SA Government back down and admit defeat on banning anonymous political speech

The South Australian Attorney General, Michael Atkinson, backed down last night on his plans to ban anonymous political comments during SA’s election period, says the Adelaide Now website.

The Adelaide Now website reports Mr Atkinson as releasing a statement saying the law will be repealed after the election, and that the law will not be enforced during the election.

SA Premier Mike Rann’s Twitter account also made several statements, including:

Attn Gen Mick Atkinson will move after election to repeal retrospectively provision of Electoral Act relating to internet/blog poll comment.

and

AG has listened. So no debate will be stifled. No political censorship of blogs or on-line comments whether named or anon.

Of course, it’s absolutely ridiculous that the Attorney General of a state should have to “listen” to other people to realise what an attack on free speech banning anonymous political comment is. Mr Rann and Mr Atkinson deserve no credit whatsoever for repealing this law – they should never have passed it in the first place. And the Liberal Party in South Australia should never have helped them pass it either.

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