Australia’s Draconian New Censorship Bill

A new Bill was introduced into Parliament late last year that has the potential to end free speech in Australia permanently.

The Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023, delegates enormous powers to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to police digital platforms and directly intervene to prevent ‘harm’.
The bill defines “harm” as:
(a) hatred against a group on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or physical or mental disability;
(b) disruption of PUBLIC ORDER or society in Australia;
(c) harm to the integrity of Australian democratic processes or of Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government institutions;
(d) harm to the health of Australians;
(e) harm to the Australian environment;
(f) economic or financial harm to Australians, the Australian economy or a sector of the Australian economy.
Take a moment to read that list through carefully and consider its dangerous implications.
Such a vague definition of “harm” would see ACMA become the sole arbiter of what is “true” and what isn’t.
It could also be used to SHUT DOWN most, if not ALL, avenues of legitimate dissent, including boycotts, demonstrations, refusal to pay a tax or fine, sit-ins and strikes.
ACMA would morph into the country’s State Censor.
It would have the power to REQUIRE any person to appear before its commissioners to answer questions. It would also have the power to impose infringement notices, remedial directions, injunctions and civil penalties, including fines of up to $AUD550,000 for individuals and $AUD2.75 million for corporations.
Criminal penalties, including imprisonment, would apply in cases of “extreme harm”.
Ironically, the bill EXEMPTS two powerful purveyors of misinformation and disinformation – the government and large mainstream media companies!
Because of course governments and the mainstream media NEVER EVER lie or twist the truth, right?!
At most risk of being targeted will be all the small operators of blogs, political websites and those publishing articles and opinion on aggregated platforms like Substack.
Those behind this bill won’t rest until they have obliterated every last scrap of anonymity, privacy, dissent and alternative viewpoints from the internet.
Any State holding the power to inflict such full spectrum dominance and control over its citizens, has NO right to call itself ‘free’, or a democracy.
Please contact your local Senator and ask them to BLOCK THIS BILL in the Senate at all costs.
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