[ Electronic Frontiers Australia ]

Media Release


Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc.

Media Release
October 22, 1999

EFA granted right of reply to "maniacs" claim

The Senate Committee of Privileges has granted a right of reply to
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) following adverse comments about the
organisation by Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications,
Information Technology and the Arts. EFA's response was tabled in the
Senate on Thursday October 21.

Senator Alston's remarks were made during a Senate debate on the
government's controversial Internet censorship legislation on 30 September.
He said EFA were "maniacs" who were "not in the slightest bit interested in
the welfare of the community" and were the cause of a problem the Internet
Industry Association and the Government have in negotiating a code of

Concluding their comprehensive response, EFA said "In summary, Senator
Alston's allegations as to our characters, views and  intent are incorrect,
unjustified and utterly without foundation. Despite his attempts to malign
us, we intend to continue to make the 'big noise' that Senator Alston
obviously finds discomforting until such time as the government's approach
becomes, in our opinion, reasonably and appropriately adapted to serve a
legitimate end."

EFA's response is contained in the twenty-eighth of a series of reports
issued by the Senate Committee of Privileges recommending that a right of
reply be accorded to persons who claim to have been adversely affected by
being referred to, either by name or in such as way as to be readily
identifiable, in the Senate.

Commenting on the report of the Senate Committee of Privileges, Senator
Kate Lundy said "As a honourable senators would know, this is an issue of
ongoing public debate and the Electronic Frontiers Australia organisation
will no doubt continue their diligent work in bringing the facts to the
forefront of that public debate. They will do what is within their
capability to defend themselves in the face of continual abuse by a
minister who is obviously far more concerned with trying to drag people's
names into this debate and diminishing the debate by personal attacks
rather than sticking to the fundamental issues that are so worthy of a
public airing and a comprehensive discussion, both in this arena and in the
public area generally."


      Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc  --  http://www.efa.org.au/
      representing Internet users concerned about on-line freedoms
     URL of this release: http://www.efa.org.au/Publish/PR991022.html

Media Contacts:

       Kim Heitman		Danny Yee
       Phone: 08 9214 2204	Phone: 02 9351 5159
       [email protected]	[email protected]


Committee of Privileges Report: Persons Referred to in the Senate - Board
Members and Staff of Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. - 80th Report -
October 1999

Information on Right-of-Reply, Committee of Privileges 76th Report:

EFA response incorporated in Hansard 
& Senator Lundy's speech:

Senator Alston's remarks:


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