[free-software-melb] Australian Online Safety Bill - Censorship, discrimination and a rushed process

FSM Committee committee at freesoftware.org.au
Tue Jun 22 22:43:00 AEST 2021

Hey folks,
It has been brought to my attention that the Australian Online Safety Bill is on the brink of being passed in the Senate despite opposition concerns, greens party objections, a needlessly rushed consultation period and general unease amongst the tech community.

Here are a few useful and informative links about the topic:
* Online Safety Bill 2021 - [Australian Parliament Website Status of the bill](https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6680)
* [Innovation Australia Article](https://www.innovationaus.com/why-the-rush-online-safety-bill-still-not-passed/) - Good general summary
* [The Conversation Article](https://theconversation.com/a-new-online-safety-bill-could-allow-censorship-of-anyone-who-engages-with-sexual-content-on-the-internet-154739) - Focusing on censorship concerns
* [ZDNet Article](https://www.zdnet.com/article/ai-bias-and-discrimination-aplenty-australian-greens-want-online-safety-bill-repealed/) - Focusing on discrimination concerns
* [Digital Rights Watch](https://digitalrightswatch.org.au/2021/02/11/explainer-the-online-safety-bill/) - Additionally covers concerns for privacy and encryption

If you can find the time please reach out to one of your representatives and email or call them about your concerns around censorship, discrimination, lack of oversight, lack of complaints mechanism and/or the rushed and quiet nature of the process and consultation. There is a "full" list of [members and senators here](https://gist.github.com/tennantje/8ee584d9c534ce6a57910668b277394d), but the process is up to the senate and we have included a list of particularly relevant senators here:

* Senator Bridget McKenzie - senator.mckenzie at aph.gov.au (0354414251)
* Senator Jane Hume - senator.hume at aph.gov.au (0392328820)
* Senator Janet Rice - senator.rice at aph.gov.au (0393846199)
* Senator the Hon Kim Carr - senator.carr at aph.gov.au (0396392798)
* Ms Sarah Henderson - sarah.henderson.mp at aph.gov.au (0352431444)
* Senator the Hon Scott Ryan - senator.ryan at aph.gov.au (0393261088)

Or better yet you can find all the Victorian senate members and contact details [on the APH website](https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian_Search_Results?q=3000&sen=1&par=-1&gen=0&ps=12) and contact them through there.

~~ Ben

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