If you or your organisation are an internet service provider, or provide content or hosting services it is critical you read this.
On the 5th of April the Australian Government enacted new legislation, in response to the streaming of the offensive content associated with the Christchurch massacre. This legislation is intended to ensure internet service providers, or content or hosting services, take timely action in relation to abhorrent violent material that can be accessed using their services. The objective of this legislation is to ensure that online platforms cannot be exploited and weaponised by perpetrators of violence.
The Christchurch terrorist attack on 15 March 2019 demonstrated the potential for live streaming and other video sharing platforms to be abused by extremist perpetrators to amplify their messages in the immediate aftermath of these incidents. In that case, the perpetrator streamed the attack in real-time. The video was then widely re-shared across a number of social media platforms.
This new legislation provides severe penalties for those service or hosting providers who fail to expeditiously remove from, or cease hosting on, their services abhorrent violent material that is reasonably capable of being accessed within Australia.
In essence abhorrent violent material (AVM) is defined as (brief summary of provision);
– Audio and or visual material which depicts
– A terrorist act, murder, attempted murder, torture, rape or kidnapping.
This legislation provides some challenges for service or hosting providers,
particularly as the AVM must be expeditiously removed.
How will you recieve reports:
Once AVM is identified by the public it is critical that there is an understanding of where and how to report the material. If adequate information isn’t capture in the first report, there is a high likelihood the material will remain, almost certainly breaching the act. This means having suitably experienced staff and systems in place to enable rapid response to reports of AVM.
Exposing internal staff to abhorrent violent material:
Exposing your own staff to AVM comes with the significant occupational health and safety risk. Much of this material is extremely disturbing to view and should not be viewed by staff without the support of mental health or councilor support.
The difficulty in classifying the material:
Many of the AVM categories can be very difficult to classify correctly. There are a number of provisions in the legislation which add complexity to the task of correctly classifying the material.
Liasing with law enforcement:
Understanding the process from start to finish and ensuring the correct information is gathered is key to providing law enforcement with the required information. Persons, such as ex law enforcement investigators, with experience in evidence handling are best placed to manage the process from start to finish to reduce the risk of possible breaches to the act.
Guidance and support services:
SECMON1 has a complete service which will ensure that any detected abhorrent violent material is managed expeditiously and sensitively. These types of matters require specialists. SECMON1 understand this space and can provide guidance quickly and professionally.
Speak to SECMON1 team on 1300 410 900 to discuss how to prepare for and manage these new requirements.
(It is recommended to read the entire legislation for a complete understanding of the legislative provisions.)
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Director | SECMON1
PH 0428 183 095
The Rialto, 525 Collins St. Melbourne
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