Australian Senate "Morals Committee"
Report on Net-Regulation

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 21:03:09 +1000 (EST)
From: Danny Yee <danny@staff.cs.usyd.edu.au>
To: fight-censorship@vorlon.mit.edu
Subject: Total Disaster - Australian Senate Enquiry

I append a summary by EFA chairman Kim Heitman, modified by Greg Taylor. As you can see, it's a total disaster. This is "private love letters to be made illegal" stuff.

Danny Yee.


The Senate "Morals Committee" has released its report on Net regulation, and it's nearly all bad.

The committee, actually called the Senate Select Committee on Community Standards Relevant to the Supply of Services Utilising Electronic Technologies, split three ways :

* Majority report signed by Senator Tierney - 15 recommendations.
* Minority report by Labor Senators Reynolds and Denman - agreed with recommendations 2,3,5,6,7,10,11,12,13,14 and 15.
* Minority report by Senator Stott-Despoja - statements of principles.

The majority report continues the censorious approach. In brief, the recommendations are :

1. C'wealth to legislate against transmission (et al) of RC and adult material, as will all States and Territories.
2. C'wealth to establish a complaints handling body under ABA or similar.
3. C'wealth to legislate to require ISP codes of practice.
4. ISPs to be fined up to $100,000 for breach of Codes of Practice.
5. ISPs who block material that "could" cause offense to be protected from prosecution.
6. Adult material only avaialble to over-18s with PIN numbers and age verification.
7. ABA to investigate age-verification procedures.
8. All state and territory govts to have uniform laws against transmission of RC and adult material and common definition of "objectionable material".
9. State and Territory police do spot-check audits of online materials.
10. Education scheme to promote new legislation and advise on new rules.
11. Codes of Practice must include info on filters.
12. Education campaign on pros and cons of blocking software.
13. New labelling taskforce to rate Australian online content. !!
14. ABA have hotline for illegal material to be reported.
15. Aust Govt. to continue to develop international protocols in world fora.


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