*** ----> Australian watchdog demands X take down video globally | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Australian watchdog demands X take down video globally

AFP | Sydney  

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Australia’s online watchdog told a court yesterday that it was seeking the worldwide removal of X posts that show a Sydney stabbing, a test of the social media platform’s legal responsibilities and the role of geoblocking.

Lawyers for the eSafety Commission told the Federal Court that X had not taken all reasonable steps to remove video and audio of the attack from its platform.

Tim Begbie, representing the commission, said that despite X geoblocking the video to Australian users, it could still be viewed using virtual private networks that mask a user’s location.

“Global removal is a reasonable step,” he told the court. Begbie said VPNs were used by a quarter of Australians, including the commission’s staff, who had used the software to access the video.

“(They) did it while logged into an adult account, while logged into a child account and did it while not logged into X at all,” he said. “This is not a proceeding about a free speech policy debate.”

Rather, he said, the case was about if the graphic material was suitable under Australia’s Online Safety Act, and the law’s powers to “protect the public” from illegal or restricted content.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly slashed in the head and chest by a 16-yearold suspect in April.

The incident was swiftly deemed a terrorist incident by police.

The bishop, who has since recovered, has supported the video’s distribution. Elon Musk previously said the global ban went beyond the powers of the eSafety Commission.

The eSafety Commission has the power to demand internet companies remove illegal material, such as terrorism content, from their platforms.

Following the stabbing, the commission issued serval take-down notices to social media companies.

In many cases, they complied. But the commission claims X only restricted the videos for users with Internet Protocol addresses in Australia.