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

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Thu Mar 26 16:42:31 EST 2009

Stewart Smith wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:48:09AM +1030, Glen Turner wrote:
>> For example, LA's legal advice could say that since LA is a volunteer
>> organisation and there is a risk that a Link Deletion Notice may not be
>> handled within the required time then it is best that members not post
>> possibly Prohibited Content.  (Mind you, that is not how Stewart
>> paraphrased the advice they received.)
> This is certainly a concern.
>> So LA may well be acting reasonably. It is LA's characterisation of its
>> legal advice saying that publication of the blacklist may be a crime which
>> is concerning. As I wrote, this is not the common understanding.
> There are two parts to my view on the matter:
> 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.
> 2) the links themselves
>         Crime or not, links to child pornography have *NO* place on
> Planet LA.
> I'm sure we can find ways of arguing the case against mandatory
> filtering without posting such links.


The President of Linux Australia has stated in a public forum that
it is a "possibly a crime" to link to material on the ACMA list of
Prohibited Content.  You can expect that comment to be used by those
supporting Internet filtering.

Sadly, your legal advice was not the common reading of the Broadcasting
Services Act.  It would have been much, much better if your legal
advice had been the common reading and perhaps you should discuss
that matter with the provider of that legal advice.

In particular, your advice supporting point (1) claiming that there is
"possible criminal liability" for "links to child pornography" in the
absence of a Link Deletion Notice is not at all clear to other legal
commentators upon the Broadcasting Services Act.

Your point (2) is clear, but not what you argued in your initial mail.
I would hope that authors in blogs and e-mails within Linux Australia
show good taste at all times.

Don't get me wrong. If LA want to request that people don't post links
within the ACMA list then that's fine. However, it is important to
give a sensible explanation which holds up under scrutiny -- and god
knows there's no shortage of fine PR and operational reasons. Other
explanations simply undermine the efforts of those opposing the
Internet filtering plan.

Regards, Glen

  Glen Turner

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