Regulating Online Extremism

Dr Keiran Hardy1

1Griffith Criminology Institute, Brisbane, Australia

It is well known that terrorists use the Internet for myriad purposes, including communication, attack planning, recruitment and propaganda. Less is known about how laws enacted to prevent terrorist acts apply to these forms of online conduct. In this presentation, I explore how Australia’s counter-terrorism laws apply to online extremism, including uploading and downloading terrorist documents, sharing extremist and instructional materials, communicating amongst group members, and expressing support for terrorism on social media. I consider how evidence of online extremism can be used to support convictions for aiding and abetting terrorism, conspiracies to prepare terrorist acts, membership of a terrorist organisation, possessing things connected with preparation for terrorism, and collecting or making terrorist documents. Understanding the interpretation and scope of Australia’s counter-terrorism laws as they apply to online extremism is a crucial step in developing effective counter-terrorism responses to enduring and emerging threats.


Dr Keiran Hardy is a Senior Lecturer in the Griffith Criminology Institute. His research investigates counter-terrorism law and policy, countering violent extremism, and right-wing extremism.


Dec 09 2021