Minister outlines new safeguards for emerging audio-visual content

Communication Minister, Senator Helen Coonan has said new safeguards will be put in place to protect consumers from inappropriate or harmful material on emerging content services such as 3G mobile phones and subscription-based Internet portals.

Senator Coonan said: “The Government supports the development of innovative new communications services which provide access to the Internet, email, games, instant messaging, chat rooms, video clips and television programs.

“However, these new content services may also potentially carry offensive or harmful content and we need to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect children from exposure to content that might be harmful.”

Senator Coonan said the recent Review of the Regulation of Content Delivered Over Convergent Devices found there is a need for specific safeguards for users of these services. She stated that she will introduce legislative measures to provide safeguards comparable to those in place for traditional media.

For example:

* will extend current safeguards applying to content delivered over Internet or television to be applied to content delivered over convergent devices.

* will include prohibition of content rated X18+ and above, requirements for consumer advice and age-restricting access to content suited only to adults.

* strong sanctions will apply for non-compliance with the new regulatory framework, including criminal penalties for serious offences.

14 June, 2006
Findlaw

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