Feeds

Draconian new electoral laws for South Australia?

Say what you want - but we know where you live

Build a business case: developing custom apps

South Australians were this week up in arms at the propsect of a $5000 fine for posting anonymous comment online in respect of an upcoming state election.

Posters were quick to condemn this as unprecedented state censorship.

The new Australian law came into force on January 6, and makes it an offence for anyone to comment online about state elections (including one shortly to be held in March) unless they also publish their real name and postcode. Failure to do so - even posting under a pseudonym - is now an offence.

Media organisations will be required to keep posters' details on file for six months and face "fines of $5000 if they do not hand over this information to the Electoral Commissioner."

It is likely that the law will also affect anyone posting comment on newspaper websites, and could as easily apply to election comment made on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson claimed, that that the new law was not an attack on free speech. He said: "There is no impinging on freedom of speech, people are free to say what they wish as themselves, not as somebody else."

In response, the The Right to Know Coalition, which brings together Australia's major media outlets has called the new laws "draconian". Their spokeswoman Creina Chapman said: "This is one of the most troubling erosions of the right to free speech in Australia for many years."

She also pointed out that newspaper blogs were moderated and publishers and broadcasters took responsibility for the material they published. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.