Communications Alliance (CA) Family Friendly ISP Program

Background

On 26 March 2002, the Family Friendly ISP scheme was launched. This was designed to dovetail with the Content Services Codes of Practice by providing a visible symbol, the Ladybird Logo (‘Family Friendly’ Seal) to show which Australian ISPs are compliant with the Codes of Practice.

What does the "CA Family Friendly ISP"  seal mean?

Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) bearing the Ladybird Logo have agreed to comply with the CA Content Services Codes of Practice. Under the Codes, ISPs are required to provide their users with certain information, plus the option of obtaining a ’Family Friendly’ content filter.

Participating ISPs (as at July 2014)

  • iiNet
  • Optus
  • Virgin Broadband
  • Westnet

Information For Consumers

  • The CA Family Friendly ISP program is intended to help the public better identify code-compliant ISPs, that is, ISPs who have agreed to assist those families with information and tools to help make the internet experience a little safer for their children.
  • CA Family Friendly Filters are not intended to replace adult supervision and should not be relied upon as an infallible substitute for this. However, they can be useful to assist some families, which is why they form part of the overall scheme.
  • CA will review the Codes of Practice to provide guidance for ISPs who want to provide a "family friendly" service; in complying with the CA Code, ISPs also know that they are also complying with Australian law.
  • CA does not warrant that an ISP bearing the "Family Friendly ISP" seal is necessarily compliant with the Codes, or that internet users who choose that ISP will not access potentially offensive material online, even if provided with tools and information by a Code compliant ISP. However, by agreement with CA, and as a condition of use of the symbol, the ISP promises that they will follow the Codes and do those things that the Codes require of them.
  • The ACMA monitors compliance with CA Codes. Complaints about non-compliance should be directed to the ACMA.  The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner also has a complaints system which deals with seriously offensive material on the internet - for more information please refer to the Complaints and Reporting website of the eSafety Commissioner.
  • CA will take steps against a non-compliant ISP who bears the seal, in breach of its undertaking to comply. This can include terminating the license agreement which gives permission to use the seal.

Information For Business

Family Friendly ISP – how to join the scheme

ISPs who are compliant with the CA Codes are eligible to apply for a CA 'Family Friendly ISP' status. This does not require joining CA, although CA member ISPs are able to participate in the program at no cost. Family Friendly ISPs are authorised to display the Ladybird Logo ('Family Friendly’ ISP Seal) which signifies adherence to best practice standards.

The Licence Agreement is available here.

Family Friendly ISP Obligations

Under the registered codes of practice for content regulation (current ver. 10.4), ISPs who provide access to users within Australia are required to:

Requirement
What this means in practice
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that Internet access accounts are not provided to persons under the age of 18 years without the consent of a parent, teacher or other responsible adult.
A number of suggested options for achieving this are included in the Code.
  • take reasonable steps to encourage commercial content providers to use appropriate labelling systems and to inform them of their legal responsibilities in regard to the content they publish. 
ISPs are advised to direct users to the CA Guide for Internet Users
  • take reasonable steps to provide users with information about:
    • supervising and controlling children's access to Internet content
    • procedures which parents can implement to control children's access to Internet content
    • their right to make complaints to the ACMA about online content
    • procedures by which such complaints can be made 
ISPs are advised to direct users to the CA Guide for Internet Users
  • provide users with, or direct them to, information describing methods by which receipt of unsolicited email promoting offensive material can be minimised
ISPs will satisfy this requirement by pointing users to the CA Guide for Internet Users
  • where an ISP is aware of the identity and email address of a content host, advise the relevant Content Host by email about Prohibited Content Since the legislation does not refer to 'potential prohibited content' here, ISPs will not be required to evaluate the content themselves 
ACMA is likely to be the only body who will know that material is prohibited. Therefore this requirement will in practice translate to relaying a message from ACMA to the content host. This provision is required by legislation and was included to assist ACMA in notifying a content host that they are hosting prohibited content.
  • ISPs must make available to subscribers within Australia a Scheduled Filter or optional filtered service (only Scheduled filters will provide legal compliance)
  • where the ISP chooses charge for a filter, this charge must not exceed the total cost of obtaining, supplying and supporting the filter
  • the making available of a filter or filtered service will not be required where the ISP provides to an exempted class of subscribers which include some commercial subscribers, schools and institutions already subject to filtering, or end users who advise the ISP that they are already using an Scheduled Filter
  • where an ISP has a commercial customer, the ISP has the option of providing or directing users to consulting services for network filtering solutions, at a charge determined by the ISP

ISPs are NOT required to:

  • filter or in any way block content themselves (unless they choose to install a Scheduled server-level filter for optional use by customers).
  • ensure that end-users install or operate the filters provided for use.

 

If you want to download a filter or activate a filtered service

The list of Accredited Family Friendly Filters is available here.