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Australia set to launch new online safety regulations in 2023
Tue, 19th Dec 2023

Australia is set to implement the Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice for the Online Industry, touted as a new era in online safety. The codes, expected to take effect as of 16 December 2023 and 12 March 2024, comprise a comprehensive framework aimed at enhancing digital safety in different online sectors. The regulations will be enforced by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

The Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice cover a spectrum of online services, including social media, app distribution and hosting services, internet carriage services, equipment manufacturers, and internet search engine services. The codes have been developed in response to increasing anxieties regarding online safety.

The eight codes have been specially formulated to tackle content relating to child sexual exploitation, pro-terror material, crime and violence, and drug-related content. The aim of these codes is to control the proliferation of harmful content and to establish safer online experiences.

Whilst these implementations are widely viewed as beneficial for online safety, certain challenges may arise for businesses, especially smaller ones. Particularly, local internet carriage services may find it tough to meet the compliance requirements due to possible resource constraints.

Cloud web filtering appears to be a suitable solution for internet service providers in this landscape, especially for smaller enterprises. Different from traditional methods, cloud-based web filtering is more efficient does not necessitate a large IT team. Additionally, these services are cost-effective as money does not have to be expended on hardware infrastructure.

Businesses looking to ensure compliance with the codes by using web filtering services need to consider certain critical features. These include categorisation abilities, regulatory compliance, an intuitive interface, additional useful features, detailed reports, responsive support, and overall reputation of the service.

Many solutions are available in the present market and among them, some are capable of meeting all requirements at once. SafeDNS, for instance, has been assisting companies across 69 countries meet regulatory requirements for over a decade with its robust web filtering. The company also offers a comprehensive database of millions of domains, useful for internet carriage services with their own infrastructure but requiring a complete and regularly updated database to integrate into their filtering systems.

As Australia moves toward a more regulated and secure online environment with the introduction of the Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice, businesses are faced with the challenge of compliance. For smaller businesses, cloud web filtering services provide an efficient and practical solution, ensuring they adhere to the codes without the need for elaborate infrastructure. The emphasis is on businesses to choose a solution that provides extensive, user-friendly services and meets their specific needs.