Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), Australia’s leading voice for digital rights since 1994, today released an election scorecard rating a number of national political parties on a range of policies relating to digital rights.
The Australian Labor Party was marked down particularly on its stance on surveillance, while the Liberal Party of Australia was marked down on their opposition to the introduction of fair use into Australia’s copyright law.
Family First’s support for mandatory internet filtering saw them get marked down on this score. The two other parties surveyed, the Australian Sex Party and the Wikileaks Party generally got good scores but received no score on copyright as the stance of each party is unknown in this context.
Marcus Wigan, EFA Vice-Chair said, "the major parties continue to disappoint us in their approach to digital rights issues. The ALP's apparently uncritical acceptance of the recently revealed civil liberties outrages on the part of US authorities is deeply troubling, while the Liberal Party's opposition to the introduction of fair use into Australian copyright law seems to contradict what we would expect from a truly 'liberal' party. EFA is glad that Australian voters have a range of choices and that there are parties standing in the election that have a genuine commitment to digital rights."
EFA did not receive a response from the Liberal Party of Australia, the Australian Sex Party or the Wikileaks Party, therefore these parties have been scored based on publicly-available information about their policy stance on each issue.
EFA notes that both the Australian Sex Party and the Wikileaks Party have made preferencing decisions for the half Senate election in certain states that may result in their preferences going to parties that EFA believes may not be supportive of the digital rights agenda. EFA therefore recommends that voters concerned with digital rights that are considering voting ‘above the line’ for these parties should review the Senate Group Voting Tickets for their state before casting their vote. These Senate Group Voting Tickets are available from the AEC website.
EFA also notes the decision of the Pirate Party Australia to endorse the Australian Greens’ Scott Ludlam in the Western Australian Senate election (where the Pirate Party Australia is not fielding a candidate).
EFA’s 2013 election scorecard is available at: www.efa.org.au/election2013