scotartt on Thu, 27 May 1999 18:54:51 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> australian anti-autonomous antipathy


Autonomous Organisation is organising autonomous online protest over the
(ONLINE SERVICES) BILL 1999, which passed at its second reading in the
Australian Senate on 25 May. We are also seeking co-operation and
assistance from organisations and individuals all over the world in
helping play our part in defeating this legislation.

This legislation is: ill-conceived, hastily prepared, fundamentally
flawed, economically damaging, inconsistent with basic human rights and
freedom of speech, and technically futile given the nature of the
Internet. It provides that complainants, free of civil suit or action no
matter how vexatious or frivolous their complaint, may complain to the
broadcasting authority about material which offends TV broadcasting
censorship guidelines. Authority may issue 'take down' notices to
content providers and fine heavily if these are not met. There are many
other appalling points about this legislation that can be found at the
EFAustralia website There are protests/rallies
tomorrow 28 May at 1pm (GMT +10) in most capital cities in Australia
which we ask you attend.

Autonomous Organisation refuses to participate in such moralistic,
simplistic solutions to this alleged problem. It is already illegal to
possess such material as child pornography, snuff films, etc, therefore
illegal servers with this and like material can already be prosecuted
and dealt with. This legislation will ban all 'X' rated material from
Australian servers (helping export the traffic - and revenue -
overseas), it also requires ISPs to undertake reasonable steps to block
access to sites. Australia will have Internet censorship laws more
draconian than Malaysia or Singapore.

Australia is increasingly in a climate where even sex educational
programs cannot be shown late at night on broadcast TV ('Sex Life'). The
film "Salo" has been banned, where once it was legal. Serious
parliamentary debate was made about banning the recent version of
"Lolita". Our official moral climate is increasingly strident and rigid
in its outlook: yet this is not the view or attitude of most

ISPs or independants such as which host material rated
'R' (let say, Apocalypse Now, or most Scorcese films are this rating in
Australia) on the Australian Internet are compulsorily required to
assure only 18+ access by using a verification system. This completely
makes any such websites only within the purview of Corporations and
others with budgets large enough to ensure the technical mechanisms to
afford these verification systems, e.g. credit card systems. Regulation
removes or overwhelms the capabilities of smaller operators and others
not interested in commercial avenues of expression. Legal obligation is
placed upon upstream providers.

Mailing lists and newsgroups are also included in regulated expression.
User-controlled blocking or monitoring software for concerned parents is
not considered. The government ignored nearly all the available evidence
at the Senate inquiry including that of the CSIRO. 

In protest of this Government action to enforce the Moral Minority of
Senator Harradine, Autonomous Organisation is undertaking "Refused
Classification" (the worst possible class of censorship guidelines) and
refusing to classify our material. Most of the material published here
by artists is relatively innocuous, however we refuse to deny that
existing material and future work (as done by, for example,
internationally recognised, Australia Council-funded, artists like e.g.
VNS, gashgirl, and others) will ever be amongst material which might
generally be considered R or X or even RC rated if seen on Television. 

We are registering our entire domain space with some leading blocking
software rating companies as containing all of their worst-possible
content scenarios. No possibility is excluded. We will produce specific
provocation-protest materials also for posting on the home site, and
also, at other URLS within the name-space. 

We seek your help and input in carrying out our plans. In order to
produce the most effective Internet-response we will give away any name
(as in to any person/organisation willing to
maintain a site in our namespace which is "refused classification" -- we
will not exert any editorial control except via linking and DNS control.
Autonomous Organisation especially welcomes any offers of spare IP
numbers, and mirroring and/or web server space (no matter how small) on
international servers. Additionally we seek people to donate suitable
artwork, literature, pornography, political materials, and as such which
might suit the theme, "refused classification". You are welcome to
submit existing URLs you think would fit with an wrapper.

Locally (Sydney) we'd also like to speak to individuals for a geographic
collaboration. We especially need reasonable access to a color scanner
of average quality and extra photoshop and images skills with which to
supplement our own. 

Ideas, input, and skills for using technical mechanisms for
circumventing the requirements of the legislation are also sought.

Please contact via email for any further enquries.

Autonomous Organisation.

>}} sysx {{<
    "It's like a record needle cuts a groove into the brain."
>{{ }}<

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