Updated Aussie ISPs ‘not allowed to do anything’ about ‘potentially illegal’ Internet content


Updated Aussie ISP The Communications Alliance is seeking an injunction against two Australian ISPs after a series of court cases over the conduct of online content providers.

The ACL is seeking a court order to stop Australian ISPs from engaging in a practice of “blocking” illegal content and forcing content providers to remove it.

It has been in the news recently after the Federal Court heard that the ACL was seeking an order to block the operation of Australian VPN service VyprVPN.

On Monday the Federal Circuit Court of Australia heard that both VyproVPN and BitTorrent streaming site The Pirate Bay would be able to continue operating under the terms of their licence agreement.

“The ACL’s actions are not in accordance with Australian law,” the ACL said in a statement on Monday.

“[They are] a violation of the terms and conditions of the contract between ISPs and content providers.”

The Federal Circuit court heard that a court decision by a court in Victoria had upheld a court ruling that an Australian ISP could block VPN services.

A decision on the ACL’s application would not be made until the Federal Government publishes the Telecommunications Interception Bill in the Senate next week.

However, it is unclear how the ACL would go about enforcing its order.

According to the ACL, it does not “exclude” content providers from its blocking order, but only “prohibit their activity or the activity of their content providers”.

“If the ACL were to seek an injunction, it would be in contravention of the statutory obligations under which ISPs are obliged to act,” the statement said.

Under the Telecommunications Act 1996, an ISP can be fined up to $1 million and a person can be ordered to do “any act or thing to restrain or prevent” access to a website or service if there is a risk of disrupting the operation or causing damage.

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