The Attorney-General’s department explains why, despite the existence of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the government’s feigned belief in “open government”, you mustn’t know with whom in the copyright industry it’s talking as it prepares more draconian anti-piracy laws to make up for the fact that the content industry keeps losing in court in its attempt to make everyone else pay to enforce its broken business model:
the Attorney-General’s Department stated in its response to Delimiter’s FoI request that it “does not hold” a list of the attendees who actually attended the meeting.
That’s really, really difficult to believe. What about the department’s notes on who said what at the meeting?
the department has redacted almost all of the information previously contained in the documents — including 14 pages of notes taken by a departmental staffer at the event and other four pages of notes taken by a senior staffer from Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s department.
Which they had to do because:
“Disclosure of the documents while the negotiations are still in process, would, in my view, prejudice, hamper and impede those negotiations to an unacceptable degree,” wrote [Attorney-General’s Department senior legal officer] Purcell. That would, in my view, be contrary to the interests of good government — which would, in turn, be contrary to the public interest.”
It is “contrary to the public interest” for people who are NOT the government or one particular self-interested set of lobbyists to be involved in drafting legislation. Why should anyone but the content industry be involved before the government’s position has already been formulated? Why would it want to hear from other people and industries (such as ISPs and any internet-based business in Australia) who are affected by this sort of legislation? What’s it got to do with the ordinary members of the public whose freedoms these laws inevitably reduce, anyway?
There is nothing corrupt and sinister about this at all. Relax.