STOP! CAMPAIGN - TO STOP AUSTRALIAN NET CENSORSHIP LEGISLATION
NSW ATTORNEY-GENERAL STILL ATTACKING ONLINE FREE SPEECH
PROPOSED LEGISLATION WILL FORCE MASSIVE SHUT DOWN OF NET RELATED BUSINESSES AND SUBJECT USERS TO FRAUD, BLACKMAIL & HARASSMENT
CONTACT ATTORNEYS-GENERAL NOW AND URGE THAT THEY LISTEN TO THE CONCERNS OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY & INTERNET USING PUBLIC
24 JUNE 1996
PLEASE REDISTRIBUTE THIS DOCUMENT WIDELY WITH THIS BANNER INTACT REDISTRIBUTE ONLY IN APPROPRIATE PLACES & ONLY UNTIL 1 JULY 1996
The NSW Attorney-General is still intent in imposing his net-ignorant legislation to censor the Internet and has ignored requests from business and the Internet using public to avoid censorship. On 11 July the State and Federal Attorneys-General will consider the proposed NSW legislation as the basis for national legislation. Now is the time to contact your State and Federal Attorney-General and urge them to listen to the business community and the Internet using public.
The NSW Attorney-General has announced draft NSW Internet censorship legislation which will be considered as the basis for national legislation at the next meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) on 11 July. However each State is likely to implement differing versions of a national model, adding or removing parts as they see fit. It seems likely that the Net community would need to comply with the laws of the most repressive State.
Since the launch of the STOP! Campaign to stop Australian Net censorship legislation on June 9, there has been increasing opposition to the NSW proposals as the issues become more widely known. The issues have been reported in the press across the nation. Recent editorials in The Australian and The West Australian have expressed concern regarding restriction on freedom of speech and the conceptual and practical problems of the proposed laws.
It is apparent that it is not only the global nature of the Internet which is being largely ignored. So too are the difficulties for Internet Services Providers and users in being aware of and complying with laws which vary from State to State.
Despite repeated requests, an official copy of the draft legislation has still not been provided. The proposed legislation is based on the 1995 DCA Consultation Paper which in its turn was based on the 1994 BBS Task Force Report. It appears that very little, if any, of the widespread criticism of both the Paper and the Report has been taken into account in deciding whether any legislation is required, or of its content.
Whilst there are indications that contact with State Attorneys-General and their advisers is beginning to have some effect, much more is needed.
The Draft Bill is technically incompetent.
The Draft Bill errs in creating offences of transmission.
The Draft Bill criminalises innocent conduct.
The Draft Bill is unnecessary.
The Draft Bill will fail in its objectives.
The Draft Bill is unenforceable.
The Draft Bill must be rejected outright.
The NSW proposals will:
Meetings have already been held with the Tasmanian A-G, advisers to the Queensland A-G, and with the NSW and Tasmanian Shadow A-Gs. Meetings have been or are being set up with A-Gs in all other States and the Federal A-G.
Other organisations have supported the STOP! Campaign directly or have otherwise publicly opposed the NSW proposals (see Other Organisations below).
The following are being released today, and are available on the STOP! Campaign web site at <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/stop.html>.
There have been over 30 articles recently in the press on the Australian Internet censorship situation. These have included articles and editorials in The Australian, West Australian, Hobart Mercury, Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Courier Mail, The Advertiser and Business Review Weekly. Details are available on the STOP! Campaign web site at <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/stop.html>.
Details are provided below:
Several WWW sites have information about the STOP! Campaign and proposed Net censorship legislation. Visit the STOP! Campaign web site <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/stop.html>
If you need further information concerning your local situation you may contact your State STOP! Campaign Representative. Contact details are available on the campaign web site <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/stop.html>.
Media representatives may contact the following:
Kim Heitman [email protected]
Danny Yee [email protected]
To our knowledge the following organisations or members from the following organisations have all announced their concerns about the proposed NSW Censorship Legislation. Links to these organisations web pages are provided on the web version of this alert on the STOP! Campaign web site <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/stop.html>.
AAA World Announce Archive * Australian Council of Libraries and Information Services * Australian Computer Society * Australian Library and Information Association * AUUG (Australian group for UNIX & Open Systems) * Electronic Frontiers Australia * Electronic Frontier Foundation * Internet Industry Association of Australia * Internet Support Services * Internode * PC User Group Canberra * Public Policy Assessment Society * Queensland Council for Civil Liberties * System Administrators Guild of Australia * Voters Telecom Watch * Western Australian Internet Association
If you would like your organisation mentioned in future STOP! Campaign Action Alerts, or would like to have your organisation join the campaign and take part in formulating future releases, please send email to [email protected]