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Monday, October 29, 2012

Australia Will Censor Abusive Portals

The Australian police confirmed it would prosecute Facebook hate page owners. A top copper from Victoria’s Police e-crime squad is reported to be looking at way he could catch and prosecute people who created a Facebook page which denigrated Jill Meagher. The latter was abducted, raped and killed this September.

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In most cases, the police can do nothing about online crime, but Greg Dever, Detective Senior Sergeant, is studying the laws and believes he might have grounds to arrest the creators of the online pages on incitement grounds. In the meantime, there has been a backlash against hate pages in Australia after Jill Meagher case. There were also calls for the creators to be extradited to somewhere unpleasant, like the United Kingdom.

Susan McLean, the country’s cyber-safety campaigner and former Victoria Police officer recently claimed that the police weren’t taking sufficient actions to pursue individuals behind such pages. For example, Dever claimed during the interview that Facebook was reasonably liable for requests in case it was inciting violence or encouraging unauthorized acts.

Greg Dever pointed out that over the past few months the police had had a number of pages closed down. They included the ones that flogged guns and drugs, as well as the page containing dead-baby jokes, and even a page featuring hateful and hurtful comments inciting murder directed at coppers.

Nevertheless, thus far there have been almost no prosecutions launched from social media crimes. According to Detective Dever, today the situation had reached a tipping point, so it is inevitable that there will be more prosecutions.

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