IGEA Submission to Department of Communications: Enhancing Online Safety for Children
On 20 January 2014 the Department of Communications released a consultation paper – Enhancing Online Safety for Children (linked here). The paper sets out the Government’s intention to:
- Establish a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner that will attend to complaints concerning children and online services;
- Introduce a scheme for the rapid removal of material that is harmful to children from social networking sites;
- Introduce a cyber-bulling offence to address instances of cyber-bullying of children.
IGEA has prepared and filed this submission. IGEA’s submission essentially covers the following points:
- IGEA does not support the establishment of a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner or the rapid removal scheme;
- Online games should not form part of any regulation; and
- The Australian Government should focus on voluntary collaboration with social media sites rather than regulation.
The Australian Government has been advocating for these reforms since coming into power. Accordingly, cyber safety matters, including possible regulation, is likely to remain on the agenda moving forward.