Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

MEDIA RELEASE: 27th June, 2015: The world according to Tony: must we all have the same view?

22/07/2015

Darren July 2010australian-democrats-logo-300

MEDIA RELEASE
27th June, 2015

The world according to Tony: must we all have the same view?

In its desire to have a compliant Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia’s conservative government is beginning to resemble the Chinese communist party say the Australian Democrats.

The party’s national president, Darren Churchill, says that despite the ABC being deliberately set up in legislation to be independent and free from government interference, our Prime Minister wants to fashion it in his own image.

“This is just what totalitarian governments do, but surely Australians do not want to proceed down that path?

“When Tony Abbott says that heads in the ABC should roll it is clear that he would like to set himself up as judge, jury and executioner.

“Fortunately for Australian democracy, the ABC’s Charter requires it to present programs which reflect Australia’s cultural diversity which is what Q&A was doing on Monday night; the ABC is not required to act as a mouthpiece for the government of the day.

“Without truly independent media, how can governments be kept accountable, and without that accountability where is democracy?

“The ABC appears to be under sustained attack with the future of public broadcasting under threat. This must be resisted.

“The suggestion by members of the government that a rebroadcast of Q&A should have been censored is simply unacceptable in a society which values free speech.

“Only by listening to all points of view are we likely to come to informed decisions.

“Through comments in a speech made by its Managing Director, Mark Scott, ABC management has taken a strong stand against these attacks and the Australian Democrats commend him for this.

“Our ‘Aunty’ ABC is an independent entity, and long may she stay that way” said Mr Churchill.

DARREN CHURCHILL

National President, Australian Democrats

president@australian-democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

Advertisements

NBN is essential for small business but filter will ruin efficiency

18/08/2010

ANTHONY DAVID

Australian Democrats Senate candidate

Media Release: 18th August, 2010

NBN is essential for small business but filter will ruin efficiency

The Australian Democrats support the National Broadband Network (NBN) project and will support its ongoing rollout.

“We are disappointed that the Federal Government has done such a poor job in selling the idea to the public” said Anthony David, ACT Senate Candidate and Information Technology spokesman.

“Vague references to productivity, Smartgrid and universal access are not compelling arguments”

“The Coalition’s broadband plan would have been welcome if they had released it a decade ago. It will not provide for Australia’s future needs”

“The NBN is good for consumers, good for communities and good for business. It will reshape digital communications and how we interact as a nation”

“The Labor party need to drop the mandatory ISP filter as it runs counter to the efficacy of the NBN.” continued Mr David. “We also need assurances that the current broadband arrangement where the wholesaler of services competes directly with retailers has no chance of being entrenched in the new system”

“Remote communities and farmers need access to national and international information and services as much as those in urban communities”

“For over two decades, small and medium sized businesses in particular have been hampered by overpriced and under-performing wide-area digital communications. The Australian Democrats want to see reasonable prices for business plans with good upload bandwidth. This will enable efficient communications between businesses and their customers, their suppliers and their remote offices”.

In conclusion, Mr David said “Hand-in-hand with these new business opportunities is the need for capital markets in Australia to help fund innovative business ideas, including social enterpreneurs, enabled by this new technology”

Anthony David

Australian Democrats Senate candidate for the ACT

anthony.david@democrats.org.au

Tel: 0414 581 385

Anthony NBN

Media bias towards big parties denies the voters a true choice.

16/08/2010

DARREN CHURCHILL

Australian Democrats Senate candidate

Media Release: 16th August, 2010

Media bias towards big parties denies the voters a true choice.

The Australian Democrats are calling on the media to end their biased approach of presenting only Labor, Liberal and Green candidates on the ABC in particular, and on television and radio in general.

Four political parties and an independent are contesting the Senate election in the ACT for two Senate seats but some sections of the media are doing their best to ignore the existence of the Australian Democrats and the other candidate, independent John Glynn. Australian Democrats preferences are likely to decide the result in an expected close contest.

“Almost all the focus has been on Labor, Liberal and Green. My party, the Australian Democrats, seems to be overlooked yet again,” said Australian Democrats Senate candidate for the ACT, Darren Churchill. “The exception was for minor coverage about our preference arrangements – and even then it was from the perspective of the ever-whinging Greens, and our perspective was not given.”

“People say to me, ‘So, you are still around. Why aren’t you mentioned on the radio/TV? Aren’t you doing any media?’ The decision of the ABC in particular, to either ignore or omit us is nothing short of blatant political censorship!” declared Mr Churchill.

“Despite repeated requests to be included on Stateline and other programs, Stateline still went to air last Friday without us and my phonecalls to the ABC on other programs are responded to with ‘we’ll call you back if we have time,’ even when one of the other parties declines to take part.”

“Who gives the ABC the right to decide who the voters are informed about or not?” queried Mr Churchill. “It’s not their place to decide who is in the election or not. The voters of the ACT have a right to be informed about all their choices, not just the big parties.”

“The ABC’s ‘Code of Practice’ 2008, states that in regard to news and current affairs content: ‘Content will be impartial. Editorial judgements will be based on news values. One perspective will not be favoured over others’.” continued Mr Churchill “Why is the ABC determining who is to be heard? It prides itself on being a community broadcaster but the accusation of bias directed at it appears to be right. Is it our ABC or does it belong to the big political parties? All of the candidates have a right to be heard. It’s not democratic! Clearly the ABC has not adhered to it’s own ‘Code of Practice.’”

“Things might be different in other states and territories but Canberra has biased reporting, and the public needs to be informed, particularly for this election, because people are confused about the policies of Labor and Liberal, and the Greens are coming out with some very strange remarks.”

“The Australian Democrats are here. We are a part of this election. And the good people of Canberra are being short-changed!” Mr Churchill concluded.

CONTACT:

Darren Churchill

Australian Democrats Senate candidate for the ACT

darren.churchill@democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

Media Release: 14th June, 2010: Rudd government scared of everyone and everything.

14/06/2010

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Media Release: 14th June, 2010:

Rudd government scared of everyone and everything.

“First there was the seriously flawed internet filter, that expected ISPs to block web sites on a secret, arbitrary government list. Now there is the equally flawed proposal by the Attorney-General, which expects ISPs to record every web site you visit and keep copies of all your emails”, said ACT Democrats President and Privacy campaigner, Darren Churchill today.

The proposal is modelled on British legislation where telephone and Internet companies are forced to log details of communications for up to two years. But, only details about the date and time of each phone call, or each time a user connects to the Internet, are collected. The content of each communication is not stored.

“The Australian version is much more draconian. It contains no need for an interception warrant, as is required under current law. As far back as 2004, the Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) executive director Irene Graham said the that the then Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment Bill “would remove all protection on users’ privacy and private e-mails and SMS messages would be easily accessible by government agencies”. And now the government wants to take us either further down this totally illiberal path.” stated Mr Churchill.

“Another major concern is the elimination of restrictions on how long the collected information will be kept by the government agency and to what extent it will be used.”

“Like the Internet filter, the Internet interception won’t work – for the same reasons. The real criminals will use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and encryption to avoid being caught.”

“So, what will the Bill achieve? It will place a massive storage burden on ISPs. It will significantly slow the Internet – on top of the slowing caused by the Internet filter. It will create a vast security problem – every ISP will have to keep these records secure and private, and there will be many copies at many ISPs for hackers to attack. It is a gross invasion of civil liberties and of personal privacy!” declared Mr Churchill.

“The government must explain why they regard this sort of legislation as necessary. If they claim it’s for our protection – then protection from whom? From what? And how do they believe the existing laws don’t do this already?”

Mr Churchill said, “The Democrats call on the Rudd government to stop being Big-Brother – stop treating ordinary, everyday people as if they are criminals. Don’t introduce draconian legislation that won’t even achieve the stated goals. Do the hard yards and find a solution that works without the flaws. And, the Democrats believe that existing legislation can achieve what is required.”

Darren Churchill

ACT Democrats President

darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

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

22/01/2010

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

Media Release: 20th January 2010: Canberrans must have a guarantee that South Australian Movie Laws won’t be copied by ACT Assembly, say Democrats.

19/01/2010

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Media Release: 20th January 2010:

Canberrans must have a guarantee that South Australian Movie Laws won’t be copied by ACT Assembly, say Democrats.

ACT Democrats President, Darren Churchill has called on ACT political leaders to confirm that South Australia’s “plain packaging” laws for R-rated movies will not be mirrored here in the ACT

Recent news reports described South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson’s new laws as coming quietly into effect this week, requiring R-rated movies to be displayed in plain packaging unless they are in an area quarantined from minors.

“The issue is not a matter of availability. R-rated movies are restricted to over 18’s and that should continue. But we need to ensure that a driver’s licence, pub card or passport is provided if the age of the hirer/purchaser is uncertain, the same as for alcohol or cigarettes.” said Mr Churchill

“Quarantining R-rated from minors is one thing. But plain packaging gives them an air of mischievousness and a naughty quality, which makes them more attractive. It’s reminiscent of soft porn magazines having to be sold under the counter and in brown paper bags in Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland of the 1970s and 1980s.”

“South Australia’s new laws that restrict marketing and display of R18+ material make it more difficult for consumers to access information about media content, by preventing them from seeing posters and DVD covers that could help them make an informed decision about their viewing. Censorship prevents adult Australians making informed decisions. We do not want this sort of ridiculous behaviour mirrored in the ACT!” declared Mr Churchill.

“With South Australia taking knee-jerk action that hides useful information but has no effect on access to the product, it is surely time for a full national review of our classification laws?” queried Mr Churchill. “That includes allowing the states to sell X-rated material and not restricting it to the territories.”

“I often get frustrated with the wowser attitude that wants to stop X-rated movies but allow R-rated movies. Surely, they should be treated the same and sold through over-18 outlets (with appropriate identification), in the same way as cigarettes and alcohol are? Sometimes the strongest opponents of liberal censorship laws for adults are those with the most to hide.” continued Mr Churchill

“Also, like cigarettes, alcohol, gambling (pokies, TAB, casinos) and X-rated products, R-rated products should not be promoted to those who are too young to have legal access, nor be advertised on TV, radio, billboards, sporting ground ads, etc, in places which underage people frequent. But, they should be able to be promoted openly in venues, which are only open to those who can have legal access. That is, no restrictions if all those with access are over age.”

“Censorship for adults is wrong and we oppose it. But we do believe in some level of control of access for young people. What we are proposing is equal treatment of all age-restricted products.”

The ACT Democrats and I have consistently opposed government attempts to control information. The Democrats will continue to speak out for the right and responsibility of all individuals, especially parents, to determine for themselves and their families what is acceptable. The government’s role is to implement widely accepted community standards, not define them to suit particular lobby groups and impose them on the community.” Mr Churchill concluded.

Darren Churchill

President, Australian Democrats (ACT Division)

darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

Media Release: 14th January 2010: Canberrans Need Action Not Words in Opposing Internet Censorship, say Democrats

14/01/2010

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Media Release: 14th January 2010:

Canberrans Need Action Not Words in Opposing Internet Censorship, say Democrats

ACT Democrats President, Darren Churchill says “Canberrans are entitled to action not simply words, in opposing Internet Censorship”

IT News reports yesterday described ACT Labor senator, Kate Lundy as “speaking out” against mandatory internet censorship and pushing for an “opt out” alternative to the Communications minister’s online blacklist.

“It’s all very well for Kate to speak out and say she opposes mandatory censorship” said Mr Churchill “But will her actions back her words when the legislation is introduced to parliament next month. Will Kate cross the floor and vote against her own party’s legislation?”

“Of course she won’t! The ALP’s rules forbid it!” declared Mr Churchill. “Kate can do all the talking she likes, but at the end of the day, she can never support her constituents over her party because of the agreement she has signed as a Labor Senator. That is, she can never vote with her conscience or she must resign and become an independent. And Kate’s not going to do that. Is she?” Mr Churchill continued.

“This is why Australia so desperately needs the Australian Democrats. We have consistently opposed mandatory Internet censorship and filtering. And we insist that our parliamentarians must vote with their conscience. That’s what “keeping the bastards honest” is all about – backing up what you promise with your actions in parliament.”

“There are already filters available for people who want to protect their children. This is rightly so. It is the right and responsibility of all individuals, especially parents, to determine for themselves and their families what is acceptable. It is highly appropriate that parents and schools should have access to a system of filtering to protect children at their discretion. But there should be no mandatory censorship.

“But I believe censorship is evil. It is abhorrent to anybody who believes in basic freedoms. We must not allow the censorship technology to be put in place because it can be potentially misused by the government of the day. It is far too easy for censorship to become a tool of control by totalitarian governments.”

The ACT Democrats and I have consistently opposed government attempts to control information. With an election due this year Australian Democrats candidates will continue to speak out for the right and responsibility of all individuals, especially parents, to determine for themselves and their families what is acceptable – and to oppose “Big Brother” governments. But we will not just speak. If elected, we will act!” Mr Churchill concluded.

Darren Churchill

President, Australian Democrats (ACT Division)

darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473