Blackout: 125 websites self-censor to protest filters

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Blackout: 125 websites self-censor to protest filters

Complete round-up of day one.

Open source developer and at least two minor political parties were among around 125 websites to ‘black out' today to protest the Government's internet filtering plans.

A search by iTnews also located anti-filter campaigners Stopinternetcensorship and web developer Simon Elvery's homepage among participants.

Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has posted a live list of actual participants, which numbered 125 at the time of writing.

The number is down on the 500 that had earlier pledged to participate but the EFA list included only those that had actually placed the ‘black out' HTML code on their pages today.

An EFA spokesman said the organisation was still working through "board and publisher approvals" before some higher-profile pledges could be fulfilled.

And others were still pledging to participate, meaning the total number of participants by weeks end could hit the 500 mark.

"There's plenty more filing in," the spokesman said.

A tweet earlier today said "more have pledged in 8 hours than over the last four weeks!".

Political interest came from Greens' senator Scott Ludlam and from the Australian Democrats, which issued separate statements in support of the online protest.

Democrats national president Julia Melland encouraged other internet users to black out their facebook or twitter pictures for solidarity.

She said the party would reveal new draft policies "for the internet and classification" in coming weeks.

"The Australian Democrats are committed to doing everything we can, including blocking any legislation should we get Senators up in the Federal election, to stop Australians from having their internet censored," Melland said.

Ludlam said he was also "proud" to take part in the action, which has the backing of Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA).

"Communications Minister Stephen Conroy should start paying attention to the almost universal condemnation of this scheme and pursue alternatives rather than pushing ahead with the mandatory filter," he said.

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