ISOC-AU rebrands to Internet Australia

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 26 May, 2015

ISOC-AU rebrands to Internet Australia

The Internet Society of Australia will rebrand as Internet Australia, while remaining a local chapter of the global Internet Society.

The industry body is changing its name to help fulfil its goal of taking a more active role in discussions about internet-related policies and issues.

“Our mission is to promote internet developments for the benefit of the whole community, including business, educational, government and private internet users,” Internet Australia President George Fong said.

“We believe that Australia’s future lies in a digitally enabled economy delivered via ubiquitous high speed internet. We want to create wide-ranging debate across the community about the best way for our country to gain value from the internet.”

A range of issues, including the new mandatory metadata retention law, threaten to damage the efficient operation of the internet in Australia, the industry body believes. Internet Australia is therefore seeking to take a higher-profile role in discussions about these issues.

“We are keen to work with the government and the Opposition to ensure that proper debate and consultation with both industry and the wider community occurs prior to the drafting of laws that affect the internet,” Internet Australia CEO Laurie Patton said.

The body is a member of the Attorney General’s Department working group developing guidelines for the introduction of the data retention scheme, he added.

Another example of a threat to the fabric of the internet is proposed ‘site blocking’ legislation aimed at tackling online piracy by barring access to popular file-sharing sites.

Patton noted that in 2013, ASIC accidentally blocked access to 250,000 innocent websites while attempting to block one alleged fraud site.

“This is the sort of unintended damage that we risk reoccurring if the site-blocking legislation goes through,” he said.

“Our concern is that ad hoc government interventions such as the proposed site-blocking legislation will not address the problem but will create adverse unintended consequences that are entirely counterproductive and potentially damaging to the internet.”

Image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski under CC

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