The Pirate Party Australia has likened the idea being discussed by the federal broadband department — that promotion of circumvention of the internet filter could become an offence — to oppressive censorship regimes in Iran and China.
Communications minister Stephen Conroy yesterday confirmed his department was hosting a private online forum to discuss controversial issues about the filter with internet service providers (ISPs), including the possibility of making it an offence to promote methods of circumventing the filter. He has repeatedly stated, however, that the act itself of circumventing the filter would not be made an offence.
"If circumvention will not be illegal, then how can it be illegal to simply tell people how to circumvent the government-controlled infrastructure in order to secure access to information that the Australian Government may deem inappropriate," said the Pirate Party in a statement this afternoon. The party claimed such an offence would mean "effectively silencing political debate" in Australia.
For more on this story, see Pirate Party fiery on circumvention ban on ZDNet Australia.