The Morrison Government has today commenced consultation on a proposed new Online Safety Act to keep Australians safe online.
Federal Communications, Cyber Safety and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said keeping Australians safe online is a top priority for the Morrison Government.
He said the proposed reforms deliver on a commitment made at the 2019 federal election.
“The internet offers significant economic and social benefits, but these benefits will only be fully realised if Australians can engage confidently and safely in the online world,” said Minister Fletcher.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said that online safety was an important issue for all Far North Queenslanders.
He urged Far North Queenslanders to have a look at the government’s proposals and to have their say by Wednesday, 19 February 2020.
“The proposals include expanding Australia’s cyberbullying scheme to protect kids across the full range of online services they use and the creation of a new cyber abuse scheme for Australian adults,” Mr Entsch said.
“We made an election promise to the children of Australia that we would act to better protect them from cyberbullying and to make our online world safer.
“It is a promise that I, as the father of an thirteen-year-old girl, hold very highly because I will do anything possible to protect her from any form of bullying, online or in the real world.”
Other features of the proposed new Act outlined in the discussion paper include:
- Decreasing the time within which platforms must facilitate the takedown of harmful content under the cyberbullying and image-based abuse schemes – from 48 hours to 24 hours.
- Extending the application of cyberbullying scheme for children to cover various other services they use every day (e.g. gaming chat services, messaging apps, social connection sites).
- Reducing the availability of harmful material by working with ancillary services providers, like search engines, to de-rank offending content.
- Providing the eSafety Commissioner with powers to mandate transparency reporting by the digital platforms.
- Introducing new basic online safety expectations to be proactively met by service providers.
More information about the proposed reforms and how to make a submission is available at: www.communications.gov.au/onlinesafetyact