Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Australia, February 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5679321.html [accessed 18 December 2014]
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Proposed legislation would give the federal police commissioner power to unilaterally block Internet content that he or she "has reason to believe ... is a crime or terrorist related." The bill was introduced in the Senate on September 13 by Helen Coonan, a congresswoman and Australia's minister for communications. Its sponsors argued that the bill was aimed mainly at controlling pornography and criminal activities on the Web, but critics said it would give federal police broad discretionary power to consider whether online information threatened national security. The bill defined offending content as that which "encourages, incites or induces" or is "likely to have the effect of facilitating" an offense against the commonwealth. Police would be empowered to order the Australian Communications and Media Agency to censor specific Web sites and require individual Internet service providers to "take reasonable steps" to block content blacklisted by the authorities.