Australia's Internet Access

A campaign to protect the people's Internet Access from government and companies.

About Campaign

Anti-Internet laws are coming soon! There is a lot of secrecy of anti-Internet discussions by the government, some ISPs (internet service providers) and, local and overseas companies. Some public groups have tried to find out about the discussions through legal means but got papers that were more black than white due to the censored information. The world had seen this form of anti-Internet aggression happen before with international treaties that had pushed anti-Internet laws that the Australian government has no objection to. There is also three strikes where our neighbour, New Zealand, got three strikes law that can result in Internet Access being stopped as a result of several complaints by companies. It was revealed that USA may have been involved with the threat of an unofficial embargo on NZ for not adopting it.

These outrageous anti-Internet attempts must be opposed and reversed. The government can no longer be trusted to create laws to protect the Internet without adding anti-Internet suggestions to protect companies and campaign donors. This Australian Internet Access campaign is to introduce stronger Internet Access laws that the public, ISPs, lawyers and law reform groups can agree that it’s good for everyone.

Have a look at how to take action!

Explained

Lately, there had been speculation that there will be attempts to spy on, restrict, degrade, ‘re-educate’ or terminate Internet Access at the expense of subscribers in Australia. We would surely love to explain exactly what could happen but the government is scared of having the Australian public find out so there’s virtually no information for the people to discuss. Apparently they forgot that Australia has a democracy where informed people keep the government in check. This campaign was made to inform people of the anti-Internet aggression and reform laws for stronger Internet Access with public input.

Fortunately, we can extrapolate from events in local and other countries what can actually happen. Unfortunately, it’s very bad.

ISPs

ISPs have to or may implement because:

  • By law or court order.
  • By litigation threats/precedents.
  • They benefit in some way. eg a content provider can degrade competing video websites to deliver their own videos.
  • Government/organisation providing funding as a short-term incentive to companies.

Now what could happen with ISPs?

  • Mandatory implementation of Internet Censorship/Filters or voluntarily implementation mandatory Internet Censorship/Filters. Some Australian ISPs already do this (Telstra and Optus, IIA).
  • Three strikes or friendlier ‘graduation response’ that involves; Degrading, account suspension, termination or banned from Internet Access
  • Collection of browsing habits, available to government and rightholders (eg Hollywood) on demand.
  • Logging all internet activity (eg emails) and/or sending them to the government or available on demand.
  • Notification with education and/or infringement notices on demand.
  • Eligibility to resell NBN may require all or some of the above.

Regarding education notices. Someone has to pay for them. The following are options:

  • subscriber gets a fee on bill
  • reflected in higher plan costs for everyone
  • taxpayer-funded.

The notices are biased and provided by companies that see higher profit with lack of Internet; Some examples:

  1. Attacks new legitimate methods of sharing content with aggressive rhetoric. For example “[technology] comes loaded with bad things”, as mostly illegal content (eg piracy, child porn, abortion, immoral), or similar.
  2. Promotes themselves or their interests while ignoring artists; “You shouldn’t go to random places. Go to Sony store instead”.
  3. Aggressive emotional rhetoric of describing the act of making a copy of content deceptively as theft despite nothing taken.
  4. They quote their own made-up or deceptive statistics.

It looks like major ISPs, including iiNet have quietly adopted voluntary infringement notices.

Search engines

Search engine legislation, litigation, backroom or proactive attempts to create a framework of censorship and adjustable search result rankings. This allows:

  • Censor search results of: porn, abortion, terrorist/fighter, gambling, activists, libel, criticism and Queensland dentists.
  • Promote wealthy big companies over small websites as well heavier weight of keywords. eg mp3 history promotes Sony store, not wikipedia article on mp3 history.

Domain names

  • Speedy seizure of domain names via notices or ex parte powers by judge.

Questionable due process may involve some or most of the following

  • No court process involved to submitting an allegation or complaint about someone’s Internet use.
  • Internet subscribers can appeal to a potentially biased or questionable ‘independent’ arbiter for appeal.
  • A ‘fast track, low cost’ Copyright tribunal where the penalty can be a fine of $15,000 on Internet Subscriber.
  • Very limited time to appeal.
  • Subscribers are assumed guilty until they can prove innocence.
  • Cost of appeal is by subscriber but refunded if successful appeal.
  • No or little accountability in sending incorrect infringement messages to ISP, let alone for repeated mistakes.
  • Paradox of appeal cost being too cheap that it’s a burden on appeal system, costing taxpayers. Or too high that it’s prohibitive for subscribers to appeal.

Other involvement

  • USA have been known to be involved in private anti-Internet talks with threats to Australia and several western countries (NZ, Spain, Canada) despite a feel-good front of advocating Internet Freedom to third world countries.
  • USA companies are pushing the scheme through the so-called Australian collection societies that represent American companies. Some examples:
    • American and received taxpayer funding from Australian government.
    • Visit schools with their restrictive belief of copyright. They even encourage destruction of property if it’s remotely pirated.
    • Use emotional appeal with contracted artists that the industry loses money despite artists making more money than ever.
    • Lobby heavily for less consumer rights. eg Want to move your movie on DVD to Bluray discs? All the tools are illegal despite format shifting being legal.
    • Make up statistics that the Australian government unfortunately quotes as reason for less consumer property ownership.

This is what happened at other countries, there may be more or less from the above list.

Some reading materials

The campaign has the following

  • A way to take action from easiest to most effort.
  • Simple explanation of time and cost with and without Internet for some activities.
  • Stronger Internet Access amendments, to protect people’s access.

Have a look at the sidebar to the side for more information.