Online Safety Act now in force and leading way

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Morrison Government’s Online Safety Act has today come into effect, providing the eSafety Commissioner with even stronger powers to keep Australians safe online.

The Act brings some big changes, including a world first cyber-abuse take-down scheme to protect adults, along with a strengthened cyber-bullying scheme to protect children.

The eSafety Commissioner now also has the authority to order platforms to remove the “worst of the worst” online content-including child sexual abuse material and terrorist content-no matter where it is hosted.

The Act also gives the eSafety Commissioner stronger information gathering and investigative powers to obtain identity information behind anonymous online accounts used to bully, abuse or exchange illegal content.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the new Online Safety Act is another step forward in the Morrison Government’s world-leading approach to combating cyber-abuse.

“Online safety is a priority for the Morrison Government and our new Online Safety Act is the foundation on which our world-leading approach stands,” Minister Fletcher said.

“As more Australians work, learn and conduct business online, the Government will make sure that they can do so safely, and that perpetrators are being held accountable for abusive and threatening behaviour.”

The Act also puts the tech industry on notice, with Basic Online Safety Expectations setting a new benchmark for platforms to take responsibility in protecting Australians online.

“The internet has brought immense advantages, but also new risks, and Australians rightly expect the big tech companies to do more to make their products safer for users,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Australians deserve to be able to use online platforms in the knowledge that they will be safe from vile and unacceptable online abuse, along with other dangers.”

/Public Release. View in full here.