New controversial website-blocking legislation (pdf) passed in Australian Senate. The site-blocking law allows copyright holders to receive court orders restricting Australians’ access to overseas websites linked to copyright infringement or piracy.
Once the bill passed into law, file sharing and torrent sites like ExtraTorrent, Pirate Bay and other could be blocked to Australians by the country’s internet service providers
The legislation’s passing means a dark day for the Internet in Australia – according to the words of Dr. Matthew Rimmer, an associate professor at the ANU College of Law. He pointed out that websites that don’t intend to host copyright-infringement content like Mega and Dropbox, could be mistakenly blocked.
Many Australian users think that the passed law is very controversial.
“The best way to fight piracy in Australia would be to give us access to the streaming content we want. The limited selection available to us does not meet the demand for the service, so people look for other ways to get what they want”, - the most popular opinion among Australian Internet users right now.
Senator Scott Ludlam noticed: “Does anyone seriously believe that this scheme won’t be expanded in the future to cover more categories of content? Of course it will. It has scope creep absolutely built into it. It is lazy, and it is dangerous”, he said.
Nevertheless, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) used by Australian internet users to hide their location to access foreign sites, will not be affected. With VPN, Australian users are still able to replace IP address with IP address of VPN server located in another country or region. This trick allows users to overcome internet censorship in Australia