Dimension Data general manager, security, Alastair MacGibbon, has been named as Australia's first Children’s e-Safety Commissioner.
MacGibbon is a former director of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre and Federal Agent with the Australian Federal Police.
Along with a number of private sector roles including as senior director of trust, safety and customer support at eBay, MacGibbon has been a Director of the Centre for Internet Safety at the University of Canberra since 2011.
He is also chief executive of the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) Australia.
Parliamentary secretary to the minister for communications, Paul Fletcher, said the appointment was a further milestone in the work of the government to help keep Australian children safe online.
“I am delighted that we have been able to fill this critical role with someone who has deep expertise and more than 15 years of experience in the field of online safety and security," he said.
Fletcher said the government has made a commitment to establish an effective complaints system, backed by legislation, to get harmful material targeted at Australian children down fast from large social media sites.
“I look forward to working with industry, child welfare organisations, law enforcement agencies and of course Australian children and parents as we work to protect children from the growing problem of cyberbullying," he said.
Research has found that over a 12 month period, one in five Australian children aged eight to 17 are exposed to cyberbullying.
The federal government announced funding of $10 million in the 2014-15 Budget to implement its Enhancing Online Safety for Children policy, including $7.5 million to assist schools to access accredited online safety programs; $2.4 million to establish and operate the Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner; and $100,000 to support Australian-based research and information campaigns on online safety.
Following MacGibbon’s appointment, the next priorities will be to commence the operation of the Office of the Commissioner, which will include significant resources transferred in from other areas of the Australian public service, and then to implement the operation of the effective complaints system to get harmful material targeted at Australian children down fast from large social media sites.
This is expected to occur over the course of this year.