INDUSTRY WELCOMES BLOCKING OF TERROR-RELATED WEBSITES

Sydney, 9 September 2019 The Internet Industry has welcomed today’s Government direction to continue to block eight websites that continue to provide access to content related to the March 2019 terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Australia’s major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) moved independently in the days immediately after the Christchurch attacks, to block more than 40 websites that, at that time, were hosting video of the attacks or the manifesto of the alleged perpetrator.

The ISPs and industry association Communications Alliance – who were members of the task force subsequently set up by the Australian Prime Minister - pressed the Government to provide some direction, given that the ISPs did not have a clear legal footing for the action they had taken.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, welcomed the finalisation of an operational agreement between industry and Government which paved the way for the blocking order issued today by the eSafety Commissioner.

“Australia’s major ISPs stepped up quickly after the Christchurch attacks and, of their own accord, blocked access to websites that were hosting the terror-related material,

“Industry recognised that this was the right thing to do, without explicit Government direction, and we are pleased to see the framework that is now in place as a result of constructive collaboration between industry, Government and its agencies.”

The agreement with Government also provides a pathway to unblocking websites once they have removed the offending content.

Industry players will continue to work with Government on other elements of the taskforce-recommended package of measures, including mechanisms to achieve better and more agile coordination of all stakeholders in the event that this is needed in future.

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

The most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society.  To create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.  For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Neeley Williams nwilliams@sefiani.com.au
0434 742 551