Betfair banned by ACMA

CEO furious, tens of millions at risk.

Betfair CEO Andrew Twaits is outraged the multi-billion dollar company has been blacklisted under the government Internet content filters, a move set to annex tens of millions of dollars in local revenue.

Twaits was unaware the TAB rival had been blacklisted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) when contacted by Computerworld, and said the watchdog had not contacted the company.

The global betfair.com site was one of many legitimate sites blocked by the watchdog, including dentists, bus companies and a tour operator. The blacklists were today revealed on wikileaks reportedly after a content filtering company leaked the list.

“We didn't know [about the ban]. We've been licensed to operate in Australia for three years and have never received a complaint or any allegation that Betfair locally or globally is not permitted to be used by Australians

“The global Betfair site is used by Australians every day.”

Under the Interactive Gambling Act, it is illegal for overseas companies to offer gambling services to Australians and Betfair blocks local customers from accessing its UK poker and casino products.

He said Betfair is probably the only company in the world that blocks its customers from accessing the overseas gambling services.

This law is not applicable to the Betfair.com site.

“I need to find out what the implications are and how we got on the list,” Twaits said.

“I'm amazed at that this has happened.”

Tags internet content filtering

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12 Comments

G Thompson

1

Hypothetical Scenario

A hypothetical scenario of why betfair is on the list.

Sometime in early 2007 some bright spark thinks to themselves "well I don't like betfair so i will send their link into ACMA because I am outraged at a betting company being online"

ACMA receives link via their automated response system. Some unknown and unknowable since they are beholden to nobody officer at ACMA thinks "why its a betting site that could be potentially prohibited under Australian laws so I will place it on the list"

The list is updated with relevant betfair global link on 6th May 2008. And no one is ever told or notified since ACMA have no legal ability or obligation under law to notify non Australian hosted sites. Oh and since the list is secret can never tell anyone that is affected here.

Pretty simple scenario.. though who knows A second scenario could be same as the first except the outraged person COULD be a competitor of Betfair. Who's to know since the application is forever secret and confidential even under subpoena.

Joe

2

Law Broken!!

Betfair is on the ACMA banned list. By publishing the link in the list, Computerworld is in fact breaking the law. HOW RIDICULOUS... Good Job Conroy, you have just proved the case why your proposed Censorship should not be implemented.

Cynic

3

Welcome to the New World Order, where freedom of speech is no longer a right.

Anonymous

4

I'm getting a little sick of people talking about NWO, seriously, it's an american conspiracy theory, leave it there.

Anonymous

5

betfair

Doesn't seem to be blocked from Australia at ALL. Unless maybe it was and the ACMA backed out due to a possible lawsuit from a multi-billion dollar company.
I guess the old saying of money talks seems appropriate.
Either that or the story was pure propaganda.

David Morris

6

Re Banned sites

I wonder if I could have some government websites or government funded website banned by submitting my own list on the basis that the government disseminates information sometimes that may be deemed harmful. The very first one to ban is .gov.au That would shut down the government full stop. Brng them to their knees I say.

Anonymous

7

ACMA Blacklisting

My understanding is that the ACMA blacklist does not currently block any sites. It is provided to filtering companies for use in their filters. If you're not running a filter then sites are still accessible as the Great Australian Firewall has not yet been developed.

Thats why betfair is still accessible.

Darren Pauli

Staff

8

Blacklists not yet enforced

That's right Anon, betfair and all other sites included in the blacklists are still accessible from all unfiltered internet connections.

It would be inaccessible from internet services subcribing to the blacklists which I hazard to guess are all public Internet connections - libraries, public schools and parliament - and certain private ISPs services.

The danger here is that these lists are the same which would be used under the government's internet content filter plan, and the leakage has exposed serious problems in the process by which sites are added.

Let's hope this process is addressed and some accountability is introduced.

Cheers,
Darren Pauli

Anonymous

9

which ISPs are filtering

Can someone please list the ISPs that are taking part in the filtering trial ? These names should be widely broadcast and anyone who is outraged by the trial who uses them, should cancel and move to someone else, making sure that the reason for the change is known.

Dave

10

the 6 ISPs filtering for the government

Primus Telecommunications
Tech 2U
Webshield
OMNIconnect
Netforce
Highway 1

Anonymous

11

nwo ?

man, pull your head out of your ass. the nwo is real.

Have you even bothered to look it up? CFR, FEMA, HAARP, Trilateral Commission, Builderburg, population reduction, Rockerfella, Rothschild, Real ID.

Seriously, look it up. It's hardly a "therory" any more, but in your face reality!

Stop watching TV.

www dot unplugthesignal dot com
www dot infowars dot com

Anonymous

12

Similiar to Finnish child porn filter

Sounds bit similiar problems we finns are having and have had with our so called national child porn filter.

First an biggest controversy surrounding it was sparked when the filter marked all pages on one particular thai server/service as child porn due to couple of the 10000 - 15000+ sites on server/service being suspected of hosting CP. It just happened that on of the sites now banned on suspicion of hosting child was a memorial site of one of thai pricesses causing angry political backlash from thai embassy straining relations between our countries. It took them few weeks to fix the problem but the damage was already done.

The filter list have since leaked and many of the sites listed in it have been identified as normal internet sites (many of them normal porn sites but other services are also targeted) having nothing to do with CP. Due to filter list being secret there's little change of providers of these services to ever find out about their sites being filtered and being able to file a complaint about it.

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