ACMA asks for suggestions on restricted content

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is calling for comments on proposed changes to the way online and mobile content is regulated.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is calling for comments on planned changes to the way online and mobile content is regulated.

ACMA is proposing a new framework on content regulation, which aims to "amalgamate the regulation of all content services delivered via carriage services and extend the regulatory framework ... to a broad range of content services delivered on convergent devices", according to the Authority.

While ACMA claims that the consolidation of the existing legislation is an attempt to bring the regulatory framework up to date with developments in the areas of mobile and streaming online content, the changes outlined in the proposal also indicate increasingly tighter controls on content itself.

The changes proposed will not only increase measures to limit access to restricted content, but will also broaden ACMA's powers to remove prohibited content hosted in Australia.

ACMA said: "The changes apply to content hosted on sites hosted either in Australia or overseas. In the case of Australian content, ACMA will have a capability to issue a notice to whoever hosts content that is classified X18+ or refused classification to take it down, or to place content classified MA15+ or R18+ behind access restrictions."

The legislation also includes an unconditional prohibition of X18+ material hosted in Australia.

ACMA intends to cover a range of platforms with the amendments, including Internet content accessed from a home computer or a mobile, and mobile premium content.

The Authority has paid particular attention to the regulation of premium mobile content with the upcoming round of changes, after introducing legislation governing its access in 2005. The changes will require that age restricted mobile content only be provided by numbers prefixed with 195 or 196.

ACMA is now seeking comment from the interested parties on the changes. Deadlines for submissions of comment vary according to each piece of individual legislation, for more information visit http://www.acma.gov.au.

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