Menu
Menu
Australia to block internet domains hosting extremist content during terror attacks

Australia to block internet domains hosting extremist content during terror attacks

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference at the Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore, 07 June 2019.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference at the Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore, 07 June 2019.

Credit: Wallace Woon/Pool via REUTERS

We are doing everything we can to deny terrorists the opportunity to glorify their crimes

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australia will block access to internet domains hosting terrorist material during crisis events and will consider legislation to force digital platforms to improve the safety of their services, officials said on Sunday.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in France to take part in the G7 leaders' forum, said the government intended to prevent extremists from exploiting digital platforms to post extremely violent content.

"We are doing everything we can to deny terrorists the opportunity to glorify their crimes," he said in a statement.

Australia and New Zealand have increased scrutiny of websites and social media companies in the wake of the Christchurch massacre in March, when 51 worshippers were killed in attacks on two New Zealand mosques.

The attack was live streamed by alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant over Facebook.

The government said it would establish a framework to block domains hosting such material. Australia's eSafety Commissioner would determine on a case-by-case basis what should be censored, and was working with industry on arrangements to quickly block access during an attack.

A 24x7 Crisis Coordination Centre would be established to monitor the online world for extreme violence or terrorist material.

In addition to extremist violence, domains hosting any abhorrent violent material - defined as content showing murder, attempted murder, rape, torture, or kidnapping - that is recorded by anyone involved in the conduct also would be blocked, the government said.

The government did not elaborate on what legislative options would be used if digital platforms failed to improve safety.

Tech giants including Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Microsoft, and Twitter, along with Telstra , Vodafone, TPG and Optus are expected to provide details to the government by the end of next month on how they will carry out the recommendations.

The firms are all members of the Taskforce to Combat Terrorist and Extreme Violent Material Online, which had recommended a clear framework be established.

It was not immediately clear how the move would affect media reporting of terror attacks or civil unrest.

Sky News New Zealand was fined NZ$4,000 ($2,560) by New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority earlier this month for showing a number of edited clips taken from the alleged Christchurch attacker's 17‑minute livestream video during its news broadcast.

The regulator said in its judgement that, while the broadcast was newsworthy, the clips contained disturbing violent content which could cause distress, or glorify the alleged attacker and promote his messages.

(Reporting by Alison Bevege; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CSRMicrosoftFacebookVodafonesocial networksterrorismbig dataanalyticsyoutubeoptusamazonTPGlive streamingethics of big dataG7digital giantshate speechextremismChristchurch CallgeopoliticsSky News New Zealandhate crimeand Twitteralong with Telstra

More about AmazonAustraliaFacebookMicrosoftNewsOptusTwitterVodafone

Show Comments