Times Have Changed, But How Much? by Fiona Patten

Stephen Conroy has been named the UK’s Internet Villain of the Year for his proposal to censor Australian internet users. As Fiona Patten writes, freedom of expression in Australia has been going downhill since the early 1980sStephen Conroy’s ambitious plan to censor all Australian internet users has earned him the title of Internet Villain of the Year at the 11th annual Internet Industry Awards in the UK. But the Communications Minister is just the latest in a long line of pro-censorship politicians on both sides of Australian politics.Before Don Chipp waved his magic anti-censorship wand at all the old fogeys in Parliament House in the early 1970s, we lived in a very prudish nanny state. Most young people these days would be shocked and astounded if they had to live a month under the sort of sexual and moral censorship that their grandparents had to under Bob Menzies. Prior to Chipp becoming the Minister for Customs, one in two US Playboy magazines were banned in Australia and all decisions by Customs officials were kept secret. Don Chipp changed all this by simply making the “banned list” public. This public listings of banned books was the beginning of our national uniform classification scheme.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.