Explain or Resign Senator 410!

The removal of an article by the Fairfax group of websites, which discussed the possibility that the Nine Network program Underbelly: The Golden Mile broadcast what technically might have been child pornography, has demonstrated that some “overpowering force” already has the ability to censor our internet, or at the very least, the weight to influence fair and reasonable reporting of a politically sensitive topic.

When you try and follow a link to the page here, you get a completely blank white page. There is also nothing in the page source. If you try and get the page in a more “mechanical” way, you can see the error code that is returned:

HTTP error code 410 is an interesting beast. Here is how it is defined in IETF RFC 2616:

The requested resource is no longer available at the server and no forwarding address is known. This condition is expected to be considered permanent. Clients with link editing capabilities SHOULD delete references to the Request-URI after user approval. If the server does not know, or has no facility to determine, whether or not the condition is permanent, the status code 404 (Not Found) SHOULD be used instead. This response is cacheable unless indicated otherwise.

The 410 response is primarily intended to assist the task of web maintenance by notifying the recipient that the resource is intentionally unavailable and that the server owners desire that remote links to that resource be removed. Such an event is common for limited-time, promotional services and for resources belonging to individuals no longer working at the server’s site. It is not necessary to mark all permanently unavailable resources as “gone” or to keep the mark for any length of time — that is left to the discretion of the server owner.

Clearly, this appears to be a very deliberate removal of the article. Who ordered that it be removed? Someone at Fairfax? Or someone from the “overpowering force”?

This is why we hate your censorship Senator Conroy. What is basically political discussion – something you are at pains to enforce will not be censored – has been stripped down. Political discussion. This is not about stopping kiddie porn – this incident is about covering up your stupid mistakes. You need to explain what happened here Senator Conroy, or resign for producing all of your misleading bullshit!

Of course, nothing on the internet is ever really “GONE” – here’s a cached copy of the article.

You need to become a 410 error yourself – GONE! I hereby declare you “Senator Stephen Four-One-Oh”.