[Linux-aus] Things not to post to planet linux australia

Russell Stuart russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Thu Mar 26 13:19:15 EST 2009

On Thu, 2009-03-26 at 12:20 +1100, Stewart Smith wrote:
> 1) possible criminal liability
>         There is no way I am going to let there be a situation where
> the federal police come knocking on my door asking about links to child
> pornography hosted on a web site run by the organisation I am the
> President of.

No one expects you to.  I am not sure that "you shall not post links
illegal under Australian law" even needs to be stated explicitly.  No
one is going to criticise the LA executive for pulling a planet feed
that puts them in breach of criminal law.

> 2) the links themselves
>         Crime or not, links to child pornography have *NO* place on
> Planet LA.

Can you point me to the part of LA's constitution or rules that says the
president gets to pull any post he personally finds distasteful?  If
not, this statement is completely out of order.  I am disappointed it
came from you, Stewart.

To put it in gentler terms, the minister has tried to characterise the
debate on the blacklist as a debate about child pornography.  He has
equated people who oppose the censorship scheme, present and proposed,
as child pornographers.  People like me who oppose the scheme think this
is a pretty low act.  In fact I despise it.  And now I see the president
of LA repeating that line.

The debate about internet censorship is not about child pornography,
Stewart.  The debate is about things like the movie "Slumdog
Millionaire" rated MA15+ and recently awarded "Best Picture".  (I saw it
last weekend BTW.  Highly recommended.)  Any Australian, regardless of
age can legally see this in a Movie Theatre, on a DVD, or on TV.  Yet
under the current rules if someone complains about a copy on the
internet, the ACMA is obliged issue link deletion notices to any web
site hosted in Australia pointing to it.  It is about not being able to
link to the Wikipedia web page on ACMA web site right now, because the
ACMA has put it on its blacklist.   It is about the fact that we only
knew this because the list was leaked - the list itself is a secret.  If
your web site is banned, the ACMA can't even tell you why - as a certain
dentist in Queensland found out.  He also discovered there was no way to
get his site removed from the list.

Enacting any style of self-censorship on this issue is way outside of
your, and indeed LA's remit.  And frankly to suggest people would
suddenly start posting links to child pornography when blogging about
_this_ issue when it has never happened before is just plain offensive.

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