Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Australia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2008
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Australia, February 2008, available at: [accessed 16 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

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.

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