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Australia Makes Positive Stand Against Child Porn

Australian Government Makes Positive Stand Against Internet Child Pornography

The Australian Justice Minister, Chris Ellison, has announced a new law making Internet Service Providers (ISPs) more responsible for policing child pornography and child abuse material through the services that they provide. The law will require Internet Service Providers to report any person accessing online child pornography through their services, to the Police.

The new legislation, effective from March 1, requires all ISP's (and Internet Content Hosts – IHCs) to notify the Australian federal Police (AFP) if they are aware of or have reasonable grounds to believe that their services are being used to access or host child pornography. Failure to report within a reasonable time can result in fines up to $A55,000 for corporates and $A11,000 for individuals.

A person using the Internet to access, transmit or make available, child pornography or child abuse material will be charge with a federal offence, incurring a ten-year jail term.

Alan Bell, Director of ECPAT (an organisation committed to protecting children from sexual exploitation) says “This is a good move to target the sources of this type of offensive material as well as tracking down the offenders. It places responsibility on those providing the technology to be responsible in governing the material they host. It would be good to see similar moves introduced in New Zealand. This would discourage the distribution of child pornography and child abuse material.”

Minister Ellison, in announcing this legislation made the comment that “It cannot be emphasised enough that behind every horrid piece of child pornography is a tragic case of an abused defenceless child, somewhere in the world.”

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