[ Electronic Frontiers Australia ]

Media Release

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Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc.

                 Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc.

Media Release                                        May 19 1999

AUSTRALIA TO LOSE E-COMMERCE ADVANTAGE TO CANADA

Electronic Frontiers Australia today urged the government to rethink
controversial Internet censorship legislation before the lucky country
becomes the outsmarted country.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
has announced that it will not be regulating the Internet.  They are
concerned that "any attempt to regulate Canadian new media might put
the industry at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace".

"Our message is clear. We are not regulating any portion of the Internet,"
said Francoise Bertrand, CRTC Chairperson.

"The Canadians have recognised that the Internet is not broadcasting",
said EFA Executive Director Darce Cassidy.  "They took into account
the textual nature of most Internet content and its selection and
customisation by users.  The Australian government, in contrast, insists
on pretending the Internet is like television."

"The Internet is a global entity and individual states can not regulate
it alone", said Mr Cassidy.  "The Australian government must recognise
this fact and accept global standards, before Australian businesses
lose competitive advantage in the global information economy to those
in more enlightened countries."

"The legislation before Parliament at the moment is not only out of step
with other Western democracies", Mr Cassidy concluded.  "It would create
an Internet censorship regime more authoritarian than those of Singapore
and Malaysia."

[ENDS]

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      Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc  --  http://www.efa.org.au/
      representing Internet users concerned with on-line freedoms
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      Media Contacts:

      Kim Heitman                           Darce Cassidy
      Phone: 08 9458 2790                   Phone: 08 8362 5183
      [email protected]                    [email protected]
      --------------------------------------------------------------

BACKGROUND

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decides not
to regulate the Internet
  Announcement
        http://www.crtc.gc.ca/ENG/NEWS/RELEASES/1999/R990517e.htm
  News story
        http://www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/19726.html

Information about the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) Bill
        http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/99.html

A comparison with Singapore and Malaysia
        http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/compareasia.html

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