The Government is seeking comments on proposals for a new Online Safety Act.

How it works

Why we want your input
Online safety affects all Australians. This is your chance to have your say on a new Online Safety Act.
How you can voice your opinion
You can provide a submission through our public consultation process by 19 February 2020.
What will be the outcome of this consultation?
Your submission will be used to inform the development of a new Online Safety Act.

Consultation Information

Consultation tabs

The Issue
Consultation Period:  December 11, 2019 12:30 AEDT to February 19, 2020 17:00 AEDT

We are seeking feedback on proposals for a new Online Safety Act to improve Australia's online safety regulatory framework.

The proposed reforms follow a 2018 review of online safety legislation which recommended the replacement of the existing framework with a single Online Safety Act.

Key proposals include:

  • A set of basic online safety expectations for industry (initially social media platforms), clearly stating community expectations, with associated reporting requirements.
  • An enhanced cyberbullying scheme for Australian children to capture a range of online services, not just social media platforms.
  • A new cyber abuse scheme for Australian adults to facilitate the removal of serious online abuse and harassment and introduce a new end user take-down and civil penalty regime.
  • Consistent take-down requirements for image-based abuse, cyber abuse, cyberbullying and seriously harmful online content, requiring online service providers to remove such material within 24 hours of receiving an eSafety Commissioner request.
  • A reformed online content scheme requiring the Australian technology industry to be proactive in addressing access to harmful online content. The scheme would also expand the eSafety Commissioner's powers to address illegal and harmful content on websites hosted overseas.
  • An ancillary service provider scheme to provide the eSafety Commissioner with the capacity to disrupt access to seriously harmful online material made available via search engines, app stores and other ancillary service providers.
  • An additional power for the eSafety Commissioner to respond rapidly to an online crisis event (such as the Christchurch terrorist attacks) by requesting internet service providers block access to sites hosting seriously harmful content.

Relevant Documentation

Online Safety Legislation Reform - Discussion paper

Published 11th Dec 2019

Download PDF (1.58 MB) Download DOC (1.12 MB)
This discussion paper outlines the key elements of a proposed new Online Safety Act and seeks comments and views on these proposals. Keeping Australians safe online is a key policy priority for the Government and this program of legislative reform is pivotal in achieving this goal.

Fact sheet—Online Safety Reform Proposals—Adult Cyber Abuse Scheme

Published 11th Dec 2019

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The new Online Safety Act will introduce a new take-down and reporting scheme to tackle cyber abuse directed at Australian adults.

Fact sheet—Online Safety Reform Proposals—Overview

Published 11th Dec 2019

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The Government will develop a new Online Safety Act to consolidate Australia’s current legislative framework and update it light of changes to the online environment.

Fact sheet—Online Safety Reform Proposals—Ancillary service provider notice scheme

Published 11th Dec 2019

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It is proposed that the new Online Safety Act would create an ancillary service provider notice scheme to provide an additional tool for the eSafety Commissioner to tackle the availability of harmful online material.

Fact sheet—Online Safety Reform Proposals—Basic Online Safety Expectations

Published 11th Dec 2019

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It is proposed that the new Online Safety Act would enable a set of basic online safety expectations (BOSE) to be made to articulate the community’s expectations for online safety by the digital platforms and online services used by Australians every day.

Fact sheet—Online Safety Reform Proposals—Cyberbullying Scheme

Published 11th Dec 2019

Download PDF (127.33 KB) Download DOC (102.38 KB)
The new Online Safety Act will expand the cyberbullying scheme for Australian children by extending its reach from social media platforms to all of the online services now used by Australian children. In addition, the time within which online services must act to remove content will be reduced from 48 to 24 hours.

Fact sheet—Online safety reform proposals—Harmful online content

Published 11th Dec 2019

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The online content scheme, which is currently contained in schedules 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, will be migrated into the new Online Safety Act.

Fact sheet—Online Safety Reform Proposals—Image-based abuse scheme

Published 11th Dec 2019

Download PDF (132.87 KB) Download DOC (103.33 KB)
It is proposed that the non-consensual sharing of intimate images scheme (image-based abuse scheme) would be migrated to the new Online Safety Act.

Fact sheet—Online Safety Reform Proposals—Blocking terrorist material online

Published 11th Dec 2019

Download PDF (154.12 KB) Download DOC (96.87 KB)
A new Online Safety Act would enable the eSafety Commissioner to direct Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block domains containing terrorist or extreme violent material, for time limited periods, in the event of an online crisis event.

Online Safety Charter

Published 11th Dec 2019

Download PDF (950.36 KB) Download DOC (127.37 KB)
The Government’s Online Safety Charter sets out the Government’s expectations for industry to protect Australians from harmful online experiences. Technology firms and digital platforms have a responsibility to respect the rights and dignity of users online and to take meaningful action to address and prevent harms being incurred by those using their products or services.

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Started December 11, 2019 12:30 AEDT
Ended February 19, 2020 17:00 AEDT
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