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auDA Seeking to Amend Constitution to Silence Dissent

The .au policy and regulatory body, auDA, is seeking to implement even more onerous rules [pdf] on who can be a Member of the organisation than on who is eligible to stand for the Australian parliament in what could easily be viewed as an attempt to stifle dissent.

The resolutions that will be put to Members at the Annual General Meeting on 27 November come under proposed amendments to the constitution in what auDA describes as a “Fit and Proper Persons Test”. Under auDA’s proposals, someone like Nelson Mandela wouldn’t be allowed to be a member of the organisation.

The proposed resolutions, which need to be approved by members of Australia's country code top level domain (ccTLD) at the upcoming AGM, would give the Board the power to reject a member’s application and expel existing members without giving reason.

If approved the Board will have the power to reject membership applications or expel Members if the applicant or Member has been convicted of an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or of a state or territory of Australia.” To stand for Australia’s parliament, section 44 of the Constitution, a different section of which has been in the news a lot recently, a ban only applies to persons “convicted of a crime punishable by a year or more in prison” and the ban only applies “while serving or awaiting sentence.”

The resolution would also allow the board to reject a membership application or expel a Member if they had “been convicted of an offence against a law of another country” or “been, at any time, a bankrupt”, among other reasons.

Section 44 of the Constitution says in part that a person is precluded from standing for or being a member of the Australian parliament if they are “attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer.”

A third resolution would, using the same reasonings, would preclude people from standing for the Board for the same reasons.

To download the proposed resolutions in full, go to:

The notice of the AGM is available at: