Stuart, a commenter on "Somebody Think Of The Children" has made this very simple point:
"The only reason that secrecy is required is the fact that filters don't work, and even those backing them know it. If your filter does work, then there is little harm in publicly listing a URL and a reason for blocking it."
There is a certain seductive truth to this, but there is one flaw. The filters that the Australian Government impose are not universal. Even if the Australian filters were perfect, the list would have to be secret to prevent the list being exploited in jurisdictions not subject to Australian law and hence filters.
Stuarts point would probably be better phrased this way: since filters will never be 100% effective and universal, the list must be secret.
The issue then is whether a democracy can tolerate a permanent lack of transparency and accountability, implicit in existence of a secret list. Relying on secrecy is never a good thing, because secrecy is very hard to sustain or, if it is sustained, it invariably leads to a lack of accountability and an abuse of power.
Why are supporters so confident that the lack of accountability and transparency implicit in the existence of the ACMA blacklist won't eventually lead to corruption and abuses of power in this case?