The ABA and the Internet
The ABA is working with the Internet industry and the community
advisory body NetAlert to help ensure that people's use of
the Internet is a positive experience and that children, in
particular, are protected from material that is unsuitable
While the Australian community recognises the enormous potential
of the Internet and believes there are more advantages than
disadvantages, many people also believe that there are risks.
Risks include the distribution of illegal content, for example,
child pornography and material providing detailed instruction
in crime or violence, as well as the exposure of children
to content that is unsuitable for them.
Research shows widespread community support for a range of
regulatory responses to these risks including content labelling
and complaints hotlines.
Research has also found that Australians see industry, government
and Internet users themselves as all having a part to play
in the appropriate supervision and selection of Internet content.
The Broadcasting Services
Amendment (Online Services) Act 1999 addresses Internet
content issues by:
- providing a mechanism for addressing complaints about
- encouraging the development of codes of practice by the
- educating and advising the community about ways to manage
their, and their childrens, use of the Internet.
The regulatory scheme applies to the activities of Internet
service providers and Internet content hosts only. The Federal
Government has stated that it will be encouraging the States
and Territories to develop uniform legislation that will complement
the Commonwealth legislation and cover the activities of users
and content creators.