IIA details child abuse code of practice

The code will launch next month, coinciding with the implementation of a voluntary filter by both Telstra and Optus

As Telstra and Optus prepare to begin the voluntary blocking child pornography sites based on a blocklist compiled by Interpol, the Internet Industry Association (IIA) has released a detailed framework to underpin the code of practice on child abuse for the industry.

The voluntary code of practice for ISPs in Australia would involve the blocking of child pornography sites, relying on a blocklist compiled and supplied by Interpol, in co-operation with the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Commenting on the code IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos, said a number of major Australian ISPs had confirmed their support for the code of practice.

"We anticipate that we will have ISPs representing between 80-90% of the Australian user base complying with the scheme this year," Coroneos said in a statement.

The scheme will be limited to child abuse sites supplied by Interpol and its criteria include:

  • The children are real. Sites containing only computer generated, morphed, drawn or pseudo images are not included.
  • The ages of the children depicted in sexually exploitative situations are (or appear to be) younger than 13 years.
  • The abuses are considered by Interpol to be severe constituting the "worst of the worst" activities involving children.

According to the organisation, ISPs that block access to sites would be doing so in accordance with a legal request for assistance under Australia's existing Telecommunications Act and no new laws will be required to implement this scheme.

Under the scheme, browsers that attempt to access blocked sites will be directed to an Interpol page explaining why the site has been blocked. Due to the possibility of accidental access to blocked sites, users will not be tracked or reported under the scheme.

The list has been compiled on the basis of manual checks by police, whose experience shows that child sexual abuse material is normally not co-hosted with legal material but instead usually exists on specific domains created for the sole purpose of distributing the files.

Users who believe a page is incorrectly blocked can refer the site to AFP or Interpol for review. The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) role in receiving complaints from Australian users will continue.

Despite acknowledging the code will not eradicate the distribution of child abuse material, the IIA is optimistic it will limit “revictimisation” of children whose images have been circulated on the Web, and hopes it will free police resources for victim and criminal identification and delete the material from the hosting service.

The IIA also hopes to prevent the accidental and unwanted exposure to child abuse materials, the possession of which is a criminal offence in most jurisdictions including Australia, make deliberate access to illegal web based material more difficult, and bring Australian into line with international best practice.

“While we fundamentally maintain the internet is predominantly safe and useful, we acknowledge community and law enforcement concerns about access to illegal materials online, particularly child pornography and so we are taking these practical steps to help make a positive difference.

“We have considered the alternatives and have come to the view that a voluntary industry code by which ISPs agree to block child pornography sites once notified by the police is the best way forward.”

According to Coroneos, the code will align Australia with the likes of Scandinavia and Europe as well as complement work done by individual companies in the area of online child abuse.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet Industry Association (IIA)optusTelstra

More about Australian Federal PoliceFederal PoliceIIAInternet Industry AssociationInterpolOptusTelstra Corporation

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Chloe Herrick

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts