Friday, May 23, 2014

Australian blogger faces fine over criticism of official body

A 47-YEAR-OLD blogger from Mount Gambier claims he will be the first person in South Australia to be charged under the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption laws.

But the blogger, whose name cannot be published under the state’s ICAC legislation, will not be charged with corruption.

Anti-Corruption Branch officers from South Australian police raided his home on May 8 and seized his laptop computer for breaking the first rule of ICAC — talking about it on his blog.

The Australian has obtained a copy of the receipt police gave the blogger when they seized his ACER laptop and power cord, which are now classified as police “exhibits”.

In what could be a test case for the new laws, the blogger says police advised him he would be the first person in the state to be charged under section 56 of the ICAC Act — Publication of Information and Evidence — for blogging about an investigation.

He faces a $30,000 fine for breaching the act. “I was told, ‘Expect to be charged’, and that it was specific to that section,” he said.

“Obviously, I am fairly concerned. I asked them what it was all about, and they said it’s about something you said on your blog about ICAC, but they wouldn’t tell me what. I have got no idea what is going on at this point.”

The man said he had since sought advice from community legal services, but lawyers were unsure of his rights given the charges had not yet been laid.

“My legal advice is that they don’t know, because no one has ever had this enacted against them.”

His blog, which is still active, publishes a letter from ICAC Commissioner Bruce Lander that reports on the outcome of an investigation launched after the man made a complaint to his local member of parliament. The letter said “No evidence has been located to substantiate any of the allegations” that were made by the man, and the file had been closed.

The blogger admitted he was critical of ICAC’s probe, but said he believed he should have a right to express an opinion about the authority.



Anonymous said...

In the United States, the First Amendment provides the right for individuals to criticize the government.
It seems that Australians are under a tyranny.

Bird of Paradise said...

Liberals especialy these intellectiual knownothings totaly reject the U.S. Constitution what it all means its time to totaly cut them all off from anymore public money by 100%

Anonymous said...

I think it is becoming commonplace for these types of bodies to operate in secrecy and without the chance of criticism.
It is a worrying trend.

Stan B said...

There is a reason that the 1st Amendment to the American Constitution is broad and explicit. The ability to criticize government is the true test of your freedoms. If you can't complain, then you are not free.

Go Away Bird said...

Too bad these liberal wanko's thinks Free Speech is for them alone that's why their so idiotic

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:27

In the event Homeland Security searches your home, try telling your lawyer or spouse about it and see what happens. It's a felony.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when a so-called democracy becomes a thugocracy. Government of the thugs, by the thugs, for (the benefit of) the thugs. For the more sensitive among us, substitute politician or bureaucrat for thug.

Go Away Bird said...

Any politician who cant abide by the U.S. Constitution which they have sworn on the bible to UP-HOLD,PROTECT & DEFEND need to leave america and never ever return