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SafetyOnline: Labor's plan to make the Internet safer [policy statement]



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Australian Labor Party National ALP

09/09/2004

http://www.alp.org.au/policy/otherkeypolicies/internetsafer.php

Safetyonline: Labor's Plan To Make The Internet Safer

Kate Lundy

THE Internet is a great resource for communication and learning. It has become a fundamental part of our learning environment. Through the Internet, communities and individuals are better connected than ever before.

But like all new technologies, the benefits that new opportunities can bring must be carefully balanced against the risks that new technology can pose. A balanced approach ensures both community support for the technology and the conditions under which the technology can thrive.

That's why Labor believes that measures are needed to make the internet safer for parents and children.

Labor understands that many people, particularly parents, are understandably fearful and uncertain about the internet and the risks that are involved. That's why Labor is committed to helping Internet users manage their Internet content, particularly parents who are concerned about their children's use of the internet.

Labor recognises that the strength and appeal of the Internet is as an essential information and communication resource for citizens, businesses, governments and community organisations. However, Labor also recognises that it is in the public interest that government takes an active role in improving the safety and security of the Internet for citizens and consumers.

Regulating a global technology such as the internet requires careful management and balance. Often what appear to be attractive solutions can have downstream consequences, with adverse costs to the community.

For this reason, Labor's plan for the internet is to combine effective regulation with a strong and effective Industry Code along with assisting parents, students, teachers and the community to protect themselves from unwanted content.

Under our plan, Labor will:

● Extend funding for a restructured and revamped NetAlert until 2007/08. Renamed,

SafetyOnline, Labor's new body will be equipped with the resources and capacity to provide practical and effective support for concerned internet users. ● Provide an injection of $1 million to SafetyOnline in 2005/06 to mount a high profile

campaign to support and promote the availability of internet safety products made available by ISP's under the Industry Code of Practice on Internet Content. SafetyOnline's campaign

will focus on internet user education and improved industry technical support that protects against online risks such as viruses, spam, unwanted content, illegal content, spyware and e-commerce risks such as phishing (online identity fraud). ● Improve the Industry Code of Practice process by working with the industry and the ABA to

enhance enforcement and ensure greater compliance. Labor will also enhance the Code by broadening the range of online safety services and products as technology improves. ● Join up with other government agencies and departments, such as FACS and Education, for

the distribution of SafetyOnline material and information. ● Join up Labor's SafetyOnline with the Australian Bankers' Association's fraud taskforce to

improve online banking security, particularly in relation to authentication, protection from malicious spyware and support for online customers; ● Support the introduction of a Spam Code, whereby users can be provided with Spam filters

at the desktop as well as assess the merits of amending the Privacy Act to further strengthen the laws against unsolicited email (spam).

Cost of SafetyOnline

Labor's SafetyOnline plan is fully funded and costed.

SafetyOnline $1.0m - 05/06 $0.5m - 06/07 $0.5m - 07/08

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.