Australian Governement to clampdown on Political Bloggers

Bloggers could be forced to put their names to political commentary in a bid to close a loophole in Australia’s electoral laws, according to a report in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper (subscription req).

The report states that the Australian Government plans to clamp down on blogges and others who refuse to identify a person who authorises their content.

Special Minister of State Eric Abetz told The Age that the move would ensure internet publishers were bound by the same rules as television, radio and print. Australia’s current electoral laws force publishers of any electoral material to identify a person who agrees to authorise the content but current legislation is not clear as to whethe this requirement extends to online material.

The Opposition Labor Party has indicated it does not oppose the extension of the laws to apply to the internet.

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How the Government plans to police content hosted overseas was not discussed in the report.

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