Chilling Aussie “Mandatory news media bargaining code”: Allowing Establishment Media to Dictate Terms to “Digital Media”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Australian Government is demanding more control of digital media content such as Google search rankings, and more renumeration for traditional mainstream media for use of content.

For example, the following clause demands that Google etc. provide advance notice of changes to search ranking algorithms, so establishment news services have time to prepare a means to game the new algorithm to ensure they retain a permanent prominent position on Google searches or Facebook feeds, regardless of whether what they publish is of interest to consumers;

52N Algorithmic ranking of covered news content

(1) Subsection (2) applies if:

(a) (b)

changes are planned to be made to an algorithm of the digital platform service; and the changes are likely to have a significant effect on the ranking of the registered news business’ covered news content made available by the digital platform service.

(2) The responsible digital platform corporation for the digital platform service must ensure that:

(a) (b) notice of the change is given to the registered news business corporation for the registered news business; and
the notice is given:

(i) unless subparagraph (ii) applies—at least 28 days before the change is made; or

(ii) ifthechangerelatestoamatterofurgentpublic interest—no later than 48 hours after the change is made; and

the notice describes the change, and the effect mentioned in paragraph (1)(b), in terms that are readily comprehensible; and
the notice describes how the registered news business can minimise negative effects of the change on the ranking of its covered news content made available by the digital platform service.

Source : Draft Legislation Document, ACCC

Google / YouTube have made it clear they believe this amounts to a demand for special treatment for establishment mainstream media. I agree with their assessment.

Open letter to Australians

We need to let you know about new Government regulation that will hurt how Australians use Google Search and YouTube. 

A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia. 

The way Aussies search every day on Google is at risk from new regulation 

You’ve always relied on Google Search and YouTube to show you what’s most relevant and helpful to you. We could no longer guarantee that under this law. The law would force us to give an unfair advantage to one group of businesses – news media businesses – over everyone else who has a website, YouTube channel or small business. News media businesses alone would be given information that would help them artificially inflate their ranking over everyone else, even when someone else provides a better result. We’ve always treated all website owners fairly when it comes to information we share about ranking. The proposed changes are not fair and they mean that Google Search results and YouTube will be worse for you.

Your Search data may be at risk

You trust us with your data and our job is to keep it safe. Under this law, Google has to tell news media businesses “how they can gain access” to data about your use of our products. There’s no way of knowing if any data handed over would be protected, or how it might be used by news media businesses.

Hurting the free services you use

We deeply believe in the importance of news to society. We partner closely with Australian news media businesses — we already pay them millions of dollars and send them billions of free clicks every year. We’ve offered to pay more to license content. But rather than encouraging these types of partnerships, the law is set up to give big media companies special treatment and to encourage them to make enormous and unreasonable demands that would put our free services at risk. 

This law wouldn’t just impact the way Google and YouTube work with news media businesses — it would impact all of our Australian users, so we wanted to let you know. We’re going to do everything we possibly can to get this proposal changed so we can protect how Search and YouTube work for you in Australia and continue to build constructive partnerships with news media businesses — not choose one over the other.

You’ll hear more from us in the coming days — stay tuned.

Thank you,
Mel Silva, Managing Director, on behalf of Google Australia 

Read more: https://about.google/intl/ALL_au/google-in-australia/an-open-letter/

WUWT have our differences with Google and other digital media companies over allegations of political bias and secret black lists for Climate Skeptics, but we never sought an unfair advantage – all we want is a level playing field where everyone is treated equally, we want better compliance with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The intent of the “Mandatory news media bargaining code” does not appear to be level playing field. In my opinion mainstream media in Australia is asking the government for special privileges, to fend off legitimate competition from digital media companies.

Digital service providers like Google regularly tweak their algorithm to try to maximise value to consumers, by pushing content they think people will find interesting to the top of the search list. But the advance notice of changes to algorithm requirement would give establishment media plenty of time to figure out how to game the new algorithm, to ensure their tired content is always at the top of everyone’s search.

69 thoughts on “Chilling Aussie “Mandatory news media bargaining code”: Allowing Establishment Media to Dictate Terms to “Digital Media”

  1. Control is better accomplished with a few state-controlled outlets. Throw another freedom or escape route on the barbie.

    • The problem is we are now under private big brother control who control the internet search engines and Youtube, Facebook, and so on… Who have now started to decide to take political sides on what every interests them.

      And in the US we are under control of the ‘Democratic’ party now. How did the BLM movement get its power? It is get out the vote time.

      The news outlets have become hacks for the Democratic party. There are a dozen of Democratic campaign people that work at the fake news stations/fake newspapers and/or are called in as subject experts to create quotable quotes for the fake news.

      The Fake news channels control what subjects each night are discussed and what real news issues are not discussed as they are not in Democratic party’s interests.

      The ‘Democratic’ party … is not for democracy or truth. The ‘Democratic’ party is 100% about control of everything. What we ‘teach’ our kids includes more and more propaganda that is set to push the super control themes… such as ‘climate’ change.

      Google is now controlling and filtering searches. And Google is selling what search results they give.

      The Democratic party is now telling Facebook what can or cannot be shown on Facebook. The Anti HCQ was a political move that was supported by the medical industry.

      What we see now and what is hidden from searches and distribution via facebook type media is controlled by now ‘politics’, the Democrats.

      So if you cannot find information, blogs, and so forth. And the only thing you find are fake news sites.

      • You trust us with your data and our job is to keep it safe.

        No, I don’t trust you one inch.
        Safe ? “Safe” as in you only sell it to the those who pay you.

        Thanks.

        • yeah as i read their statement i just started laughing
          biased searches switching what you want to what they want you to go to
          youtube being censored
          they use your data info etc for profit n onsellling
          what the aus govt was pi**ed about is their use of ausmedia news without payment
          what I ampi**ed about is their massive profits and NOT PAYING TAX in Aus
          ditto f you over book doing the same
          and Apple as well
          and id bet msoft also slides under some obscure tweak as well
          if only there was a decent alternative to youtube Id not even go there either
          I avoid everything I can of their “product”

  2. If you count the hand curated tables that drive the search placement ‘algorithm’ as part of the search algorithm, Google would need to provide notices of algorithm changes on nearly a daily basis.

    What Australia should demand, in fact what everyone should demand, is that Google make those hand curated lists that drive the search placement algorithm public. While Google won’t want to do this due to the inevitable embarrassment it will cause, only public embarrassment will drive them to address their systemic bias.

    • Yes I think most of the comments haven’t actually really read or thought about what the changes are doing. What they are doing is correct and should be demanded. If google/youtube wanted to advertise on MSM there is a set of conditions outlined which must be met along with content rating and times. Those MSM conditions are transparent and disclosed ahead of time.

      At the moment everything google/youtube does has no disclosure and funny enough many of the very commentators on here have complained about rating notices and video content being randomly removed by those companies.

  3. Eric, at the end of the day, ALL the major presentation platforms of digital content want to somehow control or at least influence what we can access.

    In Canada, the government was recently so audacious about controlling content that it proposed regulating news media organizations by way of government approved licensing.

    Of course, this proposition had the support of those media groups who saw this as a way to suppress competition.

    In Australia, I bet the ABC would love to see rules introduced that ‘canceled’ any content that was not ‘woke’ on all digital platforms, no matter who operated them

    • A government mandate to submit digital content to the oversight of their corporatist buddies is worse than being on the receiving end of a bit of discrimination from Google.

  4. The Marxists/Socialists can’t have a level playing field. It would upset their plan to control what we hear/see/ experience. The only way to combat it is to start using applications that aren’t politically or marketing controlled like DuckDuckGo or Parler.

    • “Big Brother is a fictional character and symbol in George Orwell’s dystopian 1948 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. He is ostensibly the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian state wherein the ruling party Ingsoc wields total power “for its own sake” over the inhabitants.”

      Sounds like the direction Oz has been taking.

  5. If I am trying to find information other than liberal dogma (for example, the other side of an argument), I turn to DuckDuckGo.

  6. Wonder how the Starlink (SpaceX) and Project Kuiper (Amazon) satellite systems will figure into all this. If you have a dish at your house and are not connected to anything local its going to be harder for the governments to control what you are doing. They can try but hacks are a part of Internet life. If you are transmitting/receiving to something flying overhead, the signal is pretty much line-of-sight and hard to measure from the ground.

    I suppose they can ban the use of the system in the country and try jamming the satellite as it flies overhead, but I have trouble seeing this being a viable option. The population of Australia is less than 70% that of Canada and if the US pressed them on this Oz would probably figure it isn’t worth the fight.

    • Jamming the uplinks might be feasible but jamming the downlinks would be very challenging due to geometry. Also, once the constellation is fully deployed every receiver will have line-of-sight to many satellites.

    • Why wait wait for Starlink or Project Kuiper, just use a VPN.
      When you live in Tierra del Fuego and browse from Lower Slobbovia, no one knows where you are.

  7. Why can’t various algorithms be made available which may be chosen by the user? It shouldn’t be difficult to implement. A bit of competition would be salutary.

  8. I am no fan of Google but …

    Why are the algorithms secret? There was a problem some years ago because the unscrupulous had found ways to game Google’s search algorithm. They created sites that looked like useful information but were merely designed to get you to click on Google Ads and thereby drive revenue to the site. The result was that web searches were pretty much useless. Some folks even opined that the problem would ki11 the internet. The monetary value of knowing Google’s search algorithm is huge. Handing it over for free to some business is theft pure and simple.

    • The secrecy has spawned abuse in the same way that governments use it to avoid embarrassment and hide misdeeds. The result is a strong political bias in search results.

      They don’t have to publish the whole algorithm, especially as related to preventing ad fraud ot even how organic results are obtained. The relative rankings of news sites, blogs and other sources of information that can reorder the organic results should be made public and be subject to scrutiny, especially since these lists are full of highly subjective ratings assignments and they are curated by people with biases.

      • It’s not just political it is many aspects of science, belief and religions that get attacked by subjective bias of the results.

    • In a similar vein, Yahoo stopped allowing comments shortly before the DNC convention and the announcement of Kamala Harris as the selection to be Biden’s running mate. There were just too many people adding facts to their articles.

      • I’ve been observing exactly the same thing across many media outlets, including all of our local news stations.

  9. All search engines and social networks must abide by the different rules of the various countries.
    Do not apply their arbitrary rules in other states.
    Were the censorships of social networks, discrimination of political affiliation, etc. not enough?
    I think it’s time to say ENOUGH.
    The Australian government is right.
    All governments must do the same, instead of Switzerland.

    • Al,

      Did you forget the /sarc tag or are you serious? I accept (but don’t condone) that countries can legally control the operation of search engines and social media hosted within their borders. I don’t buy that they can control data / algorithms hosted elsewhere.

      If the law goes through Google et al should comply and disclose the algorithms for OZ hosted servers while maintaining access to servers hosted elsewhere for interested users. Let OZ government try to build their own Great Firewall if they dare.

  10. Amthony watts ,may by its time to considers no more Australian stuff or much less here Tnis is an American web site

  11. Australia is a dictartorship glad I left it for South America a long time ago much much better in the Americas Australia is a horrrible dump dont even think of emigrating there or bring up your chidren there. Their Universities used to be the best in the world now they are not even 5th world standard re Peter Ridd

    • Hi Eliza,

      I’d love to read more about how South America is liberating itself from the climate curse, and embracing intellectual and economic freedom. If you have a blog page where you have written about this please provide a link to what you have written.

      In Australia as I’m sure you are aware we mostly only see or hear bad news about South America.

  12. Aussies, as an American, I don’t mean to slap you in the face but I see Australia is a foreshadow of things to come in the US.

    • The USA has more legal protections than Aussies. Even Australia is more resilient than it might seem, there are a lot of good people holding the line against this kind of evil.

    • leowaj,
      by ‘foreshadowing’ do ou stop mean shooting each other at 20 times the per capita rate that we do or do you mean some 95% plus of you just getting off your fat, self important arses and actually voting at elections as against exercising your ‘right’ to stay at home and whinge about the outcome? Maybe you mean you will eventually sort of the endemic and corrupt gerrymandering in state representative areas or perhaps filtering out goat bothering, gun crazy dribbledeick hillbillies from your 20,000 plus police forces who seem to regularly kill people ‘cos they can and it gives them a stiffy.

      Perhaps you mean not having a nutjob like Trump in the White House because that’s your best answer to the utterly brainless Democrats. There is about 330 million of you and you come up with Trump vs Biden?? LOL

      We ain’t perfect mate but hey our system is way less imperfect than yours no matter how hard you blow your own Trumpet. Sorry to be so frank but that’s what you get when you slap us in the face. Our snakes don’t rattle their tails first, they just bite. Love yez though, take care. I offer my other cheek. :-))

    • yeah well maybe cos that because your corps nad govt keep feeding shit to out meatheaded experts about how good XXXX is and lets run a trial
      ie the RFID tagging of all stock expensive crap more work than the old paper system more costs to tagg check and process at sales and F ALL actual use for the supposed animal health emergency outbreaks etc it was spun to us for
      the chipped visa cards andnow even our normal cords get paywave evenif you dont want it or use it.
      its not just your companies- the bloody poms used to do it too and prob still do to a lesser degree
      weve been too apologetic yessir nos sir oh what a nice idea, sure we will…whatever
      that old penal colony mindset ffs.
      way back in the late 80s early 90s I said and not joking we needed a revolution to ditch the controllers and the , at then, starting of the over regulation and restrictions
      well its gone over a cliff since then!
      turning canberra to glass has an appeal as does firing EVERY public servant after elections and rehiring selectively to cull the dross thats entrenched in OUR swamp
      the latest crap about not mandatory covid vax BUT we will threaten to take pensions or priveledge if you dont
      not that going OS is affordable BY pensioners anyway, but a once a yr restaurant meal would also probably be “disallowed” w out vax.
      utter bullshit!

  13. There is a fine line between searching and steering results. Still, Google and Youtube, under the umbrella Alphabet Corporation, are at least noteworthy for standing to identify this particular example of explicit bias.

  14. In Australia, the 2 major parties have an effective gerrymander over political leadership. Although the 2 major parties MUST be preferenced to make a vote formal, the 2 parties are basically the same. Although nominally, Labor is left of centre and Liberal are nominally right of centre, reality is that Labor are Socialist and Liberal are liberal. Both are being led by the left of Communist Greens.
    We here in Australia are rapidly becoming a one party Socialist state. As it is highly unlikely that XXX XXXXXX will get the 50% + 1 votes to form Government, we are in a perilous state. At some stage, the collusion between Liberal and Labor will become apparent- we were forced to vote for what is effectively one party .
    Under NO circumstances should anyone that cares about Australia’s future have a first preference for the major parties and certainly NOT the Greens.
    Take note, they smear those they fear. The party that is most smeared as “racist”, “denier”, “antisemitic” etc has something that makes the traitors scared. They are the ones to vote for.
    Yes, I am a member of this party, so I will not plug the name, but for those that can think, you know which party that is.
    It is imperative that Australian Patriots get politically active, even if it is to join the Liberal party (not my party) to vote in decent delegates. They need to be turned around to not be Labor lite. There are people who can guide political novices. For the more daring, join and help out the smeared party. You will be surprised at how few people get all catty when they find out you are active with said smeared party. Many secretly admire their common sense patriotism, but have been sucked in by the smear and fear of being labelled racists if they support said party.
    Think I am politically grandstanding? Better than being sucked down the vortex of totalitarian Socialism, with its enforcement of every propaganda/ fear campaign that goes around. The Socialist vortex is “powered” by the pagan belief that the 3% of CO2 increase that is from humans is going to destroy the planet and we must return to the stone age or the planet will be destroyed.

    “She’ll be right mate”-this can only come about if the People wake up that we are being herded like sheep. Continue with our apathy and we WILL become enslaved and slaughtered.

    • High Treason, I suspect you are a member of the same party as I am. It would be beneficial to all if everyone knew what party that was. I think by not saying exactly whom you support you actually propagate retention of sheeple and most of your post is too little effect. I’ll therefore say I’m a member of One Nation, and see this party as one of the few that openly supports the non carbon energy source, nuclear power amongst other worthwhile policies.
      I seriously doubt the the Liberal Party can be changed by any of us becoming a member; don’t you think we will be visible in the ranks and ostracized?

      • You guessed correctly. My people in the Liberal party reckon just 1,000 in the right branches in NSW is enough to turn NSW around. Victoristan has also been infiltrated by the left. The white anting of the Liberals started with Whitlam, a patron of the Fabian Society. Alas, the 2PP system means that One Nation would have to get 50% + 1 to get rid of the duopoly. At least Malcolm Roberts and Mark Latham have been doing a sterling job. All very suspect that the common sense proposals have been knocked back by the Lib/Nat/Lab/Green cabal.
        I am looking forward to throwing my hat in the ring next election. Nothing like creating a kerfuffle.
        All the COVID crap has denied me the opportunity to get up to mischief. Have to wait until November 4 to get active again. The stunt for November 4 is nearly finished in terms of preparation. Clue-Malcolm Roberts intends being at this event in Sydney if travel restrictions are lifted.

  15. Apparently some people only want an “official” truth.

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

    • Of course. But giving corporate media advance notice of algorithm changes so they can stay at the top of the result list is more than a little anti-competitive.

      • Eric, I believe you have transposed the n and the m in the word remuneration – in the sentence containing: “… and more renumeration for traditional mainstream media…”. Both spell checks in the reply box and the Google search engine flag it.

        I doubt the mainstream media want Google to renumber things; I’m sure they just want money.

        Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with traditional media wanting to get paid when someone else uses their content. It seems fair to me but, I don’t have a dog in the fight either way. As far as search rankings go, I agree with co2isnotevil – make their algorithms public. It will give those who wish to game the system some help but, it will expose a lot of the digital media bias as well. They won’t be able to claim they are neutral if their algorithms show otherwise.

  16. Eric, in Oz, Media Companies badgered police to fine/arrest/imprison people who stole (pirated) “their” movies etc. Pirate “Finding Nemo” for your kids (note prices for the DVD $6.50 in China, $13.50 in US, $19 in UK, $29.99 in Oz) and now they want free access to “steal” other media companies information; hypocricy writ large.
    The guilty “robbers” were asked to negotiate with Media outlets for a voluntary agreement but they are eschewed the opportunity and are striving for some high moral ground.
    In the famous words of the Red Haired Fish and Chip shop lady from Ipswich “Please Explain”?

  17. There was a time when I would have been sympathetic with Google/You Tube. It is long gone. The company has been captured by the hard core woke left. They have disavowed the United States.

    AFAIC, let them twist in the wind.

  18. ” In my opinion mainstream media in Australia is asking the government for special privileges, to fend off legitimate competition from digital media companies.”

    The key word is “legitimate”.

    The quality of Australian MSM content has fallen over the last decade. I believe this is due, primarily, to Google and other digital providers taking content that MSM has developed and making that content freely available on the web. MSM revenue and profit falls as a result; and the quantity and quality of its contents falls because MSM can no longer afford the number and quality of staff required to keep up the standards.
    (This is a worldwide problem,not just an Australian or American problem.)

    According to figures I have seen on the web, in 2015 Google, Facebook and Amazon accounted for 69% of digital ad revenues outside China. By 2018 their share had risen to 86%. (Web stats are always dubious I know, but I haven’t seen Google et al disputing the accuracy of these statistics)

    Google generates huge profits for itself, on the back of the content that others produced. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) estimates that in 2018 Google generated around AUD$3.7 billion from ads placed on its own search pages and on third parties’ websites. Facebook’s Australian ad revenue was around AUD$1.7 billion. Estimate for Google’s Australian revenue for 2019 is AUD$4.3 billion.

    How much tax did Google pay in Australia in 2018? $AUD26 million. And Facebook? AUD$12 million

    Digital multinationals have ransacked the main-stream media sectors all around the world, and fought long delaying actions to protect their profits. Their protestations that they are acting in the best interests of society ring hollow. Similarly, Google’s claim that it is doing the right thing by the main-stream media; paying them “millions of dollars” and offering to pay more; is noticeably content-free when it comes to hard figures.

    These companies are not good corporate citizens. You cannot have failed to notice how Google tiptoes away from admitting how little tax it has paid. Keep watching – and see how they will squeal and claim that “freedoms” and “quality of service” will be compromised – and understand that is simply a delaying tactic to keep the money rolling in.

    Do I support the Australian government’s approach? No, I do not. It tries simply to to protect MSM without the addressing tax minimisation/evasion.

    I think a better approach would have been to simply say: “The Australian Tax Office will estimate your revenue and will calculate your tax liability as ALL assessed revenue multiplied by the standard corporate tax rate. The ONLY allowable expense will be the amount you pay to Australian content providers”.

    That would be simple. It would stop them routing revenue out to Singapore or other low-tax environs. It would encourage them to pay generously for local content (because they would need more, better quality content to increase turnover, to compensate for the loss in earnings due to tax).

    Better still would be to apply the above, and also classify them as Publishers – responsible for the content on their sites – rather than accept their claims that “we just provide the platform; what folks put on it is none of our business”. If someone were to object to an article that Google displays, then if Google were able to show that they had paid the originator for the use of the content. that would be deemed a satisfactory defence. Again, it would encourage them to pay for their content.

    As for being just platform providers, that claim is shown up as a lie every time Google or You-Tube de-platforms a site which contains content that has political views with which senior management disagrees.

    Measures like these would be anathema to Google and co because it would destroy significant parts of their business model. However, the alternative is to see the bankrupting of MSM by the digital providers.

    The Australian government approach is crude and unsatisfactory, but better than nothing.

    • If they don’t want their content indexed by Google’s crawlers, they just have to add a robots.txt file on their site that bars google domains. Google’s crawlers honour this file and will not crawl this site.
      However the media companies want Google to index their content because they benefit greatly from the click-tbrough traffic. They pay nothing for this indexing by Google.

      They want Google to pay for the summaries they display, values being bandied about are in the order of $1B a year, Google’s audited revenues for Australia for all activities is $1.2B. This is consistent with Australia’s GDP as a percentage of world GDP and Australian revenue as a percentage of total Google revenue. The media companies claim Google makes $4B in the Oz marketplace.

      Ok, so all Google has to do is not crawl Oz media companies, nope. The legislation bars Google from stopping their crawlers from indexing Australian media companies.

      So Google are forced to pay for content and forced to crawl that content. Tbey can’t make the normal business decision to exit the market for news or to negotiate with a single supplier. Much of Australian content is generic and tax payers pay for a nationwide public news organisation.

  19. You want chilling? Read Powers that may be exercised in relation to declared emergencies (page 14 of the South Australia Emergency Management Act 2004) and the amendment to section 25.

    • Here is the relevant text:

      Emergency Management Act 2004—24.7.2020 Part 4—The management of emergencies
      Division 4—Powers that may be exercised in relation to declared emergencies
      25—Powers of State Co-ordinator and authorised officers
      (1) On the declaration of an identified major incident, a major emergency or a disaster under Division 3, and while that declaration remains in force, the State Co-ordinator must take any necessary action to implement the SEMP and cause such response and recovery operations to be carried out as he or she thinks appropriate.
      (2) Without limiting or derogating from the operation of subsection (1), but subject to the regulations, the State Co-ordinator or an authorised officer may, if of the opinion that it is necessary to do so, do or cause to be done all or any of the following things:
      (a) enter and, if necessary, break into any land, building, structure or vehicle (using such force as is necessary);
      (b) take possession of, protect or assume control over any land, body of water, building, structure, vehicle or other thing;
      (ba) remove or destroy, or order the removal or destruction of, any building, structure, vehicle, vegetation, animal or other thing;
      (bb) carry out, or cause to be carried out, excavation or other earthworks;
      (c) construct, or cause to be constructed, barriers, buildings or other structures;
      (ca) subject a place or thing to a decontamination procedure;
      (d) direct the owner of, or the person for the time being in charge of, any real or personal property to place it under the control or at the disposition of a specified person;
      (e) remove, or cause to be removed, to such place as the State Co-ordinator or authorised officer thinks fit, any person or animal, or direct the evacuation or removal of any person or animal;
      (f) direct or prohibit the movement of persons, animals or vehicles;
      (fa) direct a person to submit to a decontamination procedure;
      (fb) direct a person to remain isolated or segregated from other persons or to take other measures to prevent the transmission of a disease or condition to other persons;
      (fc) direct a person to undergo medical observation, examination (including diagnostic procedures) or treatment (including preventative treatment); …

      and the amendment:
      COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020
      ea) after section 25 insert:
      25A—Removal of children
      (1) Without derogating from section 25, an authorised officer may, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with any direction under that section, remove a child from any premises, place, vehicle or vessel to a place of residence of the child or to a hospital or quarantine facility, as the authorised officer thinks fit (and may, in doing so, use such force as is reasonably necessary).
      (2) In this section— child means a person under 18 years of age;
      place of residence includes, in the case of a child who is in the custody, or under the guardianship, of the Chief Executive under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, any place directed by that Chief Executive.

      • It’s the same for most Australian States and kudos to you that you have bothered to look at the powers in effect. Many previous posters were commenting on police breaking windows of cars etc as if the operation of the law currently was normal.

        The long and short of it is while those powers are in effect if you are given a directive by police or a health official you obey it without hesitation.

        If you disagree with the law(s) and use of them you will need to get them removed by making it an election issue. There is simply no way to get them removed while they are in effect because they are so wide sweeping.

        • That’s nothing, breaking the windows is standard police tactic if the car driver refuses to identify themselves.
          That’s small cheese, in Australia you can be convicted of retrospectively created crime. When they appeal the High Court favours the government as the Constitution doesn’t prohibit it ( unlike US which does). Original case which setbthe precedent was 1915 but even more recent cases follow that path.
          In West Australia the other week the state passed a law , supported by most of the MPs, to prevent a mining billionaire from winning a long running legal dispute with the state in court. They say it could cost the state tens of billions if he wins…which he can’t now.

      • Well, it is SA after all. But this stuck out to me;

        “State Co-ordinator must take any necessary action to implement the SEMP and cause such response and recovery operations to be carried out as he or she thinks appropriate.
        (2) Without limiting or derogating from the operation of subsection (1), but subject to the regulations, the State Co-ordinator or an authorised officer may, if of the opinion that it is necessary to do so, do or cause to be done all or any of the following things:
        (a) enter and, if necessary, break into any land, building, structure or vehicle (using such force as is necessary);”

        With the words “thinks” and “opinion” being quite vague terms.

  20. This is not as back and white as many believe. One of the supporters of this change is the Murdock media and they are the furthest to the right and most opposed to the cancel culture. Their argument is that google et al are using their content to increase advertising revenues, which amounts to theft of their IP and this legislation would force google et al to pay for the use of MSM content. The notice being published by Google is more of a threat that they would simply not publish the local media content to avoid having to pay the fees and therefore users would get a worse service. The legislation being referred to above that requires Google to advise of search engine listing changes would be used to help determine the $ value payments to MSM outlets.

    The bottom line here is that Google, Facebook, et al would be paying media companies for second hand use of their material and this would represent a profit loss for them and a profit gain for the media outlets. The AU government (IMO) is also possibly seeing this as a way of increasing tax revenues in this sector, having realised that huge profits by Google escape the tax system and falling profits by MSM outlets result in further tax losses. The conservative Murdock press is also far more affected by the IP theft than the far left government owned and subsidised ABC, and the more conservative LNP government obviously needs them to remain profitable and in business as they would also cease to exist in a conservative free media.

    • Spain tried this a few years ago. When Google cancelled Spain, after a bit they backed down.

      I’m no fan of Google, I think they’ve behaved abominably, but the thought of Aussie MSM dominance of digital media by fiat is worse – even if Murdoch is one of the new tyrants.

  21. They are asking for clarity from Google, what is wrong with that?

    Google is the problem, hiding and taking down articles and videos it decides are ‘wrong’.

  22. Maybe Google should stop showing results for the Australian news sites at all, then they can’t be accused of stealing revenue.

  23. Eric…. check the spelling of the ‘ren…. word in the first paragraph. I think you have the ‘n’ and ‘m’ transposed.

  24. Just think how easy it will be to change history once there are no books and no civilian oversight

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