(Last Updated On: March 24, 2020)

An agreement to a new protocol came from internet service providers and the federal government, to enable the blocking of websites running graphic material portraying a terrorist act or violent crime.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner led the growth of the new protocol, with telcos using the Communications Alliance consulting.

The protocol will start to operate when eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant announces “an online crisis event” when terrorist or extremely violent material being to be spread online “in a manner likely to cause significant harm” to the Australian community and “warranting a rapid, coordinated response” by industry and government. 

Blocks will be placed for periods of time on a case-by-case basis to mark the risk of the crisis event, by Grant.

Paul Fletcher Communications minister said, “In the aftermath of the devastating events in Christchurch last year, major Australian internet service providers voluntarily blocked websites hosting the video.

“Now we have a framework in place to enable a rapid, coordinated and decisive response to contain the rapid spread of terrorist or extreme violent material.”

The Task Force to Combat Terrorist and Extreme Violent Material Online had recommended the protocol, which had occurred due to the terrorist attacks in Christchurch in March 2019. 

Telstra, Foxtel, Optus, TPG, Vodaphone and Vocus Group were the telcos that are a part of the protocol.

John Stanton, Communications Alliance chief executive said “We’ve seen a strong sense of shared purpose between the government, the eSafety commissioner and internet service providers to put this protocol in place.

“We welcome the protections it can provide customers against the risk of dangerous and extreme content being shared online.”

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