New Australian rules set to make it harder to access online content
Posted September 15, 2018 08:01:03 New rules set for the internet will mean it’s harder for Australian internet users to access content online.
Key points:Under new rules, Australians will be required to pay a small surcharge to access websites, blogs, mobile apps and video sites without a licenceThe changes, which were announced by the Communications Minister, Scott Emerson, will also make it easier for companies to monitor user behaviour and impose extra fees for data usageThere are concerns internet users will struggle to access the content they want to consume and could be targeted with unwanted advertisements, but Industry Minister Scott Emerson says the government is taking a “pragmatic approach”.
“We have to be cautious about the impact it has on the internet, but we are taking a pragmatic approach to protect Australians from the risk that it could result in increased costs for our businesses,” Mr Emerson said.
Mr Emerson said the Government was also concerned with the impact that new digital laws could have on the health of the internet.””
We’re looking at the possibility of introducing legislation to require ISPs to take steps to protect themselves from the spread of malware or similar threats.”
Mr Emerson said the Government was also concerned with the impact that new digital laws could have on the health of the internet.
“There is a strong and growing interest in the internet in Australia, particularly for our young people and those who are experiencing difficulties with social media and social media,” he said.”[However] there are some concerns that this could result, for example, in an increase in people accessing inappropriate content online.”
Mr Fraser also warned the changes could make it difficult for Australians to access new content.
“It’s going to be a challenge for Australians and we’re going to have to find some creative solutions to that,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
“We know the internet is the internet and people need to use it to get information and communicate, so the Internet Services Code is the first step in addressing that.”
Internet users will have to pay to access a range of online content without a license, including: sites that use the ‘do not track’ feature, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, which allows users to track what websites they visit; and blogs and mobile apps, which can collect information about users’ browsing history.
The Communications Minister said he would be pushing for a broader consultation on the new rules.
“This is about protecting our Australian internet, and we have a very broad view that the internet should be accessible to all Australians,” Mr Fraser said.
He said the proposed rules were aimed at protecting the internet from “misuse” and that consumers would have the right to decide whether or not they wanted to pay.
“I want to be very clear about this, the Government will be consulting consumers about this new regulation,” he added.
“Consumers will have the opportunity to review the proposed regulations, but the Government believes that the most important thing is to make sure we protect the internet for Australians.”
Mr Nelson said the rules were an important part of an overall strategy to increase transparency, and to help consumers make informed decisions about what to do with their personal information.
“These rules are part of that and we want to ensure that people can use the internet without having to pay for it,” he explained.
“If you’re a small business, if you’re an independent contractor, you can choose to do so.”
Internet service provider iiNet said the changes would help small businesses to compete with internet giants.
“While many small businesses have to compete on price, competition is good for consumers, and the rules will help to increase consumer choice, drive innovation and reduce barriers to innovation,” iiNet chief executive Michael McKeown said.
The changes were announced in a series of bills, which will be passed into law by Parliament.
Under the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection) Act 2013, ISPs must provide customers with access to online content free of charge.
Under existing laws, internet service providers are allowed to offer content free from charge, but they have to provide access to the content at a reasonable price.
The Telecommunications Act 2015 gives ISPs the right for consumers to make a claim for their internet service if their internet provider has failed to deliver a fair price for their service.
Under a new bill, internet providers will be able to impose additional fees for their services.
This includes a surcharge of up to $20 for every month they don’t provide customers access to a website.
The Government will also introduce a new online advertising code, which means companies will have a legal obligation to make their websites and mobile applications comply with the rules.
The new code will apply to websites, apps and mobile services that are already operating in Australia.