New cyber powers to block violent content

Georgie Moore
(Australian Associated Press)


Websites and apps will be compelled to cut off access to abhorrent and illegal content under new Australian laws.

Search engine and app store access could be disabled if sites and apps systematically ignore takedown notices from eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

The powers starting January 23 under the Online Safety Act aim to block Australian access to overseas-hosted violent and abhorrent content, such as the 2019 live streaming of the Christchurch massacre.

Individuals face penalties of up to $111,000 per offence, and corporations fines of $555,000, if they don’t comply with takedown notices.

“Online communities don’t have borders and yet many Australians access materials online,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said.

“This new scheme will hold industry accountable for keeping users safe.”


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