Comment Sought on New Online Safety Codes
Six industry associations, including Communications Alliance, that represent the online industry in Australia have released new online safety codes for public consultation.
Australia’s Online Safety Act 2021, which came into effect in January 2022, requires the development of codes by industry associations to regulate certain types of harmful online material, known as Class 1A and 1B material with reference to Australia’s classification scheme. This includes material promoting child sexual abuse, terrorism, extreme crime and violence, crime and violence, and drug-related content.
Once finalised, the Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice for the Online Industry, Phase 1 (class 1A and class 1B material) will be submitted for registration to the eSafety Commissioner. Registered codes are enforceable by the Commissioner. The draft codes have been informed by input from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner reflected in their September 2021 Position Paper.
The draft codes must cover a wide range of participants that operate in the online environment, including providers of social media, messaging, search engine and app distribution services, as well as internet and hosting service providers, and manufacturers and suppliers of any equipment that connects to the internet, including smart devices and computers. It is important to note that they also cover operators of all websites that can be accessed by Australian users.
The associations have launched a public consultation process, inviting feedback on the draft codes that are available on a new consultation website at www.onlinesafety.org.au. Feedback is proactively being sought from key stakeholders including consumer organisations, a diverse range of civil society groups, academics and industry.
The draft codes and an accompanying explanatory memorandum can be downloaded at www.onlinesafety.org.au. Submissions should be uploaded to that website (i.e. not to the Comms Alliance website). The consultation period runs from 1 September to 2 October, 2022.
The industry associations can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA)
BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA)
Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA)
Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI)
Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA)
Below is a list of currently open telecommunications-related consultations being conducted by Government and other organisations that provide an opportunity for you to have your say.