More action to prevent online terror

Media release
26 Aug 2019
Prime Minister

At the G7 Summit in Biarritz today, I announced a new partnership with the OECD to strengthen transparency by tech companies in a bid to prevent online terrorist activity.

Together we will do our best to make sure the internet cannot be a safe haven for terrorists or violent extremists to recruit, prepare terrorist acts, or promote their abhorrent propaganda.

I’m very pleased to say that Australia, together with New Zealand and the OECD, is funding a project to develop Voluntary Transparency Reporting Protocols on preventing, detecting, and removing terrorist and violent extremist content from online platforms. We welcome and encourage further support for this project.

I am determined to keep driving global support, building on our G20 Statement calling on internet companies to step up and take action. We know the internet has no borders, and terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of the internet is a global problem.

This project will help to enhance trust in the digital economy. The OECD is not only a global leader in digital economy policy, from taxation through to artificial intelligence, but its member economies host many of the online platforms that provide content to consumers. It is for these reasons, the OECD is best place to develop a robust evidence-base to tackle this challenge.

This work will establish standards and provide clarity about how online platforms are protecting their users, and help deliver commitments under the Christchurch Call to implement regular and transparent public reporting in a way that is measurable and supported by clear methodology. Digital industry will benefit from establishing a global level playing field. The project will assist to reduce the risk of further unilateral action at national levels, avoid fragmentation of the regulatory landscape and reduce reporting burdens for online platforms.

It is fitting to announce this initiative here in France, where the Christchurch Call to Action was launched in May. We are building on it by collaborating with industry in a multilateral, collaborative way to prevent similar online broadcast of terrorist attacks from ever happening again. Australians, and citizens around the world, rightly have high expectations that tech companies must not allow their online platforms to facilitate terrorist and violent extremist acts.

The project will establish benchmark practices by online platforms and metrics to ensure regular, voluntary, and public reporting on efforts to address violent extremist content.