Dystopian Future (Coming to a Democracy Near You?)

News

Imagine if you saw this in the newspaper during election season:

New York has become one of the few states in the world to censor the internet.

The new law, which came into force on January 6, requires anyone making an online comment about next month’s state election to publish their real name and zip code.  The law will affect anyone posting a comment on an election story on the New York Observer’s PolitickerNY website, as well as other New York news sites.

It could also apply to election comments made on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Substitute “South Australia” for “New York”, The Advertizer for the New York Observer, AdelaideNow for PolitickerNY, and “postcode” for “zip code”… and this is an actual news article.  No joke.

The South Australian Attorney General, Michael Atkinson, defends the new law:

The AdelaideNow website is not just a sewer of criminal defamation, it is a sewer of identity theft and fraud," Mr Atkinson said. "There is no impinging on freedom of speech, people are free to say what they wish as themselves, not as somebody else."

Overreaction much?

The worst part?  Both the ruling Labor Party AND their Liberal opposition supported this bill.  WTF.