Australia's Parliament Seeks Input to Decide Porn Access

Dec 7, 2015 4:39 PM PST

MELBOURNE — Australia’s Parliament says it is seeking input on whether access to online adult content is harmful for children.

The Australian Senate has opened an inquiry called “Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet” and seeks to track online consumption of porn by those under 18.

Legislators are hoping to attract public comment to look at the trends and impact of online adult content consumption, what other jurisdictions are doing about mitigating harm and the success of these minimization strategies.

Parliament previously had considered curbing online access through filtering, but the policy was nixed several days before the 2013 federal election.

This year, the government has been focused on enhancing online safety for children with the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner, whose mission is to deal with complaints about offensive and illegal content.

The eSafety office notes that offensive and illegal content could include "footage of real or simulated violence, criminal activity or accidents, promote extreme political or religious views or be sexually explicit and can include illegal images of child sexual abuse".

Submissions on the latest Parliament inquiry over porn close March 10, with the Senate to report its findings by Dec. 1, 2016.

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