The Australian Online Content Scheme is designed to protect consumers, particularly children, from exposure to inappropriate or harmful material. It regulates illegal and offensive online content under Schedule 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 through a complaints-based mechanism.
The Scheme applies to content accessed through the internet, mobile phones and convergent devices, and applies to content delivered through emerging content services such as subscription-based internet portals, chat rooms, live audio-visual streaming, and link services.
Where content is hosted in Australia and is found by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to be prohibited, the ACMA has the authority to direct the relevant content service provider to remove the content from their service. Where content is not hosted in Australia and is prohibited, the ACMA will notify the content to the suppliers of approved filters, so that access to the content using such filters is blocked.