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Australia’s eSafety and the uphill battle of regulating the ever-changing online realm

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner is set to receive sweeping new powers like the ability to order the removal of material that seriously harms adults, with the looming passage of the Online Safety Act .

Tech firms, as well as experts and civil liberties groups, have taken issue with the Act, such as with its rushed nature , the harm it can cause to the adult industry, and the overbearing powers it affords to eSafety, as some examples. Current eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant has even previously admitted that details of how the measures legislated in the Online Safety Bill 2021 would be overseen are still being worked out .

The Bill contains six priority areas, including an adult cyber abuse scheme to remove material that seriously harms adults; an image-based abuse scheme to remove intimate images that have been shared without consent; Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) for the eSafety Commissioner to hold services accountable; and an online content scheme for the removal of “harmful” material through take-down powers.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security as part of its inquiry into extremist movements and radicalism in Australia, Inman Grant said while the threshold is quite high in the new […]

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