It is time for big internet to join terrorism fight: ALP

Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten has called on Google, Facebook, and Twitter to do more on fighting terrorism.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The cavalcade of global political leaders deciding the internet is to blame for modern radicalisation has continued at pace in Australia, with opposition leader Bill Shorten calling on social media companies to step up.

"It is time for everyone to join the fight against terrorism," Shorten said to reporters on Tuesday. "It is time for Twitter, Facebook, and Google to join the fight against terrorism."

"We need to make it clear that everyone can do their part to keep our country and our people safe and it is time for big internet to also join this fight."

The opposition leader said it was no good fighting 21st Century battles with 20th Century weapons, and that terrorists should not be able to hide online.

Shorten's comments arrive on the heels of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying the same clutch of companies were too tolerant of extremist material.

However, Turnbull went one step further and called on the private sector to help bust the encryption of their users.

"We need these global social media messaging companies to assist in providing access to encrypted communications, which are used by billions of people," Turnbull said on Monday.

"The security services need to get access to them."

Labor has not responded to requests for comment from ZDNet on the party's stance towards breaking encryption posed yesterday.

Over the weekend, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for the introduction of rules to "deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online", and also hit out at technology firms for not doing enough.

"We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet, that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide," said May.

May's comments followed the UK suffering its third terrorist attack in four months.

Last week, Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Andrew Colvin said tackling the online world is a "genuinely wicked problem" for police forces.

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