Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Australia tweaks its code of conduct for Internet and mobile

Today, the Australian Communications and Media Authority approved the Content Services Code, a set of guidelines for ISPs and mobile carriers, which include directives for ISPs to hire so-called "trained content assessors."

The Content Services Code is a code of practices developed by the Internet Industry Association for online and mobile content providers. Within it are guidelines for "self-regulation of content" from commercial ISPs and mobile operators, which include the mandatory hiring of in-house censors, called "trained content assessors."

These censors will be trained to classify content according to ratings established by the Classifications Board, which rates film, computer games, magazines, music, and other media. Content which is likely to be rated MA15+ and above must be "assessed and classified" with the service provider, so users can either obtain information or filters for that content.

The guidelines also include best practices for how to manage customer complaints of inappropriate content, and discuss the inclusion of the "Family Friendly ISP" seal program that the IIA launched in 2002. The seal featuring a ladybug would only be given to ISPs and mobile service providers who have complied with IIA guidelines.

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