Aussie government proposes unlimited speech regulation, names climate skeptics and Labor critics as targets.
Australia’s Labor Government commissioned a “Media Inquiry.” The finished product – The Finkelstein Report – advocates unlimited regulation of virtually all published and broadcast speech in Australia.
The report can be found here: Independent Media Inquiry. The head inquirer, Ray Finkelstein, declined an interview.
There will be a 21 member News Media Council who will provide some oversight, but the council has no regulation limits and they will not concern themselves with free speech.
There is no guarantee of free speech in Australia – no First Amendment – and now they are faced with a Ministry of Truth. The report is being met with harsh criticism by the media and journalism teachers.
We face exactly the same threat here in this country –
The same totalitarian ambitions are at work in America too. They face greater legal obstacles here, but key actors are powerfully placed. Obama’s “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein wants to use the system of “notice and takedown” from copyright law to shut down “conspiracy theories.” As an example, he wants to suppress claims that:
the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.
If SOPA had passed then all of the necessary machinery would have been in place, ready to expand from copyright infringement to the suppression of conspiracy theories at the drop of a one-line rider on any bill. At that point our freedom to speak our minds would lie in the hands of Sunstein booster Elena Kagan (who brought Sunstein to Harvard, calling him “the preeminent legal scholar of our time”); the racist Sonya Sotomayor (a long-time member of La Raza, or “the race“); and a borderline Court-majority of similar un-worthies.
We dodged a bullet and it looks like Australia will too, given how well the Finkelstein report is being received down under, but dodging bullets is a precarious business. If we don’t somehow manage to effect a fundamental retrenchment of liberty it won’t be long before we lose it…Read here: Watts up with that
Allegedly, the core of the concern in this report is whether editors should be allowed to withhold “from their readers the knowledge of an unwelcome adjudication on one of their stories by their peers and public according to standards they all profess to hold.” Allegedly, the proposal is not meant to increase government power to censor or restrict but to to allow for free flow and exchange of information. I say “allegedly” but it is an obvious effort to eliminate a free press.