In the same week that President Clinton announced that the US Government would not be introducing any new controls on Internet content, the Australian government announced the opposite intention. Members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign have warned that the Australian proposals would threaten free speech and place an impossible burden on Australian Internet Service Providers.
Global Internet Liberty Campaign
27th July 1997
AUSTRALIAN INTERNET PROPOSALS -- THREAT TO FREEDOM; BURDEN ON ISPS
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), a founder member of GILC, has launched a campaign against these proposals. EFA is urging all who are concerned about online freedoms to sign a petition and to make a submission to the Australian Government. Details about the EFA campaign are available on the Web at:
Commenting on the proposals, Andy Oram of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, moderator of the Cyber Rights mailing list, said "Governments around the world persist in misunderstanding the advantages of the Internet, whose beauty is its global scope and the access it provides to individuals and organizations everywhere, however small." Oram continued "The success of the Internet depends on the ability of people to talk freely. Technically, the speed and low cost of the Internet depends critically on the ability of service providers to pass information through their systems without the burden of extraneous filtering. Proposals by the Australian government threaten both freedom of speech and the technical feasibility of low-cost, high-speed Internet service."
Jon Lebkowsky, of EFF-Austin, commented "No one I know of has ever suggested that the phone company should be liable for the content of phone calls, and that's analogous to holding ISPs responsible for content on their systems. The publishers of content are the users who post the content, and not the service providers. Furthermore, in the U.S. we've established that content on the Internet should be afforded the highest possible protection... I would expect expect the same support for free speech in other democracies around the world."
The undersigned members of GILC are supporting the campaign by EFA.
ALCEI - Electronic Frontiers Italy <http://www.altair.it/alcei>
American Civil Liberties Union <http://www.aclu.org>
Association des Utilisateurs d'Internet <http://www.aui.fr>
CommUnity - The Computer Communicators Association
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK)
Derechos Human Rights <http://www.derechos.org>
Digital Citizens Foundation Netherlands (DB-NL) <http://www.db.nl>
Electronic Frontiers Australia <http://www.efa.org.au>Electronic Frontier Canada <http://www.efc.ca/>
Fronteras Electronicas Espanã <http://www.arnal.es/free/>
Electronic Frontier Foundation <http://www.eff.org>
Electronic Privacy Information Center <http://www.epic.org>
Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung (FIFF) <http://hyperg.uni-paderborn.de/~FIFF>
Förderkreis Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft - FITUG <http://www.fitug.de/>
Privacy International <http://www.privacy.org/pi/>
Quintessenz (Austria) <http://www.quintessenz.at>
Global Internet Liberty Campaign http://www.gilc.org/
President Clinton's Announcement http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/Commerce/read-plain.html
Australian Government Proposals http://www.dca.gov.au/policy/fwork_4_online_svces/framework.htm
EFA Campaign http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/contreg.html