The Australian Government is considering a raft of new regulations, including a move to ban non-government organisations from using the Government’s media, information and communications technology (ICT) service, which is now operated by the Government itself.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released draft rules that would require agencies to identify themselves as Government-owned, including requiring the Government to “identify any Government-operated media entity that provides or uses Government media or information” and “identifying the name and address of the entity and the date of the grant or acquisition”.
The proposed new rules will apply to agencies who are not “owned or controlled” by the Federal Government, but which are “a Crown corporation or partnership”, “an entity owned or controlled by the Commonwealth” or “a trust” or similar.
The ACMA said it would also require agencies that “have any form of Government media”, including digital, audio and video, to be registered as “government media entities” with the ACMA.
This would allow the ACMTA to track down where those media have been distributed.
But some agencies have already reacted angrily to the proposed changes, arguing that they are unnecessary and that the proposed regulations will be unnecessary and will have no impact on the vast majority of media organisations.
“We have been hearing that the Government wants to change the rules of the game and that’s ridiculous,” Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told ABC radio in the lead-up to the draft rules’ release.
“The only thing the Government is proposing to change is the classification of government media, which should be completely independent of the government.”
So that’s it.
So, we’ve just had two days to prepare for this.
“But some experts are concerned the proposed new requirements could mean the ACMs is overstepping its authority.”
I think it’s a great idea, and I think it would have a lot of benefit to the media, but it would be a bit too much,” media and technology expert Paul Chappell told news.com.au.”
It’s a bit like a licence for an agency to operate and to manage the information.
“Chappell said that while the proposed rules could lead to more transparency, he was not sure they would be effective.”
This is all being done by a bunch of bureaucrats in the Government,” he said.”
There’s no transparency, it’s all very secretive.
“The only people that really understand it are the bureaucrats and the Government.”
If the ACMS had a more independent approach to the Government, there would be less need for these regulations.
“In an email to news.au, the ACMC said it was currently “actively working on the rules to be published”.
“As a result, the Government has agreed to undertake a consultation with the media.””
This includes a number of submissions from non-Government organisations, which have raised concerns about the proposed restrictions,” it said.
“As a result, the Government has agreed to undertake a consultation with the media.”
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