Wednesday, February 03, 2010

South Australian Premier vows to repeal internet censorship over election comments

As a follow-up from my post yesterday,South Australia bans anonymous election comments online, South Australia Premier Mike Rann has twittered that the South Australian government has decided to repeal the January 6 amendment to the state's Electoral Act which made it illegal to publish anonymous comments online during an election campaign.

Reported in a post in Ars Technica, Internet uprising overturns Australian censorship law (which is an excellent read), South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson sent a statement yesterday to AdelaideNow, where many citizens were protesting the new law, stating that,
"From the feedback we've received through AdelaideNow, the blogging generation believes that the law supported by all MPs and all political parties is unduly restrictive. I have listened. I will immediately after the election move to repeal the law retrospectively... It may be humiliating for me, but that's politics in a democracy and I'll take my lumps."
Note that I assume this statement is based on the assumption that the present South Australian government is re-elected. If another party wins power, the law may stand.

Australian online pundits are labelling this a victory for democracy over censorship and I expect to see the example of South Australian's decision used by opponents to the Australian federal government's planned mandatory internet filter.

I've included the key tweets from Premier Rann's validated twitter account below...

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