27 June 2017

News Story: Aussie gov't plans to weed out terrorists on social media gains widespread support

CANBERRA, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has said it is prepared to make it legal for social media websites to hand over vital information about suspected terrorists or terrorist operations, a plan which has on Monday been applauded by the opposition and a former army chief.

On Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had met with leading social media websites, telling them they "cannot continue to allow terrorists and extremists to use the internet and the big social media... to spread their poison", hinting that he would head to the upcoming G20 meeting in Germany to back a world-wide agenda which would ensure social media sites pass on dangerous information to authorities.

On Monday, Australia's former army chief Peter Leahy told Sky News that governments deserved more from big social media companies when it comes to clamping down on terrorism, saying it was not only a government problem, but a social obligation for the online giants to pitch in.

"There are many levels to this. Firstly, I think the tech giants deserve to show some social responsibility. They're letting this (terror-related content) on their sites," Leahy said.

"The government is more interested in the encrypted information on the net, the way terrorists are talking, so Facebook, Messenger, Viper, WhatsApp... the encryption on these, we can't break."

"The government needs to say we need some information from you to prosecute criminals, but I think we need to go further."

Read the full story at Xinhua