[LINK] Coalition policy: ISP filtering on by default, Children's e-Safety Commissioner

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Thu Sep 5 17:39:33 AEST 2013

As reported:



The Coalition's policy to Enhance Online Safety for Children:


This involves default-on filtering to reject "adult" material for all
new home broadband services and for mobile services, with mobile users
needing to prove they are adults before having it turned off.

  " . . . we expect these standards will:

    *  involve mobile phone operators installing adult content
       filters on phones which will be switched on as the
       default unless the customer proves he or she is at least
       18 years of age; and

    *  involve major internet service providers providing home
       network filters for all new home  broadband  services,
       which will be switched on as the default unless the
       customer specifies otherwise."

There will be a "new, simplified cyber-bullying offense, a Children's
e-Safety Commissioner and:

  "an effective complaints system, backed by legislation, to
   get harmful material down fast from large social media sites."

  "The complaints system will be backed by legislation. The
   Coalition will legislate to define a 'large social media site'
   (by reference to the number of user accounts in Australia, or
   other objective measures) and to oblige any company which
   meets the definition to participate in the complaints system.

   Australian legislation will be effective to achieve compliance
   by any company with staff or assets in Australia, or which
   generates advertising revenue in Australia – and this is likely
   to be the case for any company which meets the definition of
   'large social media site'."

It will be interesting to see how such a scheme decides what is
"harmful".  For instance I recall reading about schemes, I assume funded
by the government, to help inform and support homosexual/lesbian
teenagers and improve their chances of getting through to adulthood in a
way which is healthy for them.  (Including by avoiding bullying,
self-harm and suicide.) Yet some people would argue that any such
acceptance of traditionally unacceptable sexual orientations is harmful
to children.

 - Robin

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