you're reading...
Suite 101 Canada (Online Magazine - General Interest)

Australia Will Censor the Internet

Australia Will Censor the Internet

Internet Censorship in Australia will be Mandatory

Australia is set to introduce the harshest internet censorship laws in the free world. Australia already has the free world’s harshest sedition laws.

When Australia first announced it’s intention to introduce compulsory internet censorship, it was supposedly to control access to anorexia and bulimia sites. Now there are sites such as Facebook and MySpace that are reportedly on the list of 2,000 sites to be banned.There is the real possibility that it is only a matter of time before internet censorship is expanded to incorporate the new sedition laws, introduced in 2005.

Governments around the world and throughout history have always used a softening approach to introduce controversial, unconstitutional or downright illegal laws. In this case, they are playing on the emotions of the population, saying such laws are to protect anorexics from themselves. It is only a matter of time before they decide that the public need protecting from a wide variety of matters, including political material that is deemed “unpatriotic”.

Australia’s Poor Internet Services

Australia is already seen internationally as lacking internet maturity or sophistication. With low internet speeds and high costs, and technology that lags behind the world, Australia is precluded from many services that other countries take for granted. In USA last year, for example, high speed access, with unlimited downloads, was available for just $29 month. It was similar in China, no download restrictions by most companies, at affordable costs. Australian costs are very much higher.

International Internet Censorship

Now the government wants to restrict what we can access even more. Such censorship would put Australia on a par with countries such as China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea. Most who have lived in such countries have experienced such censorship, and know first hand the effect lack of knowledge can have on a population.

The advent of information technology has generally been heralded as a force for the breakdown of authoritarian political control. In days gone by, such governments seized printing presses and burnt books. The internet made such practices futile.

Singapore Leads The World in Internet Censorship

However, about a decade ago, Singapore adopted a strategy of controlling the internet, by ensuring all ISPs connected through a government controlled server. In 1995, Singapore’s Second Minister For Foreign Affairs (now Minister), George Yeo, stated “censorship can no longer be 100% effective, but even if it is only 20% effective, we should not stop censoring.”

In September 1996, it became clear that Singapore had achieved much higher than this 20%. ASEAN met in Singapore, and agreed to collaborate on finding ways to control the internet (Philippines was the only ASEAN member to reject such political control).

Even before this meeting, China had sent senior information official Zeng Jianhui to Singapore to learn about internet policing practices. So had Vietnam. After a brief period of blocking access to 137 sites in September 1996, Chinese officials followed the Singapore example of more selective restriction, and a greater reliance on the threat posed by the mere possibility of monitoring.

Australia’s Sedition Laws

In Australia, this brings up the possibility of the use of the Anti-Terrorism (No.2) Act 2005. According to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, the Act contains the largest legislative impediments to press freedom ever seen in Australia. The laws allow police to hold a person for 48 hours without charge on mere suspicion of “terrorist activity.” A journalist who reported such detention faces five years imprisonment, with no defence of “public interest” where a journalist reports miscarriages of justice.

In 2006, an academic who had been awarded an $829,000  grant was warned by Attorney-General Ruddock that his proposed interviews with international terrorist leaders, as part of this research, would be in contravention of the anti-terrorist laws, even if such interviews happened outside Australia. The academic was forced by the government to alter the framework of his research using the threat of these laws.

It remains to be seen how long before Australia expands it’s censorship of the internet to incorporate the anti-sedition laws, and to what degree.

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: