A reminder that submissions on the Government’s draft Online Safety Bill (Bill) close on 14 February.
On 23 December 2020, the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications began a consultation on the draft Bill. The Bill is designed to consolidate and supplement the range of existing regimes covering online content, most notably the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 (Cth) (EOSA) and Schedules 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) (BSA).
The Bill introduces an expanded take-down scheme for cyber-bullying and image-based abuse, a new take-down scheme for adult cyber-abuse, a set of basic online safety expectations (BOSE) for online services, a revised online content scheme and a blocking scheme for abhorrent violent material. It also reduces the time for responding to removal notices from 48 hours to 24 hours and incorporates civil penalties for non-compliance in certain circumstances.
If implemented, these proposed changes would increase the imperative for online services to take a pro-active approach and to have in place efficient mechanisms for responding to removal notices.