ABC Online
Feb 19, 2010

A Tasmanian information technology consumer group has called for a relaxation of the laws covering political comment on the internet. The state's electoral laws require all electoral material posted on the internet to be accompanied by the individual's full name and address. The law would be applied to people posting comments on news sites and social networking pages.

Andrew Connor from Digitial Tasmania says the laws are impractical and could lead to stalking and harassment.

"If people post something on Facebook or Twitter, it's just not practical for them to include an authorisation," he said.

"Even if they did want to include an authorisation, they still have to include their name and address, and a lot of people don't want to expose that sort of information, on the internet, perhaps indefinitely."

Mr Connor is urging the Tasmanian Electoral Commission not to enforce the section of the electoral law. He says the legislation is a backward step for users of popular social networking sites and potentially dangerous.

"If they do post their home address or a work address on the internet it may lead to employment threats or physical abuse or even identity fraud," he said.

"Someone can get their full name and address and then work out other info about them."