Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

EFA comments on ABA Restricted Access System

------- Forwarded message follows ------- Date sent: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 17:31:30 +1000 From: Irene Graham <> Subject: EFA comments on ABA Restricted Access System To: Send reply to:

EFA's response to the Australian Broadcasting Authority's Consultation Paper on Restricted Access Systems, to be used from 1 Jan 2000 to verify age of persons seeking to access Australian R rated sites, is available at:

Executive Summary:

- The proposals are administratively onerous to the extent that few Australian content hosts would be prepared to incur the costs involved in setting up the relevant systems. It would be far easier to simply set up sites offshore in a country where such regulatory burdens are not imposed.

- The proposals require users to provide personal identifying information that goes far beyond proof of age. This is likely to act as a deterrent even for genuine adults.

- The proposed identification details are easily forged, demonstrating conventional wisdom that effective age-authentication systems are almost impossible to implement on the Internet.

- There are technical flaws in many of the ideas expressed in the Consultation Paper that suggest the authors did not obtain expert advice.

- EFA recommends that the ABA drop this proposal altogether and replace it with guidelines for placing warnings on web sites that may be unsuitable for children.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Irene Graham, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. PGP key on h/page. Burning Issues: <> Secretary, Electronic Frontiers Australia: <> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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