Daily Bulletin


News

  • Written by Dan Jerker B. Svantesson, Co-Director Centre for Commercial Law, Bond University
Why new laws are vital to help us control violence and extremism online

The terrorist attack in Christchurch is a horrific attack on society. We must consider all measures available to avoid something like this ever happening again, anywhere.

Now in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to introduce new criminal laws for social media companies that fail to quickly remove footage like that broadcast by the gunman in the New Zealand massacre. The alleged gunman live-streamed his activities on Facebook, and the footage was republished across many platforms in the days following.

Read more: Morrison flags new laws to stop social media platforms being 'weaponised'

This is an indication that Australian leaders may now be prepared to move beyond just blaming technology for its role in the Christchurch massacre.

Laws are typically based on social values and social duties. However, penalties can of course only stem from violations of law – not violations of social duties – and it is governments that make law.

How is the internet regulated?

Internet platforms such as Facebook and Google are already subject to a complex web of laws stemming from around the globe.

A project at Stanford University has started mapping out this web of regulation.

The site points to several laws in Australia that apply to internet platforms. Of these, the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) is most relevant. But this is a largely untested legal provision providing certain protections for internet platforms handling content posted by users.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he aims to create laws that:

  • make it a criminal offence to fail to remove the offending footage as soon as possible after it was reported or it otherwise became known to the company

  • allow the government to declare footage of an incident filmed by a perpetrator and being hosted on a site was “abhorrent violent material”. It would be a crime for a social media provider not to quickly remove the material after receiving a notice to do so. There would be escalating penalties the longer it remained on the social media platform.

These laws would not prevent violent livestreaming from taking place in the first place, but if drafted carefully may help control its spread and impact.

Read more: Anxieties over livestreams can help us design better Facebook and YouTube content moderation

This is an important point, as there is a strong argument that banning live-streaming on the major platforms will not prevent terrorists live-streaming their acts via other outlets.

Along with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Attorney-General Christian Porter and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, today the prime minister will meet with representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter and telcos including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to discuss the responsibilities of social media companies when violence is streamed online.

Read more: Four ways social media companies and security agencies can tackle terrorism

Global examples for improving regulation

Recent activity around the world shows increasing attention paid to regulating online hate and terrorist content.

In October 2018, the US Department of Justice launched a new website to improve the identification and reporting of hate crimes.

And in the European Union, work has advanced to stop terrorists from using the internet to radicalise, recruit and incite to violence. The EU proposal includes a framework for strengthened cooperation between hosting service providers, member states and Europol (the EU’s law enforcement agency). Within that framework, service providers must designate points of contact reachable 24/7 to facilitate the follow up to removal orders and referrals.

Using the powers of the Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand has banned possession and distribution of the “manifesto” said to be written by the suspect behind the Christchurch mosque attack. (This accompanies other measures like stricter gun control updated recently in New Zealand).

Australia can draw upon these experiences, copying the good and developing what needs improvement.

International cooperation is key

Morrison has placed the matter of social media platforms being misused to promote violence on the G20 agenda. This is a good step. The major tech companies are established overseas so this is an issue that can only be addressed via international cooperation.

However, the G20 is only one forum of many. Ultimately, what we need are multi-stakeholder discussions involving governments, the tech industry, civil society and academia.

A relevant example in this context is the work the Paris-based Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network, and more specifically its work on cross-border content take-down and blocking. Its work is advanced, and includes concrete suggestions aimed at managing globally available content in light of the diversity of local laws and norms applicable on the internet.

Authors: Dan Jerker B. Svantesson, Co-Director Centre for Commercial Law, Bond University

Read more http://theconversation.com/why-new-laws-are-vital-to-help-us-control-violence-and-extremism-online-114069

Writers Wanted

Will I or won't I? Scientists still haven't figured out free will, but they're having fun trying

arrow_forward

Total Recall at 30: why this brutal action film remains a classic

arrow_forward

Industry cadetships: a good but small step to tap the talents of women in STEM

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Business News

AppDynamics Solves Visibility Gap Between Traditional Infrastructure and Cloud Environments

New Full Stack Observability Platform, Integration With Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer and Cloud Native Visualisation Features Provide Cross Domain Insights and Analytics of Business Perfor...

Hotwire Global - avatar Hotwire Global

Why Your Small Business Should Bulk Buy Hand Sanitiser

As a small business owner, employee and customer safety is at the very top of your priority list. From risk assessments to health and safety officers, appropriate signage and proper briefing...

News Co - avatar News Co

How Phone Number Search In Sydney Can Help Your Business

To run a successful business, keeping track of your company and competitors are the major factors. With a lot of tools, available businesses have options to stay current. One way in which busine...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion