Building Big Brother

The Film and Publications Board will need some serious hacking skills.

18 April 2017

In proposing to regulate the internet, the government plans to go far beyond the stated aims of protecting children from pornography and the rest of us from hate speech. With the Film and Publications Amendment Bill, it wants to regulate all social media, including not only public platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but also private messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

This is a huge overreach, for many reasons. To regulate private communication is unconstitutional. It is a grave threat to business communication, since government and its cronies control half the country’s economy. It is positively repulsive to imagine bureaucrats spying on messages between lovers or jokes between mates.

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