Electronic Frontiers Australia

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Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc.
blue letters "e f a", the space within the "a" shaped as the Australian continent
FormationMay 1994; 28 years ago (1994-05)
Registration no.101007096
FocusDigital rights
Area served
Key people
Lyndsey Jackson, Chair

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit Australian national non-government organisation representing Internet users concerned with online liberties and rights. It has been vocal on the issue of Internet censorship in Australia.[1]

Its main objective is to protect and promote the civil liberties of users and operators of computer-based communications systems such as the Internet. It also advocates the amendment of laws and regulations in Australia and elsewhere which restrict free speech as well educating the community at large about the social, political, and civil-liberties issues involved in the use of computer-based communications systems.[1]

The organisation has warned against privacy invasions following the distribution of a draft code of practice for ISPs and their response to cybercrime.[2] It has also warned against intellectual property clauses in free trade agreements between Australia and the United States.


EFA was created in 1994.[1] Its founders were inspired by the US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF),[3] but EFA is not affiliated with the EFF.[4] EFA is a founding member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign.[5]

In 1999, the organisation moved against legislation aiming to filter internet pornography and other material deemed unfit for public consumption online that was pursued by politicians such as Brian Harradine.[6]

The EFA spoke out against the rulings in relation to convicted Holocaust denier Fredrick Töben and his Adelaide Institute,[7] taking the view that "when encountering racist or hateful speech, the best remedy to be applied is generally more speech, not enforced silence."[8] One of the reasons mentioned is that suppressing such content results in perception that the speaker must have something important to say, and "massively increased interest in what would otherwise be marginal ideas."

In 2006, the EFA pushed against Cleanfeed, a mandatory ISP level content filtration system proposed by Kim Beazley.[9] Internet filtering was later pursued by Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy. The EFA presented a petition against mandatory internet filtering with 19,000 signatures to the Australian Senate.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Green, Jonathon; Karolides, Nicholas J. (2005). Encyclopedia of Censorship. New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 165. ISBN 1438110014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. electronic frontiers australia.
  2. ^ Giacomello, Giampiero (2004). National Governments and Control of the Internet: A Digital Challenge. Routledge. p. 61. ISBN 113432393X. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ Allison, G. Burgess (1995). The lawyer's guide to the Internet. Section of Law Practice Management, American Bar Association. p. 257. ISBN 1570731497. Retrieved 10 July 2014. electronic frontiers australia.
  4. ^ Bowrey, Kathy (2005). Law and Internet Cultures. Cambridge University Press. p. 190. ISBN 0521600480. Retrieved 16 June 2014. electronic frontiers australia.
  5. ^ Wadsen, Wayne (1998). Cryptography and liberty: an international survey of encryption policy. Global Internet Liberty Campaign. p. 67. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  6. ^ Sandy, Geoffrey A (2001). "The Government "Downunder" Attempts To Censor the Net". In Salehnia, Ali (ed.). Ethical Issues of Information Systems. Idea Group Inc (IGI). p. 282. ISBN 1931777276. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  7. ^ Jones v Toben [2000] HREOCA 39 (5 October 2000), Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia).
  8. ^ EFA Letter to HREOC, Oct 1998
  9. ^ Walsh, Gabrielle (1 April 2006). "Labor's mandatory filtering pledge". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  10. ^ Liz Tay (22 June 2010). "Protest: 19,000 Australians petition against Internet filter". itnews. nextmedia. Retrieved 9 September 2016.

External links[edit]