Australia Targets Online Comments, Then Retracts
A Draconian South Australian law targeting anyone who posted any type of comment about the March 20th elections has apparently been retracted by the Government after citizens caused an uproar. The reason the election is so important is due to questionable representation by officials banning certain video games and other materials because of content. The law, which requires all citizens who post any comments on the election to include their real name and postal code, went into effect on January 6th and was to be retracted on the day of the elections.
This included such sites as Twitter and Facebook, which are used everyday by millions to stay up to date with current events and friends, and any comments made on news articles online. Also wrote into the law, was an order commanding media companies to store the information of those who commented for up to 6 months so the government could go through the information. If companies did not follow their instructions, $5,000AU penalty would be assessed. Seriously, how can this be legal? They are basically taking away the freedoms of their own citizens who are disagreeing with the government.
South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson had this say:
“It may be humiliating for me, but that’s politics in a democracy and I’ll take my lumps.”
While repealing the law after the elections would indicate that the law is still in place, Atkinson said it would not be enforced.
Really surprises me that a government would go to these lengths to protect themselves from the opinion of their citizens. This is something you would see in a country who censors everything that comes in or goes out. When the free world as we know it starts down this path, then the future for all of those who have the right to express themselves is very cloudy. Check out ECA and Game Politics for more information and what you need to know to protect yourself from officials who will evidently stop at nothing to get their way.