This submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications considers the effectiveness of section 313(3) of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This section allows government agencies to request communications providers do things like block websites because they might be breaking the law.

ACCAN is concerned that this power goes too far because it removes the courts from deciding issues of guilt. It could also be used to shut down websites for relatively minor offences, like the owner not paying a parking fine.

We’ve made some suggestions about how the power could be improved. Such as, only allowing the power to be used for serious criminal offences and giving website owners easy rights to appeal if a site is wrongly blocked.


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