Internet Policy and Australia's Northern Territory Intervention

(2017) 6(1) Internet Policy Review

17 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017

See all articles by Ellie Rennie

Ellie Rennie

RMIT University

Jake Goldenfein

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Julian Thomas

RMIT University

Date Written: March 2, 2017


In 2007, Australia’s Commonwealth Government took a dramatic new approach to the governance of remote Indigenous communities. The ‘Northern Territory Intervention’ aimed to combat abuse and violence in remote Indigenous communities, and included far-reaching changes to welfare administration, employment programmes and policing. This paper considers a hitherto obscure aspect of the Intervention: the surveillance of publicly funded computers and internet use. Between 2007 and 2012, providers of internet and computer access facilities in the affected communities were required to audit and record computer use. In this paper we examine the legal and policy dimensions of this case of governmental surveillance, using interviews, published materials and documents obtained through freedom of information processes.

Keywords: Digital Divide, Surveillance, Computer Surveillance, Child Protection, Remote Indigenous Communities

Suggested Citation

Rennie, Ellie and Goldenfein, Jake and Thomas, Julian, Internet Policy and Australia's Northern Territory Intervention (March 2, 2017). (2017) 6(1) Internet Policy Review, Available at SSRN:

Ellie Rennie

RMIT University ( email )

School of Health and Biomedical Sciences

Jake Goldenfein (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Melbourne, VIC 3010

Julian Thomas

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000

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