The Australian communications minister Helen Coonan plans to introduce to parliament legislation to extend the current safeguards that apply to content delivered over the internet or television to content delivered over convergent devices such as mobile phones.

This will include prohibition of content rated X18+ and above, as well as requirements for consumer advice and age-restrictions on access to content suited only to adults. This has impact across the board as for most people the internet is seen to be ‘open’ and attempts to block porn are like trying to plug holes in a leaking dam. Operators have also argued they should be treated like ISP’s and can’t be held responsible for what customers do with their phones

In the end Voluntary Content Regulations were introduced by many markets in the last couple of years to protect children in chat rooms, block adult content and restrict betting. Famously, some operators shutdown their mobile chatrooms to prevent any breaches.

Content filtering and controls vary country to country, In the UK, there is a voluntary MOU between the operators on how to promote content on their WAP portals as well as what type of controls are needed. Some Asian operators have banned all or any 3G services due to the perception that its only about games, girls and gambling. Like many things on the internet unless you have a closed-garden portal people are going to try to find the stuff they really want!


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Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.