This is the report of the Review of Schedule 5 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act), conducted by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (the Department). Schedule 5 of the Act establishes the Online Content Co-regulatory Scheme (the Scheme), which commenced on 1 January 2000.
The purpose of this Review is to evaluate the operation of Schedule 5. The Review is required under Schedule 5 to take into account developments in filtering technologies and whether these technologies have developed to a point where it would be feasible to filter R-rated information hosted overseas that is not subject to a restricted access system. In addition, the then Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts requested the Review to examine Australian Government community education initiatives under the Scheme.
The Department’s Review issues paper of September 2002 (at Attachment C) set out background to the Scheme, provided detailed information about a number of issues related to the operation of Schedule 5 including outlining relevant activities of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) and NetAlert Limited, and called for comment on a range of issues. Twenty-six submissions were received from a range of public and industry groups (see Attachment B).
In order to undertake the technical analysis required as part of the Review, the Department contracted Ovum Pty Ltd to report on Internet content filtering technologies and live-streamed content (Attachments D and E respectively).