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Has Gillard Broken The Law, Again?

There are now so many complaints about Twitter account suspensions, content filtering and even editing of tweets within Australia, targeting only anti-Government content, that censorship is no longer a question in Australia it is a fact.

Since the story broke in March, the international interest has been overwhelming.

Now, after weeks of deliberation and review, we have drawn the conclusion that this censorship may mean the Prime Minister herself is in breach of Australia's very stringent Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (C'th) 1979. On 13 June, 2006, the Act was expanded to include so called 'stored communications', including e-mail, SMS and other media content store-and-display and store-and-forward systems.

Importantly, this law applies over any content touching the national telecommunications infrastructure. Why is this important? It means that if the network is totally private (such as your home) the law applies under certain circumstance; but as soon as that content is transferred over a carrier and the internet, then the law does apply, immediately. It has used the nation's wire carriage service; and interfering with anything, even private data, on that infrastructure is illegal without a court subpoena.

Note we say illegal. Not in breach of guidelines, not 'against policy', but illegal.

An offence carries a maximum 2 year incarceration penalty, for every offence.

Twitter would also be in contravention of this Law, as an accessory and co-conspirator under the Act, as well as breaching Laws in the United States regulating wire-taps and telecommunication interception.

Accounts recurrently suspended by Twitter, such @tvitin, @dotnetnoobie, @fluffycat61, @LaborDirct, to name just a few examples, who have been suspended for no other reason than because they carry anti-government messages, could justly notify the Australian Federal Police of an unauthorised, illegal intercept of their communications in breach of the Act.

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