Sunday, 18 November 2007

Information, Freedom and Censorship

The issue of censorship is not a major one this election, but it should be. So much is happening, and none of the recent developments are rolling back censorship - on the contrary.

I'm promoting this forum because (apart from the fact that I am chairing it) the issue is an extraordinarily important one. Most information produced today attracts some form of censorship. The session presents key professionals discussing the role censorship plays in their work. This is the final event in the Outside the Box series presented by the State Library of Victoria in partnership with ALIA.

The forum is on Tuesday 4 December at Experimedia in the State Library of Victoria, from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. You can book on 03 8664 7555 or It is free.

The other speakers are:
  • Professor Jenny Hocking, from the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash, is the author of Terror laws: ASIO, counter-terrorism and the threat to democracy, among other things.
  • Professor Julian Thomas is director of the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne, and his research interests involve new media, information policy and the history of communications technologies.
  • A/Professor Andrew Kenyon is Director of the Centre for Media and Communications Law at the University of Melbourne, and has been involved with the recent Independent Audit of the state of free speech in Australia.
I will say a few things about online content regulation, including the recent developments in the Northern Territory, and other recent approaches by the government and ACMA. I have been on the Board of NetAlert, Australia's internet safety organisation, from its beginning in 1999 until 2007.

ALIA also has a group dealing with Online Content and Regulation, and you can find out about it from its website. ALIA aims to work with other organisations interested in censorship and related issues, and maintains a strong position on the issue, in view of its commitment to the free flow of information. Why not come along and have your say, too?

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