Aussies to censor abusive websites

A top cop in Victoria’s Police e-crime squad is looking at ways he can arrest the creators of a Facebook page that denigrated Jill Meagher, who was abducted, raped and killed last month.

Normally there is not much that police can do in such cases.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Dever has been looking at the law and thinks he might have grounds to arrest the web-page’s creatures on incitement grounds.

There has been a backlash against hate sites in Oz after the Meagher case and calls for the creators to be transported to somewhere really unpleasant, like the UK.

Aussie cyber-safety campaigner and former Victoria Police officer Susan McLean yesterday claimed that coppers police were not doing enough to pursue people behind such pages.

Dever told the Sydney Morning Herald that Facebook, he said, was reasonably responsive to requests if the site is inciting violence or encouraging illegal acts.

Detective Dever said in the past couple of months police had had several pages shut down. Downed were sites that flogged guns and drugs, a page full of dead-baby jokes and a page with hateful and hurtful comments inciting murder directed at police.

But so far there have been very few prosecutions arising from social-media crimes. Detective Dever said things had reached a tipping point now and it was inevitable there would be more prosecutions.