SOUTH Australia's Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has made a "humiliating" backdown and announced he will repeal his law censoring internet comment on the state election.
After a furious reaction on AdelaideNow to The Advertiser's exclusive report on the new laws, Mr Atkinson released this statement at 10pm last night: "From the feedback we've received through AdelaideNow, the blogging generation believes that the law supported by all MPs and all political parties is unduly restrictive.
"I have listened. I will immediately after the election move to repeal the law retrospectively."
Mr Atkinson said the law would not be enforced for comments posted on AdelaideNow during the upcoming election campaign, even though it was technically applicable.
"It may be humiliating for me, but that's politics in a democracy and I'll take my lumps," he continued in the statement.
"This way, no one need fear now that they are being censored on the net or in blogs, whether they blog under their own name or anonymously.
"I call upon all the other political parties who supported this review to also review their position."
No the above is not a joke. To read on, go here.
At least the South Australian government had the decency to back down on this crazy law, which prohibits anonymous comments on the internet on election issues during an election period. Anyone making election-related comments has to reveal their name and address! What is especially troubling is that such a crazy and illiberal law had the support of all parties and all MPs until a public backlash led the government to back away from it.
What is more reassuring is that the government seems to have listened, showing that it can be worth standing up and shouting loudly in defence of our freedoms.