Scientology protest group 'Anonymous' targeted in internet blacklist crackdown

A list of 2,395 websites which are considered unsuitable for Australian internet audiences has included a home base of 'Anonymous', the web-based activist group that made headlines by declaring war on the Church Of Scientology.

The list was purportedly leaked from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, and tables a group of websites supposedly facing a ban - although ACMA is denying the content is accurate.

It features the URL details of an image board on which thousands of the protest group’s members discuss matters relating to their cause.

However, along with details of protests and the group’s concerns with Scientology practice, the image board contains a vast collection of gruesome and questionable material.

Images of pornography; including bondage and fetish material, graphic pictures of accidents, and questionable user-generated content is generally uploaded by members on a daily basis.

It is believed this material is the primary reason why the website was targeted for blacklisting by ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

In its manifesto, Anonymous justifies its posting of the questionable material with a Darwinistic “natural selection” approach to its process, and with an attitude promoting the freedom of information and ideas - irrespective of the gratuity of the content.

Despite this, illegal material, including child pornography, is not permitted by moderators.

Interestingly, the Anonymous image board in question is the birthplace of many popular, and now mainstream, internet cultural artifacts, including “LOLCATS”, “Fail/Epic fail/Epic Win”, “Motivational Posters” and “FTW (for the win)”.

If ACMA succeed in having the website blacklisted, Australian distribution of the image board’s URL could lead to criminal prosecution, fines of up to $11,000 per day, and prison sentences of up to 10 years.