be contacting lawyers! And all we’re trying to do is make a space for free education.
We’re trying to move our website to a new provider, and we’re hoping that that will resolve the issue, but it’s pretty scary that this can happen in a democratic society. Obviously, if we’ve been specifically targeted this won’t work, but we really can’t believe that we have been, and this really is the insidious nature of the process – that we can be blocked by accident, and there’s no accountability at all about it.
So. You can’t view the site from Australia but you can outside of it (so to speak). Why that’s the case is rather perplexing, but no doubt a reason will emerge at some point.