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Online Anonymity May Become Illegal In Australia

The Federal Government of Australia has signaled a motion to remove online anonymity from social media users in the name of safety. Complaints about “abuse” from social media have prompted the Australian Government to take action. The problem is that their plan of action will punish innocent people by removing their online freedom. The plan is to require Australians to link their social media accounts to one of 100 forms of identification, such as a driver’s license.

Police will have full access to all of these social media accounts. Their access will include the ability to delete and/or modify data, and completely take over accounts. They also have the power to monitor the activity of social media users in Australia beyond what is available to the general public. This type of social media monitoring also happens in the United States. However, in the US there must be a criminal investigation and a warrant to spy on someone. Well, at least that’s usually the case. Sometimes extrajudicial things happen but that is another story. Warrants won’t be necessary for any of this action in Australia as police can simply submit a request to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. This tribunal does not require any judge to intervene in order to grant a warrant.

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There are more reasons these measures are on the table beyond the blanket “fighting abuse” excuse. Australian authorities also cite a need to fight terrorism and child trafficking. Those are absolutely valid excuses to monitor social media profiles beyond what is available to the general public. But the problem is that every day people will be caught up in the dragnet of investigation just for being suspected of “abuse”. Fighting terrorism should not place the identity of a social media troll at risk of being exposed to the general public. Trolls are typically an unwanted nuisance but that doesn’t mean they should be placed on the same level as an Osama Bin Laden.

SOURCES:

WATCH: Australian government plans Chinese-style ‘social credit’ system for social media users | The Post Millennial

Australia’s New Police Powers Allow Them To Control Social Media Accounts, Delete Data | IFLScience

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