In Australia, a new law on livestreaming terror attacks doesn’t take into account how the internet actually works


This post is by Andre Oboler from Nieman Lab


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In response to the livestreamed terror attack in New Zealand last month, new laws have just been passed by the Australian Parliament. These laws amend the Commonwealth Criminal Code, adding two substantive new criminal offenses. Both are aimed not at terrorists but at technology companies. And how that’s done is where some of the new measures fall down. The legislation was rushed through with neither consultation nor sufficient discussion. The laws focus on abhorrent violent material — capturing the terrorist incident in New Zealand, but also online content created by a person carrying out a murder, attempted murder, torture, rape, or violent kidnapping. The laws do not cover material captured by third parties who witness a crime — only content from an attacker, their accomplices, or someone who attempts to join the violence. The aim is to prevent perpetrators of extreme violence from using the internet to glorify or
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