**IMPORTANT** ONLINE SAFETY BILL BEING PUSHED THROUGH SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE
Deadline for submissions is 2nd March.
So, remember the Online Safety Bill? Well, the government is actively circumventing parliamentary process and aren’t operating in good faith in terms of media or public enquiry.
They’ve allowed only FIVE BUSINESS DAYS between receiving the 370 submissions (which are yet to be published) and introducing the bill to the senate. They announced an opening for submissions to the senate committee last night. These close on 2nd March with NO PUBLIC CLARITY regarding close times. They’ve given ONE BUSINESS DAY for the public to respond to this.
They are avoiding the media, any critiques or entering public discourse. There has been NO response to ANY of the concerns raised in the previous submissions by concerned members of the public, including many sex workers, those in adjacent industries ie. events and retail stores which sell adult toys and materials.
This is a bill, which if passed in its entirety WILL change the internet and how we can access it, as well as your potential freedoms to post not only images, but discourse around sexuality.
Remember how FB made a sweeping shutdown of Australian”news sites” which affected a large number of non news related sites? Think about that being applied wholesale and on a regular basis to anything related to sexuality and that is what we’re looking at. Humans are fallible. Systems are fallible. That is why there needs to be oversight and more time to:
- introduce protections to freedoms of speech and human rights in Australia
- Review the previous actions and effectiveness of the E-Safety Commissioner
- Create laws in consultation with ALL stakeholders and the public
- Create proper safeguards to protect against the accumulation of power to censor public discourse and interactions by ONE INDIVIDUAL
- Assess the potential effects of the bill on the greater fabric of society
- Address the previously submitted concerns of the Australian Public for whom it claims to be protecting
Think about the world that you want to live in. Think about your freedoms and those of future generations. Think about the power of education, not repression.
PLEASE make a submission. PLEASE contact your local MP. Even if it’s just to protest that they have given ZERO time for the public to meaningfully respond – even if you have previously submitted and wish to resubmit chunks of what you have submitted as well.
There needs to be a response to this, and it needs to happen NOW. You can search for summaries and articles on the Online Safety Bill – paying particular attention to Gizmodo, the Conversation, and the work of EFA : Electronic Frontiers Australia and groups such as Scarlet Alliance and Assembly Four.
I will be retweeting resources from my Twitter account as they arise. The bill itself is 200 pages long.
Thank you for listening. Please share this post. Please spread the word. Please get in touch if you want to discuss this or how you can help.
Links and resources below: