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Australia Attorney General Proposes New Laws To Stop Twitter Trolls 213

Posted by samzenpus
from the tweet-nicely dept.
CuteSteveJobs writes "Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has flagged new laws to end anonymous trolling via Twitter: 'Twitter should reveal the identities of the anonymous trolls who are breaking the law by abusing others online.' The new laws were proposed after trolls attacked Footballer Robbie Farah. Farah was later granted a meeting with the Prime Minister to to discuss social media abuse. Ironically today it was revealed that Farah himself had trolled the Prime Minister telling her to 'Get a Noose' on her 50th birthday."
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Australia Attorney General Proposes New Laws To Stop Twitter Trolls

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  • Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by simplexion (1142447) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @05:04AM (#41321385)
    This isn't going to end well for Roxon.
  • by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @05:08AM (#41321401) Homepage
    Who gets to decide what is, and is not, trolling? Will trolling be a crime, and under what statute? How much will the "troll patrol" cost?
  • Internet only? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot@@@mavetju...org> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @05:17AM (#41321425) Homepage

    Or will they also go after the shockjocks and the printed media?

  • by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @06:06AM (#41321603)
    The irony is that if Nicola Roxon posted this on twitter it would have had to be removed due to trolling. Because really, how do you draw the line between trolling and comments you dislike or anger you and your fat mother?
  • by nstlgc (945418) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @06:08AM (#41321607)
    Trolling is in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure when Chanology was going on, Scientology would have LOVED a law like this.
  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @06:20AM (#41321663)
    So you think you have free speech because a government web site says you do? Let's look at that a little deeper:
    http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/choose-australia/about-australia/five-freedoms.htm [immi.gov.au]

    " Australians are free, within the bounds of the law, to say or write ... ",
    Sounds good, but you can do anything within the bounds of the law. Here's an equivalent sentence I just made up:-
    " Australians are free, within the bounds of the law, to kill anyone they like, at any time ..." (which is true, assuming there's a law that says a soldier is allowed to kill someone else, and the "Australian" in question in my sentence happens to be one, and feel like killing an enemy...)

    Their quote continues:
    " Free speech comes from facts, not rumours "
    Which I could legitimately re-write as so:-
    " Australia has laws to prevent you from saying anything you cannot prove. You are not free to spread rumours which you suspect but cannot prove because you are missing information (more on that below)." And God helps anyone who gives you that missing information!

    And more:
    " and the intention must be constructive, not to do harm. "
    LOL. You have the right to speak out, so long as you are constructive to your opponents and do not harm them.
    Sounding less and less "free" to me...

    It continues:
    " There are laws to protect a person's good name and integrity against false information. There are laws against saying or writing things to incite hatred against others because of their culture, ethnicity or background. "

    At what point do we draw the line and drop the word "Free" entirely I wonder?

    And it ends with a doozy:
    " Freedom of speech is not an excuse to harm others" (even if they deserve it!)

    So basically, you can do anything that's as fucked up and stupid as you like, because nobody is allowed to tell anyone else about it, because it might harm you...

    James Ashby who is now facing 10 years in prison: "Mr Slipper's lawyers suggested James Ashby could have breached sections of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, which prohibits public servants from publishing or communicating internal documents without authorisation." Free speech my arse

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/staffer-could-face-10-years-for-sharing-slippers-diary-20120706-21mna.html [canberratimes.com.au]
  • by asifyoucare (302582) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @07:24AM (#41321933)

    Farah (a footballer) has demanded new laws and the Prime Minister (a lawyer) and Attorney-General (also a lawyer) agreed.>

    And this same Farah once tweeted to the Prime Minister that she should get herself a noose for her birthday. He is a dumb hypocrite.

    P.S. This is the worst Australian government of my lifetime. Even if I agreed with their policies, and I don't, I'd despise them for their incompetence. They like to busy themselves in all sorts of minor matters and bugger it up every time.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @07:35AM (#41321987) Homepage Journal

    However the constitution does specifiy the right to democratic elections and the High Court has rulled that this means political speach can't be censored.

    The problem with that idea is that all speech is political. Every action, including claming to refuse to take a political stance, is political if it affects others, and refusing to take a political stance does that — it is an implicit vote for the maintenance of the status quo and a continuance of current downward trends.

    This is one thing that America really got right. Not quite on the first go, but hey.

  • by Lithdren (605362) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:46AM (#41322401)
    Technically you do have free speech in Australia, Nothing is physically preventing you from saying anything; You simply choose to not stand up and take that right back from your goverment.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @11:04AM (#41324127)

    " Australians are free, within the bounds of the law, to say or write ... ", Sounds good, but you can do anything within the bounds of the law. Here's an equivalent sentence I just made up...

    And what country on this planet has completely unrestricted "free speech"? None.

    Let me guess: You're American?

    Let me demonstrate my Australian free speech: Fuck off.

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