A Bunch Of Sites Could Be Getting Blocked In Australia

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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”.

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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."

Is It Legal To Access ISP-Blocked Websites?

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.

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[Via IT News]


Comments

    Well that is going to be an interesting argument in court. If you were one of the first to re-stream the Christchurch massacre you could argue that you were concerned that the content wasn't being captured and needed to be available as proof that the guy did it. Use it as a get out of jail card.

    Anyway you look at it, it is censorship. Government control of what we can see and read. Of what they don't want us to know. To keep us in the dark. To keep us under control.

    It's the thin edge of the wedge of totalitarianism. Not just by government either. Google has been censoring content it doesn't like, and has just started blocking a wide range of health sites, amongst others.

    This sucks why is it even being blocked

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