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The Australian Federal Police analysis of Australians downloading Christchurch terrorism propaganda in the last quarter of 2020 highlighted the appeal of the New Zealand terror attacks to budding extremists. Sources aware of the findings outlined them to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Laws passed by the federal government after the Christchurch attack, carried out by Australian Brenton Tarrant, aimed to decrease the sharing of extremist material by making it an offence for online platforms and internet service providers to fail to remove or report such material.
In a recent submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry into extremism, the chief executive of the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, Rachael Falk, said the laws were “pioneering and pivotal” and noted that the apparent failure to charge any company under them “may serve to demonstrate the act’s deterrent effect”.
However, the federal police analysis of peer-to-peer extremist content downloaded by Australians suggests the deterrence may be limited and that extremist material is being distributed by companies outside the police’s jurisdictional reach.
An analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Ariel Bogle, will release a report on Thursday examining extremist fundraising online. She said her investigations had uncovered members of the Australian far-right using internet platforms to solicit funds.
Ms Bogle said this included the use of live-streaming platforms that included a payment function, micro-donation websites and internet wallet addresses for cryptocurrencies such as monero that are designed to avoid detection.
A Telegram channel associated with National Socialist Network leader Tom Sewell has recently encouraged followers to donate through largely untraceable online cryptocurrency platforms to support his legal case.
On a live Telegram chat on August 7, Jacob Hersant, the second in charge of the network, boasted about reading the Christchurch terrorist’s manifesto.
Ms Bogle said Telegram – along with platforms like Gab, VK and Element – was facilitating funding requests by extremists, and some online financial…