Have Your Say: Revised Online Safety Industry Codes, Second Consultation Round
Six industry associations, including Communications Alliance, that represent the online industry in Australia have commenced a short second round of consultation on the draft online safety codes that opens today.
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.
We have launched a second public consultation process today, inviting feedback on the draft codes that are available on the 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. It is a public consultation and as such we encourage you to forward this on to other relevant stakeholders who may wish to contribute.
Hasn’t consultation on the codes already taken place?
Yes. In September 2022, industry associations launched a public consultation process on the draft codes.
- We published a response to submissions, explaining how industry responded to feedback received in the consultation in the draft codes submitted for registration.
- The draft codes were submitted to the regulator on the requested due date,18 November 2022, with a request for registration document and the response to submissions.
- eSafety provided a preliminary assessment of each the draft codes on 9 February (which can be found on this webpage), requesting that additional feedback be considered by industry prior to the codes being resubmitted to eSafety by 9 March 2023 to better address community expectations.
- The industry associations requested an extension to conduct a second 30-day public consultation on the draft codes to give the community and stakeholders an opportunity to express their views on the newly revised codes following the Commissioner’s feedback.
- An extension was granted by eSafety to resubmit the codes on 31 March 2023. This allows a two-week period of public consultation.
What happens after the second consultation period?
Once finalised, the Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice for the Online Industry, Phase 1 (class 1A and class 1B material) will be resubmitted with an updated request for registration to the eSafety Commissioner. Registered codes are enforceable by the Commissioner.
Is there anything else I should know about the draft codes?
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 draft codes released today have been informed by research into community attitudes, industry working groups, and expert consultation, and significant input from eSafety; including through its September 2021 Position Paper.
How do I participate in the consultation?
You can download the draft codes at www.onlinesafety.org.au. Submissions should be uploaded to that website, and will be accepted until 23 March 2023.
We look forward to hearing your views, and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.
The industry associations can be contacted via email@example.com 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.