Malcolm Turnbull wants to come down hard on internet companies allowing the spread of radical Islamic messages

Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Dean Lewins/ Getty Images.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will call for further measures to stop the spread of radical Islamism through online platforms today.

In parliamentary speeches on Tuesday Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten will address the cyber war on terrorists who try to radicalise young Australians.

Turnbull says an “online civil society is as achievable as an offline one”.

He adds: “The privacy and security of a terrorist can never be more important than public safety.

“The rights and protections of the vast overwhelming majority of Australians must outweigh the rights of those who will do them harm.

“That is truly what balancing the priority of community safety with individual liberties and our way of life is about.”

Following the recent attacks on London Bridge and Borough Markets in the UK, which killed eight people including two Australians, British prime minister Theresa May made similar calls, saying new international agreements should be introduced to regulate the internet in times when technology companies aren’t doing enough.

She said doing so would “deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online”.

“We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements to regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning,” she said.

Her views sparked criticism among some privacy campaigners who called it a “draconian” outlook on the internet.

Australian ­Attorney-­General George Brandis will travel to Canada this month to meet with his counterparts in the Five Eyes intelligence group to discuss what can be done to prevent terrorists operating “with impunity within ungoverned digital spaces”.

Turnbull’s move will attempt to target material like that by Mostafa Mahamed, a former Sydney cleric who is now on a US kill list, who has been filmed as part of a series of videos on YouTube.

Since it was uploaded on Saturday it has been watched more than 2000 times.

Google, which owns YouTube, told Business Insider that it was against such material but did not provide details on the particular video or say whether it would be pulled down.

“We never want terrorists to have a voice, or spread extremist material on our services and we take our role in tackling extremism online very seriously,” a spokesperson said.

“We employ thousands of people and invest hundreds of millions of dollars to fight abuse on our platform, in partnership with government, law enforcement and NGOs.

“We are working urgently to further improve how we deal with content that violates our policies and the law. These are complicated and challenging problems, but we are committed to doing better and being part of a lasting solution.

“We have clear policies against inciting violence and we remove content that is illegal or that breaks our rules when we’re made aware of it.”

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