Senator Richard Alston has released an issues paper seeking public and industry comment on the regulation of Internet content in Australia as part of the Federal Government's latest review of current legislation.
The review of the Online Co-Regulatory Regulatory Scheme, which falls under Schedule 5 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, will investigate the effectiveness of the current legislation relating to the regulation of Internet content in Australia.
The Government is conducting the review in accordance with clause 95 of Schedule 5 to the Act, which states that the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts must ensure there is a review of the operation of Schedule 5 before January 1, 2003.
The online regulatory scheme is a complaints-based legislative regime that uses existing methods of content classification administered by the Australian Broadcasting Authority to regulate the carriage of content over the Internet.
The Government introduced the scheme in 1999 in response to community fears about the accessibility of illegal and distressing material over the Internet.
The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts invites comments on the general operation of Schedule 5 to the Act as well as specific issues listed in the paper. Public submissions may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and must be received by November 8, 2002.