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.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about  Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558