[LINK] How Egypt Shut down the net

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Fri Feb 25 08:44:55 AEDT 2011

On 25/02/11 8:34 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
> Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>> ... there are fear-mongers out there pitching the line that the 
>> Australian government already has the power to order a shut-down ...
> Any police officer at the rank of Assistant Commissioner, or higher, can
> order "Suspension of supply of carriage service in an emergency", 
> under section 315 of the TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT 1997:
> <http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ta1997214/s315.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=emergency>. 
The officer "may request" suspension of the service, and the service 
provider "may comply". That doesn't seem the same thing as "may order" 
and "must comply".

The definition of "emergency" in this Section of the Act seems fairly 
constrained, to my eyes. It seems, rather, designed to protect the 
service provider against being sued if it does comply, rather than an 
instrument of an authoritarian state.

> By the way, for the paranoid, I noticed that the FOI Act has a provision
> to allow the release of personal information in an emergency. Most
> recently this was invoked for the Queensland floods:
> <http://blog.tomw.net.au/2011/02/privacy-act-declaration-of-emergency.html>. 

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