Social media regulation should not be rushed in three days


Statement from Sunita Bose, Managing Director of DIGI (Digital Industry Group Inc) in response to the release of the draft Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Bill 2019:

DIGI members share the Government’s commitment to keeping Australians safe and have been working with governments, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies to ensure terrorism and other illegal activity committed offline are not amplified through their platforms.

It is therefore concerning that this legislation has been announced — with the Government planning to rush it through Parliament in just three days — without any meaningful consultation with the digital industry, security, legal and technical experts, the intelligence community, the media, and civil society; and, ahead of its own first Government Taskforce meeting to address the issue on Friday.

We all want online spaces to be safe and respectful and DIGI members continually work at additional ways to use resources, and invest in technologies, to ensure that is the case.

Announcing measures such as jailing staff at internet companies is inappropriate for a democracy such as Australia, and does not help the debate or solve the issue.

DIGI members will continue to work closely with the Government and Opposition, and appropriate authorities around the world, as we all work to keep people safe online, and we urge that this proper consultation can occur before a rush to pass this Bill.