Australian Feds Worry New Broadband Network Will Allow Porn, Sexting

Aug 2, 2013 10:45 AM PST

NORTHERN TERRITORY, Australia — Australia’s Federal Police are worried that a new National Broadband Network (NBN) will hamper their efforts to restrict porn and would create a sexting craze among minors in the Northern Territory.

Policing of adult material in the region was introduced as part of the commonwealth intervention in remote indigenous communities that previously had no Internet access.

But the cops made it clear at a joint parliamentary inquiry into the issue that now, the new NBN would foster sexting by area minors because of the "ability to download, or upload" porn.

They told the inquiry that reports of teen sexting is on the rise despite the justice system’s focus  on diversion and education rather than prosecuting crimes "unless the behavior is deemed as exceedingly predatory or malicious — such as in instances of 'sextortion.’”

Broadcasting and transportation of porn to certain communities is currently restricted at the request of the community.

"Throughout these remote communities and locations, the sharing of child-abuse material is restricted through Bluetooth technology, with extremely short radius to the originating device," the police said.

"However, once the NBN is rolled out and community members become aware of the procedures to share information, there will be nothing to prevent sexting images taken of minors to be shared across any Internet or telecommunication device."

Parliament is due to report on the options for addressing the issue of sexting by minors at the end of August. The attorney general's department introduced reforms to parliament in 2010 to deal with trends in the use of technology to commit crimes, according to The Australian.

In addition, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has told the inquiry that it is working with the attorney general to develop a new Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), to report cyber crimes and deliver them to law enforcement and government agencies.

The ACORN project is slated to start in 2014 and will allow citizens to report sexting and cyber bullying incidents online, the department said.

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