​Vic to bring child protection laws into the digital age

Victoria’s government has moved to update its child protection laws to keep pace with new technology, particularly social media settings.

The state’s Attorney-General Mark Pakula yesterday introduced new bill into Victoria’s parliament to update more than 50 child protection and sex offence laws.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Pakula said the legislation would stop child abusers from exploiting loopholes in current child protection laws that put offences carried out using digital technology services such as Skype and Snapchat out of their reach.

In particular, the laws would be updated to make it an offence to commit an indecent act with a child regardless of whether the child is physically present or preventing offenders escaping punishment from state prosecutors.

It will also see the introduction of a new offence criminalising distribution of child abuse material when it’s uploaded to file servers, online chat services, and shared on email and social media.

“We’re modernising the offences, we’re taking account of new technology and the way child abuse can occur by way of new technology,” Mr Pakula said in a doorstop interview in Victoria yesterday.

The legislation would also see the term child pornography from current child protection laws in favour of child abuse material to reflect increasing trade in violent and sadistic images of children.

It will also introduce harsher penalties for indecent acts with children under 16.

Mr Pakula introduced the bill into Victoria’s parliament yesterday and its scheduled to be read for a second time today and could pass the lower house as soon as Thursday.

Mr Pakula said he would be surprised if the bill didn’t receive the full support of both houses.

Child protection advocates have warned that the new laws need to be accompanied by school education programs, as children were often the worst offenders when it came to distributing indecent material online.

The overhaul of the laws is part of a wider reform child protection laws that began in 2010 and adds to a tranche of changes that were introduced in 2014.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags digital agechild protectionVicCSO AustraliaMark PakulaVictoria’s government

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Colley

CSO Online
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?