Unnecessary Content Regulation Legislation
Last update: 2nd November 1997
On 20th July 1997, EFA
announced the commencement of a campaign
against proposals by the Department of Communications and the Arts to
legislate to impose burdensome content regulation on the
Internet Services industry in Australia. EFA's position is that content
regulation of the Internet is unnecessary.
For details of what the government proposes, see
Principles for a Regulatory Framework for On-line Services in
the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 which were released on 15th July.
On 10th August, EFA released a response to the proposals.
A total of 59 submissions was received and these have now been
made available online. Latest information is that the framework is being
reviewed but draft exposure legislation is not expected now until early
EFA's Media Release of 20th July on the proposals.
The major problems EFA sees with the proposed principles are:
- They make Internet Service Providers (ISPs) responsible for
policing content created and published by others.
- They make the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) responsible for regulating ISPs.
- They force ISPs to make judgements about how material published
by their users would be classified by the Office of Film and Literature
- They fail to recognise the major problems that will result from
inconsistencies between state censorship laws.
- They fail to take into account that clearly objectionable material
such as child pornography is already illegal, or that the vast bulk
of "adult" material is sourced from outside Australia.
Key aspects of the campaign include:
- An online petition to be presented to the Senate.
Please sign now.
- Widespread publicity about the DCA proposals with the aim of encouraging
as many Internet users as possible to voice their opposition to the
- Publication of a detailed critique of the proposals.
- IRC sessions on IRC channel #EFA at times to be advised
to enable interested users to discuss the
issues and become better informed about the proposals.
- EFA Action Mailing List - a discussion list for information and debate on the
- A formal EFA submission to the Minister for Communications and the Arts.
- A mailing to every Member of Parliament to advise them of the problems
with the proposals.
- Media briefings.
- Liaison with other industry and user organisations opposed to the
What You Can Do
- Sign the petition now.
- Join the EFA Action List - send email to
with the word "subscribe" in the body of the message.
- Join the IRC sessions.
- Write to your local member about the proposal.
- Watch this page regularly for updated information.
See also the 1996 STOP! Campaign
Return to EFA Home Page
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