Media Release: 22nd January 2010: ACT Democrats join Great Australian Internet Blackout.

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Media Release: 22nd January 2010:

ACT Democrats join Great Australian Internet Blackout.

The ACT Democrats call on Canberrans to join them in the Great Australian Internet Blackout from the 25th to the 29th January (including Australia Day) as part of a unified protest against the Government’s plan to censor the Internet.

ACT Democrats president, Darren Churchill said: “We will be blacking out our websites and social networking profile pictures as part of the protest to draw attention to our opposition to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s plan for a mandatory Internet filer. We ask all Canberrans who oppose mandatory Internet censorship to join us in this campaign.

The Great Australian Internet Blackout is part of an online and offline demonstration allowing all online users to blackout either their websites or social networking profiles from the 25th to the 29th January, or participate in events to be held on Australia Day.

National President of the Australian Democrats, Julia Melland, recently described the proposed mandatory filter as “a tool for tyranny” and said, “we must not allow the technology to be put in place and be potentially misused by this or any other Government.”

Mr Churchill continued; “Censorship is evil and is totally abhorrent to anybody who believes in basic freedoms. It is far too easy for censorship to become a tool of control by totalitarian governments. Once the technology is in place it will be extremely hard to get rid of it.”

”We know that Kate Lundy, for all her talk of opposing Conroy’s plan, will not cross the floor to vote it down when it is presented to the parliament next month. Nor will anyone else in the ALP government. They’re not allowed to!”

“But the ACT Democrats and I will continue to oppose this threat to our freedoms. Only individuals, especially parents and schools should have the right to determine for themselves and their families and students what is acceptable. Governments should not determine it.

“Mandatory censorship is the first step in totalitarianism. It will lead us to restricting all sorts of information. Governments which may seem okay, change when they sense an ability to gain greater power and control. This is the road that leads to total control and “Big Brother” regimes like China, Soviet Russia, Burma or Iran” continued Mr Churchill.

We ask all Canberrans to join us in sending a message to Mr Conroy. We don’t want this restriction on our Internet freedom! We will act now in this protest. And if our candidates are elected at this year’s federal election, we will act in parliament too!” Mr Churchill concluded.

Darren Churchill

President, Australian Democrats (ACT Division)

darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

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