Australian Computer Society

to: Michael McLean
Acting Secretary
Select Committee on Community Standards Relevant to the Supply of Services Utilising Electronic Technologies
Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600
Fax: 06 2775809

Submission on the Regulation of the Internet

Attached is an analysis of the DOCA Consultation Paper on the Regulation of On-line Information Services by the ACS/EFA Joint Task Force (JTF 1995).

ACS Position:

  1. Dialogue must encouraged between public policy makers and the on-line community to discuss workable solutions to controlling potentially offensive information. This should be done using the Internet itself to maximise the amount of input from the on-line community and help public policy makers learn about the new medium.
  2. Pre-classification of Internet material, as is done for film censorship, is unworkable,
  3. Existing laws on liability for speech and information should be revised, where necessary, to be technology neutral,
  4. Information carriers should not be held responsible for content which they are no involved in the production of,
  5. Internet software authors should be encouraged to add blocking and monitoring facilities for parents to control what their children are accessing,
  6. An education campaign on safe use of the Internet, should be conducted for parents and children,
  7. Codes of conduct for system operators should be encouraged.

The ACS is not "pro" or "anti" network regulation, so much as interested in assisting the community make choices on the use of technology for community benefit. The ACS has assisted in Government and Parliamentary inquiries and with public discussion and education.

The ACS is committed to applying information technology in the service of the community.

Electronic Frontiers Australia, who have worked with ACS on Internet regulations issues, have identified as set of Parental Control Frequently Asked Questions (VTW 1995) and details on Parental and User Control Technologies Available Today, which it is recommended the Committee consider.

The ACS has collected together an on-line guide (ACS 1995) to Australian Internet Regulation Inquiries and requests that submission to this inquiry be made available on the Internet.

The ACS's governing body, the National Council, will be considering ACS policy on Internet regulation at its meeting 5pm Friday in Brisbane.

Tom Worthington MACS
Director of the ACS Community Affairs Board
G.P.O. Box 446
Canberra A.C.T. 2601

Telephone: (06) 247 4830
Fax: (06) 249 6419

21 September 1995


  1. JTF 1995: Comments on "Consultation Paper on the Regulation of On-line Information Services" by the ACS/EFA Joint Task Force URL:
  2. ACS 1995: ACS Guide to Australian Internet Regulation Inquiries: URL:
  3. VTW 1995: Internet Parental Control Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)URL:, Voters Telecommunications Watch, 1995
  4. Parental and User Control Technologies Available Today URL: