Another dangerous disappointment
Mon, 30 Jun 1997 23:54:38 +1000
The following press release will be sent to appropriate media outlets this
evening. To those who will inevitably see duplicates of this message, our
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PRESS RELEASE: The Internet Society of Australia 30 June 1997
What a disappointment. Part Three of the Report of the Senate Select Committee
on Community Standards repeats the same mistakes made in 1995, when Part Two
of this Report was released.
With its recommendation such as random police checks on Internet users, the
Committee demonstrates a most cavalier attitude towards freedom of
expression and privacy.
With its emphasis on classification and labelling, the Report shows a
continued and breathtaking ignorance about the technical realities of modern
computer networks - the sheer volume of data they contain and the speed of
change within them.
Phrases like "Australian cultural values" reveal the frighteningly
simplistic mindset behind the Report. This Report is a sad demonstration of
ignorance and fear.
It is the free flow of ideas and information across global networks that
provides the base for all else - personal, political, technical, academic
and commercial uses alike. Stifle the flow and all those uses wither.
Australians have as much to give as they have to gain from full
participation in the global online community; implementing these
recommendations would blind and gag and beggar us.
The Internet Society of Australia emphatically supports the suggestion by
the Australian Computer Society that this failed Senate Select Committee be
abolished immediately and that a new Committee be constituted with more
appropriate terms of reference. Terms of reference that enable it to look at
the enormous benefits that are brought to us all by the free exchange of
information via the computer networks of the world.
Just as the global Internet contains much of the vast human diversity of
this planet, so the Australian Internet is a robust, living representation
of the variety and challenge that is Australia itself. That vitality should
be encouraged, supported and preserved, that challenge should be celebrated!
Our members are tired of attempts by the Federal Government to reduce the
quality of information available online to only that fit for children.
We urge the Government to reject this Report, to ignore its recommendations
and to look with honest and open eyes at the opportunities and challenges of
Media contact: Karl Auer, Vice President of ISOC-AU
+61-6-2486607 (ah, preferred)
The ISOC-AU website is at:
The Report itself is at:
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Karl Auer: email@example.com +61-6-2494627 (bh)
http://www.pcug.org.au/~kauer/ +61-6-2486607 (ah)
Join the Internet Society of Australia! http://www.isoc-au.org.au