STOP! CAMPAIGN - TO STOP AUSTRALIAN NET CENSORSHIP LEGISLATION

15 July 1996

State-based Internet Censorship Proposal put on hold.

The STOP! Campaign thanks all supporters.

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IN THIS ISSUE:


LATEST NEWS

The Australian Censorship Ministers, at their meeting on 11 and 12 July have agreed to put aside the state legislation proposed by the NSW Attorney General in order to allow the Commonwealth Government, through the Australian Broadcasting Authority, to implement a self-regulation regime based on Codes of Conduct to be developed in consultation with the industry.

All states other than WA will now not proceed with legislation. It is not yet clear what will happen in regard to the existing Victorian and Northern Territory legislation.

This is a great day for Internet democracy in Australia. The voice of reason finally appears to be winning against the voice of ignorance. We congratulate all those who have supported the campaign to date by contacting State and Federal Ministers and other parliamentarians, and those who have helped to promote the campaign in various ways.

It is clear that the widespread opposition to the NSW proposals reached the Commonwealth Minister for Communications and The Arts, Senator Alston, who played a key role in convincing the Censorship Ministers to abandon state-based legislation in favour of the ABA approach. The ACT Attorney General, Mr. Gary Humphries was also instrumental in persuading the other Ministers to adopt a national self-regulatory regime.

Although EFA has some reservations about the ABA report, in particular where it leaves individual Net users and private content creators, we are hopeful that the Authority will carry through its brief of wide consultation and take account of these concerns.

However, there is still a long road ahead. The campaign will continue, although in a different direction, and in an atmosphere perhaps somewhat less charged with emotional rhetoric and more focussed on reason, technical understanding and practical ideas. EFA is continuing to meet with the respective Ministers and will be responding in detail to both the SCAG decision and the ABA report.

We will provide more information in due course as it comes to hand. In the meantime we encourage all supporters of the campaign to convey to the Censorship Ministers, support for their decision.


You can monitor the progress of the STOP! campaign by:

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?

The following documents are available on the STOP! Campaign web site at <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/stop.html>: The ABA Report is available at: <http://www.dca.gov.au/aba/olsrprt.htm> (large file >500kb)

A speech by the Minister for Communications and the Arts, which includes comment about the ABA report, is available at: <http://www.dca.gov.au/speeches/intiaa.html>


OTHER ORGANISATIONS

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 info message on the STOP! Campaign web site <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/stop.html>.

AAA World Announce Archive * Albury Local Internet * Apple Users' Society of Melbourne Inc. * 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 * HEMP SA Inc. * Internet Industry Association of Australia * Internet Support Services * Internode * PC User Group Canberra * Public Policy Assessment Society * Queensland Council for Civil Liberties * South Australian Internet Association * 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]


Media representatives may contact the following:

Kim Heitman [email protected] Ph: +619 458 2790

Danny Yee [email protected] Ph: +612 351 5159 (W) +612 9955 9898 (H)


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