Concept

Internet censorship in Australia

Résumé
Internet censorship in Australia is enforced by both the country's criminal law as well as voluntarily enacted by internet service providers. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has the power to enforce content restrictions on Internet content hosted within Australia, and maintain a blocklist of overseas websites which is then provided for use in filtering software. The restrictions focus primarily on child pornography, sexual violence, and other illegal activities, compiled as a result of a consumer complaints process. In October 2008, a policy extending Internet censorship to a system of mandatory filtering of overseas websites which are, or potentially would be, "refused classification" (RC) in Australia was proposed. Australia is classified as "under surveillance" (a type of "Internet enemy") by Reporters Without Borders due to the proposed legislation. If enacted, the legislation would have required Internet service providers to censor access to such content for all users. However, the policy was rejected by the Coalition and was later withdrawn by the Labor party. The same day the withdrawal was announced, the then Communications Minister stated that as a result of notices to Australian ISPs, over 90% of Australians using Internet Services were going to have a web filter. Australian Federal Police would then pursue smaller ISPs and work with them to meet their "obligation under Australian law". iiNet and Internode quietly confirmed that the request to censor content from Australian Federal Police went from voluntary to mandatory under s313 in an existing law. iiNet had sought legal advice and accepted the s313 mandatory notice but would not reveal the legal advice publicly. In June 2015, the country passed an amendment which will allow the court-ordered censorship of websites deemed to primarily facilitate copyright infringement. In December 2016, the Federal Court of Australia ordered more than fifty ISPs to censor 5 sites that infringe on the Copyright Act after rights holders, Roadshow Films, Foxtel, Disney, Paramount, Columbia and the 20th Century Fox companies filed a lawsuit.
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