More websites and online videos could soon find their way onto Australia’s blacklist after a federal department urged the government to toughen restrictions on violent and terrorist-related material. However, the proposed ban will include some notable exemptions. Here’s what you need to know.
The Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet released a report recommending the creation of a taskforce with the aim of combating the upload and dissemination of “online crisis events”.
The recommendations seek to legally compel internet service providers (ISP) to block access to sites hosting terrorist and extreme violent material while long-term solutions are put in place by the eSafety Commissioner.
The report comes in response to the Christchurch terrorist attack earlier this year, which left 51 people dead and many more injured. While the event itself shocked the world, it was the shooter’s online stream of his crimes and the subsequent re-uploads shared across social media that further enraged the public.
Interestingly, the report also pointed out that exemptions should be made for graphic material appearing on social media that might actually be in the public interest. They referenced the shooting of Philando Castile, an unarmed man who was shot by police in the US while his girlfriend live-streamed the event on Facebook.
“While graphic, the [Philando Castile shooting] enhanced transparency of the incident and informed public discussion about the use of lethal force by police,” PMC’s report read.
“In instances where there are public interest justifications for the content, it will be important to ensure that minors are provided with appropriate protections, and that content is covered with interstitial material that alerts users to graphic content and requires them to acknowledge this to gain access.”
Last week, the Federal Court of Australia ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to five major torrent websites. This was a result of court action taken by rights holders Foxtel and Village Roadshow in their desperate fight against piracy. But here's the thing: it's incredibly easy to bypass any site-blocking implemented by ISPs. So is it legal for Australians to access the blocked websites locally? Let's find out.Read more
[Via IT News]