In recent weeks Australia has been taking a closer look at the way it handles tech companies. Now the country is shifting its focus to content online, and in particular extremist content, as prime minister Scott Morrison announced several proposals in relation to terror attacks.
More specifically Morrison explained that the country aims to block content from internet domains that feature extremist content while a terror attack is going on, with the prime minister pointing to the Christchurch mosque shootings as an example.
Precisely why such a block would only apply during terror attacks is unclear, as it would surely make more sense to block such domains outright, but it’s more than likely that the Australian government does not wish to appear to be infringing upon free speech.
As for some of the other proposals that Morrison put forward, he also pushed for a block of domains that feature “abhorrent” content, such as murder or sexual abuse.
“We are doing everything we can to deny terrorists the opportunity to glorify their crimes,” he noted in a statement to Reuters.
For now the framework for blocking domains is still to be determined, but when it is, it will fall to the nation’s esafety commissioner to oversee said blocking. The commissioner will also work in tandem with a coordination centre that will monitor both violent and extremist content for the country.
Australia is also contemplating legislature which would force internet firms to have better security measures in place, but unlike its antitrust watchdog, it’s unclear how effectively the country could legislate such a factor.
As Engadget points out, there are still quite a few unanswered questions when it comes to such a proposal. Taking the Christchurch shootings as an example, if Facebook is deemed to have not handled the uploading of videos involving the shooting, would the entire platform be blocked in Australia?
With this a plan that needs some of the finer details to be hashed out, it will prove interesting to see how Australia would implement such a proposal.