A new law could see more companies take a harder line on online harassment, with new regulations expected to come into effect in a few weeks time.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published its draft online harassment legislation, which will make it easier for businesses to respond to cyber-attacks and identify people who may be responsible for them.
It comes amid a renewed push for the internet to move away from the “bogus threat model” that is being promoted by the Government.
The legislation will also make it mandatory for businesses in Australia to post a notice to their websites about online harassment and cyber-bullying.
The online harassment bill is a reaction to the recent trend of companies moving away from a “bust and skip” approach in which they remove content from websites and social media accounts if it’s deemed to be “inciting”.
The move has prompted concern among some in the industry that companies are increasingly relying on online threats to stay ahead of the backlash.
But some developers and business leaders have welcomed the new bill, with the Australian Software Development Association saying it’s an important step towards making the internet a safer place for everyone.
“We are extremely pleased to see the new Australian Government’s approach to online harassment taking the lead in this direction,” the group said in a statement.
“It is good to see businesses step up to the plate and respond to the growing wave of threats and harassment.
The ASDA supports the Australian Government and believes that businesses should not be forced to take on the risk of facing threats from individuals and entities who do not have the capacity to control their behaviour.
While it is encouraging to see ASDA support the government’s approach, we are also concerned about the potential impact of the new law on our businesses.”
Under the new legislation, businesses will be required to provide a statement on their websites and on social media that they will take appropriate action if they see a threat.
The ASMA said the statement should be made by an employee, an adviser, a third party or a third-party contractor.
However, the company could opt to post the statement online in a form that a third parties is not required to use, such as a QR code.
If the person or entity has breached the code, the business will be liable to be prosecuted.
What is online harassment?
“Online harassment” refers to a range of online activities including threats of physical violence, threatening a person’s safety, bullying and harassment, and sending personal information such as email addresses, postal addresses and credit card numbers.
The term “online harassment” is used to describe behaviour that occurs online, including threats, harassment and bullying.
Online harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of online bullying in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In a report released last year, the ABS said more than 1,300 businesses were targeted by online harassment in 2016, with about 1,400 businesses reporting that they had experienced online harassment at least once.
The survey also found that about 70 per cent of Australian businesses had received a threat of physical harm from someone who used their name, email address, phone number or social media handle online.
The most common type of online abuse is “personal harassment”, which includes comments about the person’s appearance, sexual behaviour, sexual acts, or other offensive behaviour.
Online abuse also affects children, who are often targeted for inappropriate comments or comments about their appearance.
While the majority of online threats and harassments involve people who do online things like post on social networking sites or search for information online, they can also be directed at people who are online for the purposes of harassment, bullying or harassment.
The Federal Government announced last month that it will set up a national online harassment hotline for victims of cyber-incidents.
It will be run by the Federal Government’s Department for Women and the Family Services.
Topics:women,business-economics-and-finance,consumer-protection,online-harassment,law-crime-and,government-and-“parties”,government-organisations,technology,internet-technology,technology-and/or-communications,internetculture,internet,united-statesFirst posted March 05, 2021 19:13:48Contact Jacqui Coughlan