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Internet Censorship in Australia

Discuss about the Report for Internet Censorship for Reasons of Failure.


Internet Censorship is the control over the activities that are done over the Internet. It specifies what can be done on the Internet in terms of accessing, publishing and viewing of the content. There are a number of guidelines, authorities and laws that govern around the subject. The task is performed either by the Government or the regulators of the Government such as private organizations and bodies. There are also individuals who levy the self-censorship rules on the Internet out of the morals and values. The censorship that is applied or followed varies from country to country and there are different protocols followed in different regions (the Guardian, 2012). There are also organization who feel and consider that such a concept shall be violated and users shall be allows to express themselves freely on the Internet. The concept does have a certain advantages as well as disadvantages along with numerous reasons of failure.

Internet Censorship in Australia

Australia has a regulatory body named Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) that looks around the Internet Censorship in the country. ACMA puts a content restriction and also black-lists the overseas website which are found unfit for use by the denizens of the country. The restricted sites fall under this category mainly due to reasons such as:

  • Child pornography
  • Sexual Violence
  • Security constraints
  • Sexual abuse (Moody, 2015)

These restrictions are imposed on the users with a view to control the unethical conduct on the web and to also increase the user security along with the security of the nation.

Pros of Internet Censorship

Regulation is important

Internet censorship makes room for the look-up upon the mass media which is very important for keeping a check. People believe that no control could have exceptionally impeding impacts of society at different levels. Keeping the misuse of kids to an insignificant and diminishing the spread of medication cartels are only two of the advantages that can be picked up by society as entire through some sort of web control. Web oversight has come up as a type of control; however those that keep a check on web restriction agree that a check in this structure is required. Other types of digital and communication media such as television and radio also have content regulation which specifies what content is fit for what audience. The same applies to the world of web as well as it explains the content regulation (Editor and Editor, 2016).

Pros of Internet Censorship

It makes easier to detect and control criminal activities

Depending on essentially following criminal action online as the way to stop it is not sensible. The web can be a position of wrongdoing, however following IP addresses and ending criminal action is impractical without the blue penciling of some data and destinations inside and out. Web oversight makes it less demanding to stop online criminal action and guarantee that this kind of wrongdoing does not happen. The way that wrongdoing exists online is seen as acceptance by numerous for online control to be in presence.

  • Aids in strengthening country defense and security

National security largely benefits with the help of such censorships and controls as it makes it tough for the intruders and attackers to breach the security through unauthorized means. Terrorist groups make use of websites and other components of the web to enter in to the security of the nation and such attempts are violated with the aid of strong and well followed internet censorship.

  • Identity theft is controlled

Advocates for web control say that by constraining what data is gotten to in the web, individual data won't be effectively gotten too. By utilizing against phishing programming, which has emerged as a type of web oversight since it cautions the client that a sort of programming is attempting eo enter the system, it allows the client to keep programmers and organizations from getting related data.

Reasons of Failure and Issues in the path of Internet Censorship

Attempts that have failed to censor the Internet

  • Commonwealth laws along with State and territory criminal laws are defined in Australia for the prevention and control of content and usage on the web. There are a number of do(s) and don’t(s) defined under these laws but the adherence to the same is not accurate due to ever-changing nature of these laws which lead to a state of confusion among the end-users. Users are still unaware about the policies around regulation and hence, do not adhere to the same.

  • Streisand effect has been used by the governments to control and censor the pieces of information that are made available on the internet. There have been restrictions and blockages done by Australia and a number of different countries to block the popular video streaming web site named as YouTube to prevent the unnecessary content from reaching to people. However, the same has failed as the videos are still accessed by the citizens with the use of proxies and VPNs.

  • DNS hijacking is a popular blocking method that is used by agencies and government with an aim to censor the content present on the web by hijacking the DNS server associated with a particular address. There have been countermeasures that have been invented to violate the same and the configuration of DNS setting are done to avoid any such blockages leading to the failure in the attempt to censor the internet.

  • Deep Packet Inspection is an advanced form of censorship that is used to get an insight in the layer 3 and layer 4 information but the same is avoided with security tools and software that are deployed which help in failure for the packet inspection.

  • There is also lack of transparency between the agencies and the end-users which has emerged as a primary cause of failure. For instance, ISPs in Australia do not provide any kind of notification on how and why the blocking takes place. This leads to opposition by the customers for the use of a particular service and measures are developed to avoid the same which results in failure of censorship attempt.
  • Reasons of non-acceptance that lead to failure
  • It expels opportunity of expression and denies individuals of taking in reality.

It is often discarded by people as they believe that every individual has the right to express the content he or she desires to put forward without the need of any sort of filters. The freedom of expression is hampered through imposition of such a law or rules which in not accepted by many and results in opposition of the same.

  • It can be utilized by the administration to keep appropriate data from its residents.

Another major disadvantage that is associated with this particular regulation is that it may result in prevention of the sharing of information by the administrator with its fellow members. For instance, a particular piece of information is critical to be shared but does not pass the rules set by the censorship, then in such a case it would fail to reach out to the intended audience.

  • It is an additional cost to the administration.

Individuals who are not for editing the web contend that keeping in mind the end goal to execute oversight and guarantee all regions are secured the administration needs to put resources into hardware, labor and different expenses. Beside forthright costs, there are additionally included expenses for support and checking. What's more, with the force of the web and its scope, it is difficult to be on screen every minute of every day and not spend for it.

  • It can hurt organizations.

Reasons of Failure and Issues in the path of Internet Censorship

There are a number of organizations who partially or completely depend upon the internet for their marketing and promotion. Also, there are many who conduct the entire business that is buying and selling along with customer relationship maintenance on the web itself. Such regulations can prove to be of less use for such companies and groups.

  • Individuals can hone self-sufficiency.

There is a vast majority of people who believe that they do not have to be regulated by a rule and are smart enough to differentiate between right and wrong. In such cases, these regulations are not accepted and are also considered as unnecessary add-ons that are imposed. It results in violation of the same though unwanted means which can be fatal in nature (Green Garage, 2015).

  • Additional issues that lead to failure of Internet Censorship
  • Cyber-bullying

Maybe the most surely understood cyber type of hostile conduct is cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying refers to the activity that includes use of insulting words and disrespectful behavior towards an individual which may hurt the sentiments of the same. It also results in defamation and loss of prosperity of the victim that is targeted. As per the results of June 2010, the majority of youngsters in Australia spent most of their time in the activities online with results as high as up to 91%. It is an activity that disturbs no less than one in ten understudies in Australia.

Human rights are also affected by this activity such as the ones listed below:

The privilege to the most elevated achievable standard of health including both physical as well as mental health: It can affect contrarily on a man's physical and psychological wellness bringing about mischief as physical wounds, stress-related ailments, despondency and other wellbeing issues.

Allowance to work and reasonable work atmosphere: Bullying can prompt higher truancy from the work environment, poor or diminished execution and a risky workplace.

The privilege to flexibility of display the true thoughts and feelings without impedance: It can affect a man's opportunity to show emotions or suppositions as they no do not feel comfortable in doing the same.

A youngster or youngster's entitlement to relaxation and entertainment: It regularly happens where kids and youngsters have fun and mingle, for example, in school play areas and on long range interpersonal communication locales. All kids have the privilege to take part in recreation exercises in a protected domain. The United Nations Committee working towards child rights and development present in its statistics and reports on Australia's consistence with the consistence related to those of the child rights, raised some serious concerns related to bullying and the significance of shielding youngsters and kids from introduction to brutality, prejudice and erotic entertainment through cellular telephones and different advances, which included the web as well.

The privilege to an instruction which may result in impact on the behavior of a man.

The privilege to get rid from viciousness which may be physical or mental.

  • Cyber-racism

The cases revolving around the racism over the web are no less. The Commission's Workplace Sexual Harassment Survey of 2012 presented in its reports that 17% of the people who had been surveyed had experienced racist behavior over the web at some point or the other through messages and 4% had also encountered such improper behavior over mails, or on the chat rooms of different instant messaging applications. Different case of cyber-sexism/lewd behavior incorporate 'downer shots' the place where people capture the indecent pictures of several body parts of females and upload the same on various sites over the web. Another example of a similar incident, which was liable to an online appeal, was a web platform in the form of a web page that distributed photographs of ladies posturing in pictures that had as of now been uploaded and put up on the social networking webpage all alone pages. The photos were then marked with indecent labels and put up on a page entitled '12-year old prostitutes'.

  • Cyber-homophobia

The rate of homophobic cyber-harassing has expanded incredibly as of late with the multiplication of online long range informal communication instruments. A homophobic dialect 'review device' has been produced that measures progressively when any users tweets any homophobic words on the popular social networking platform, Twitter and makes sure that the same can be measured after a certain interval. The results were quite surprising as the usage of such words was huge.

There are also prominent instances of LGBTI youngsters who are tormented and bothered on the web world that has brought about self-mischief and suicide. An abundantly exposed case on the utilization of innovation in homophobic harassing included a college understudy who slaughtered himself not long after finding that his flat mate had covertly utilized a web camera to post the intimate moments of the couple on the web which was easily accessible to all the users (, 2016).

Fighting back against Internet Censorship

The fundamental gathering of security activists in Australia are the EFA – Electronic Frontiers Australia. This gathering has been around since 1994, back when you thought everything online was free, and they have battled resolutely to keep government oversight of the Australian Internet within proper limits since that time.

The gathering expresses their Objectives as being:

  • To secure and advance the common freedoms of clients of PC based interchanges frameworks and of those influenced by their utilization.

  • To advocate the alteration of laws and directions in Australia and somewhere else which limit free discourse and liberated access to data.

  • To teach the group everywhere about the social, political, and common freedoms issues required in the utilization of PC based correspondences frameworks.

  • To bolster, empower and instruct on the advancement and use with respect to PC based correspondence frameworks, and related developments.

  • To examine and instruct on the application with respect to the law (both current and proposed) to PC based correspondence frameworks and related advances.

They had an extraordinary late crusade called 'Subjects, Not Suspects' that is against required information maintenance laws. Their point was to reduce government observation of normal natives in the trusts of discovering culprits amongst them. Like telephone tapping everybody to hear one out criminal (Habert and Habert, 2015).

Examples of worst cases held for Internet Censorship

The Australian Childhood Foundation requested retail mold chain Jay Jays pull back their line of Little Losers apparel, guaranteeing they sent the wrong message to susceptible teenagers. Australian Women Online likewise called for Jay Jays to expel the garments. Jay Jays chose to expel the shirts from their stores window shows and not to restock shirts that convey liquor related messages or sexual insinuations.

Guardians of understudies at Wynnum's Guardian Angels Primary School in Brisbane ceased a skyscraper improvement from being worked close to the school over fears that pedophiles would have a superior perspective of their youngsters. Accordingly, Brisbane City Council lessened the structures range from eight stories to five stories. The same occasion played out a week later at building advancement close to a school on Brisbane's north side.

Sydney elementary teacher Lynne Tziolaswas was given the boot after some guardians griped around an article in Cleo magazine where Tziolaswas is shot exposed and talks about the room propensities for her and her significant other. 'It's certainly an exceeding of showing morals' said one guardian.

Pornography is one area that is regulated with utmost attention and is at ever restricted state. However, in the Operation Titstorm, a group launched attacks against the Australian government and also added pornographic content on the page of the Prime Minister.

There have been instances of blockages to the videos present on the video streaming site, YouTube and those are still made to be accessible through the attacking parties and users.

Tom Wood, a 16 year old just took a mere time of 30 minutes to break in to a super filter deployed by the government for the censorship which took it $84 million to develop.


Internet censorship is the regulation and monitoring of activities that are performed by the user on the web and also to control the same to an extent such that there is no harm done to other users and the rate of crimes also come down. There are a number of advantages that are associated with this concept. It is difficult to impose a moral teaching on users unless there is a defined law to explain and execute the same. It is often seen that users fail to differentiate between ethical and unethical conducts on the world of internet and censorship allows them to do the same. As far as security and privacy are concerned, this process does aid in the individual and national security as well. There is acceptance and opposition associated with every single activity and internet censorship also suffers from a certain cons or disadvantages. It takes away the freedom of expressing anything on the web from the users and can also hurt the organizations who deal with the content that is unfit for a particular country or community. Internet censorship has been still trying to find a secure place among the users and has failed to achieve the same due to increased occurrences of cyber crimes such as cyber bullying, cyber stalking, and cyber racism and cyber homophobia. There are also individuals and organizations who believe that it is the right of every individual to express whatever he or she feels and any hindrance in the same shall not be tolerated. There are anti-censorship events also that are introduced to ban the concept. It is advised that a regulating body is necessary to control such huge usage of the web and it is also recommended for the people to choose wisely between right and wrong. It is of utmost advantage for every single human to let Internet be a boon rather than prove to be a curse.

Reference List (2016). Australian Governments and dilemmas in filtering the Internet: juggling freedoms against potential for harm – Parliament of Australia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016].

Editor, C. and Editor, C. (2016). 4 Vital Pros and Cons of Internet Censorship | [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016].

Green Garage. (2015). 11 Chief Pros and Cons of Internet Censorship. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016].

Habert, M. and Habert, M. (2015). Fighting Back Against Internet Censorship in Australia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016]. (2016). 5 Current issues of ‘Internet censorship’: bullying, discrimination, harassment and freedom of expression | Australian Human Rights Commission. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016].

Moody, G. (2015). Australia passes controversial anti-piracy web censorship law. [online] Ars Technica. Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2016].

OccupyTheory. (2015). Internet Censorship Pros and Cons List. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016].

profile, V. (2009). Internet Censorship: Past, Present and Future. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016].

smallbusiness, (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2016].

the Guardian. (2012). Internet censorship listed: how does each country compare?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2016].

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