Thursday, December 08, 2005

Australian bloggers muzzled | SMH

Well Australia, you voted for it, you deal with it.

No I'm not talking about the rather vapid series of Australian Idol or Big Brother from this year. I'm talking about something a little more important. As a result of the government's end of year legislation grab (17 bills in a fortnight? Of course the government's not abusing its majority) we now find ourselves stuck with the "Anti-Terror" laws, including the contentious Sedition provisions.

"How does that affect me?" I hear you ask. Well, lots of ways, but speaking particularly close to home...

"Many local bloggers are unaware that they may be liable for everything they write on their sites, not to mention all of the colourful comments made by contributors.

Our new sedition laws will make this worse.

Blogs fall under the same defamation and other laws that regulate all media organisations in the country.

While US bloggers are protected by a freedom of speech clause in the US Bill of Rights, new sedition laws passed by Australian authorities may make life even tougher for bloggers."

What happens when you mix an expanding world of popular voice and opinion with legislation designed to squash dissenting points of view? Let's watch and find out as the new year unfolds.

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