Australian ISPs ordered by government to block eight sites hosting violent content

Australian internet providers told to block websites hosting Christchurch terror video

The Australian eSafety commissioner has directed six major internet service providers to continue blocking eight unnamed websites still hosting videos of the March Christchurch mosque massacre and the accused gunman's manifesto for an additional six months. Sites including 4chan, 8chan, Kiwi Farms, Encyclopaedia Dramatica, Live Leak, Voat and Zerohedge were believed to be blocked, at least temporarily, by some or all of the ISPs.

"I have consulted with both the ISPs and the website administrators, giving the websites ample opportunity to remove this horrific content, and a number have complied".

Julie Inman Grant, Australia's eSafety Commissioner, said that in addition to prevent Australians from accessing the traumatizing content, it was important to block the websites to prevent the recruitment of other terrorists.

"ISPs called on the government to provide them with certainty and clarity in taking the action they did, and today, we are providing that certainty". A review process will be conducted every six months for potential appeals.

"The decision to block websites will be taken only under extraordinary circumstances and will need to meet an extremely high threshold", she said.

"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".

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the Government worked to address the problems that arose from the tragedy.

"We can not allow this heinous material to be used to promote, incite or instruct in further terrorist acts", said Inman Grant.

The new rules were recommended by the Taskforce to Combat Terrorist and Extreme Violent Material Online, which includes Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Telstra, Vodafone, Optus, and TPG.

Directly following the terror attacks in Christchurch earlier in 2019, the Australian Government introduced "The Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material" bill, which included hastily crafted legislation to penalise offending websites and social media platforms that failed to take down abhorrent violent material within a "reasonable" timeframe.

The transfer comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison (above) told each Inman and ISPs to create a protocol for ordering these blocks.

Ms Grant said she had issued five notices demanding various sites take the material down.

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