MAJORITY OF INDUSTRY ONLINE SAFETY CODES ACCEPTED FOR REGISTRATION
Sydney, 1 June2023: Communications Alliance welcomed today’s announcement by the eSafety Commissioner to register five of the eight industry Online Safety Codes. The Commissioner declined to register two Codes and reserved her decision on one of the Codes.
“We are very pleased that the codes developed by industry, including Communications Alliance and our members, were approved for registration. The Commissioner’s decision recognises the substantial safeguards that the codes provide for Australians against the most harmful types of content on the internet”, said Christiane Gillespie-Jones, Director Program Management and Communications Alliance’s driving force in the development of the Codes.
Commenting on the Relevant Electronic Services and Designated Internet Services Codes, Ms Gillespie-Jones said: “While we believe that these Codes would have also been worthy of registration given their potential to lift content safety across a very broad range of services and providers of all sizes, we will now focus on the creation of practical and balanced measures for these industry sections through the eSafety-led Standards development process.”
Ms Gillespie-Jones also noted that Communications Alliance, in cooperation with the other industry associations responsible for the Code development, will continue to work closely with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to deliver a revised Search Engine Services Code. The Commissioner had deferred her decision on this Code by four weeks to allow the sector to reflect recent announcements in relation to generative AI.
The Online Safety Act 2021 (Act), 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.
The eight codes, developed by industry and submitted to the eSafety Commissioner for registration in March 2023, cover participants across eight key sections of the online industry specified in the Act: providers of social media, messaging, search engine and app distribution services, internet and hosting service providers, manufacturers and suppliers of any equipment that connects to the internet, and operators of all websites that can be accessed by Australian users.
On 1 June 2023, the eSafety Commissioner released a decision on the draft codes:
Codes accepted for registration:
● Social Media Services Code
● Apps Distribution Services Code
● Hosting Services Code
● Internet Carriage Services Code
● Equipment Code
(Registration on 16 June 23. Code become enforceable six moths after registration.)
Codes rejected for registration:
● Relevant Electronic Services Code
● Designated Internet Services Code
(eSafety will develop Standards.)
● Search Engine Services Code
(Industry invited to revise Code within four weeks to reflect recent announcements in relation to generative AI.)
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary communications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, platform providers, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.
Its vision is to be the most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society.
The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
Media information contact:
Aprille Lim firstname.lastname@example.org
0413 317 788