The South Australian government backed down pretty quickly on its ludicrous plan to force anyone commenting on a story during an election period to provide a full name and address. However, Tasmania still has an equivalent law, and there’s no suggestion it’s about to be repealed.
ZDNet reports that activist group Digital Tasmania is seeking a commitment from both sides of politics to review the law following the election, which is expected to be tightly contested. Government officials have suggested address information might be provided on a linked profile page rather than on every comment.
Quite aside from the issue of whether the law can be enforced in a practical sense, it raises major privacy and security concerns. If you’ve gone to some lengths to keep your own residential address private, obeying this law essentially means bowing out of all political discussion. No-one was charged under the law during the last Tasmanian election, but consider this: Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist then.