The ACMA administers a 'co-regulatory' scheme for online content, including internet and mobile phone content. The scheme aims to address community concerns about offensive and illegal material online and, in particular, to protect children from exposure to material that is unsuitable for them.
The scheme is established under Schedule 5 and Schedule 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. In accordance with the scheme the ACMA administers the following functions:
- Investigation of complaints about online content;
- Encouraging the development of codes of practice for the online content service provider industries as well as registering, and monitoring compliance with such codes;
- Providing advice and information to the community about online safety issues, especially those relating to children's use of the internet and mobile phones;
- Undertaking research into internet and mobile phone usage issues and informing itself and the Minister of relevant trends;
- Liaising with relevant overseas bodies.
In performing its role, the ACMA is guided by principles laid down in legislation which have the aim of minimising the financial and administrative burdens on industry and encouraging the supply of carriage services and online content services at standards that meet community needs.