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Online Censorship in a Global Context

Applied IT (Year 12) - Impacts of Technology (U4)

Christian Bien

The Great Firewall | Video by Real Life Lore

The video explains the most famous censorship item, the great firewall and the perspectives on why it was created.

What is Online Censorship?

Online censorship is controlling or suppressing information that can be accessed and published by users on the internet. It can be used on a small scale such as businesses employing web filters to ensure workers stay productive, or large scale, such as the Great Firewall of China blocking users' access to websites such as Facebook.

Is There Online Censorship in Australia?

Most websites in Australia are accessible to Australian users. Online censorship does not exist for political or religious purposes.​

In June 2015, the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 does allow the courts to block websites that are known to cause copyright infringement by hosting and distributing content illegally.

In Australia, there has also been an ongoing debate over mandatory filtering, (a list of websites that all Australian Internet Service Providers must block), arguing a need to block terrorist and crime websites and limit accessibility to adult content.​

What is the Impact of Online Censorship?

Below are some general impacts of online censorship

  • Increased workplace productivity - from the removal of distracting websites

  • Decreased diversity of political views - from filtering of political opponents

  • Decreased diversity of religious views - from filtering/removal of religious organisations

  • Increased loophole websites to bypass censorship

  • Reduced security risks (from a reduction in the accessibility of terrorism websites)

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