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Senate condemns Internet censorship.

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Media Release

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja

Deputy Leader Australian Democrats

Information Technology Spokesperson


September 30, 1999




Senate condemns Internet censorship

Demands that Government report on consequences



The Australian Democrats today moved a successful motion, with the Opposition, calling on the Government to immediately address the numerous concerns about Internet censorship which have been raised by the community and industry.


“The Australian Democrats remain opposed to the Government’s Internet censorship regime,” said Senator Stott Despoja. “However, the Australian Democrats do understand and support legitimate public concerns about Internet content. We certainly do not advocate unsuitable Internet material being available to minors.


“Since the passage of the Internet censorship legislation there has been a continuing stream of criticism from a number of sources This Government continues to claim that it is consultative and inclusive, but their statements m the Senate this morning show that it is unable to acknowledge either alternative views or constructive criticism. As is so often the case, this Government will not admit to its mistake.


“The Internet censorship legislation is seriously flawed and inappropriate in a liberal democracy.


“The Government insists that ‘soft’ Codes of Conduct can remedy some of our concerns. This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of our criticisms. We can all agree that the proposed Codes are better than expected, but that is not the issue. The Government has established a content control framework which is generally unacceptable, even if the current implementation seems benign.


“The Australian Democrats are looking forward to the Government realising the consequences of its actions. Hopefully the Government will also learn about the rights and responsibilities of adults in our society, particularly when those adults are responsible for young people,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.



For comment, contact Senator Stott Despoja on 02 6277 3645

For further information contact Geoff King on 02 6277 3645 or 0412680 392



al  1999-10-01  11:10