Australians May Be Required to Provide ID to Open Social Media Accounts

The proposal seeks to prevent anonymous commenting on the internet in Australia.
Derya Ozdemir
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A radical solution to put an end to cyberbullying and online abuse has been put forward in Australia: Australia's Federal Government is considering a proposal to require users to submit several forms of identification, such as a passport or driver's license, to be allowed to create or maintain accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder, 7News reported.

The proposal is designed to prevent anonymous commenting on the internet in Australia to help victims of domestic violence by getting rid of online bullying, trolling, stalking, sexual abuse, and harassment done by people hiding behind anonymous accounts. 

Under the proposal, internet users who wanted to create accounts would need to submit 100 points of ID before signing up. "100-points of identification" is an Austalia-specific program that required different forms of ID to be submitted and assigned points. Originally introduced to cut down on bank fraud, the points must equal or exceed 100 points for someone to open a bank account. For example, in order to get 100 points, an Australian would need to provide birth certificates and passports, which are 50 points each. 

The Australia House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs released these recommendations from a 471-page study on Thursday, Gizmodo reports. The proposal was made after the report found online abusers face little risk when it comes to punishment. The chairman of the committee released a statement about the recommendations.

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"The Committee’s recommendations are wide-ranging, but our clear message is that we need a more coordinated and comprehensive national approach to ending all forms of family, domestic and sexual violence," Liberal Party MP Andrew Wallace stated in a statement published online. "It is perpetrators that are responsible for their use of violence, but everyone has a role in bringing about change and stopping violence before it starts" 

The report also suggests the government "should consider regulating to enable law enforcement agencies to access a platform’s end-to-end encrypted data, by warrant, in matters involving a threat to the physical or mental wellbeing of an individual or in cases of national security."

Australia doesn't require ID before joining any social media or dating platform as of now. While the proposal doesn't make clear how all this would be implemented, the report is currently being considered by the government with an update to be issued in the coming weeks. 

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