Tuesday, 11 February 2020
That the Senate—
(a) notes that 11 February 2019 is Safer Internet Day, a worldwide event that raises awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet;
(b) expresses concern that online dating sites provide a 'fertile landscape' for predators including cases where:
(i) paedophiles are using dating sites to find single women with children,
(ii) adolescent girls and boys are using dating sites and being targeted by paedophiles, and
(iii) women are being sexually assaulted by known sex offenders;
(c) acknowledges that sexual assault victims and their advocates are calling for better coordination between law enforcement and tech companies to stop sexual predators repeatedly using dating sites to lure victims;
(d) further notes that, in the United States, a congressional investigation is underway by the subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the Committee on Oversight and Reform into how the major dating site companies have allegedly allowed sex offenders to use their services; and
(e) calls on the Federal Government to engage with online dating sites, as a matter of urgency, to develop memorandums of understanding to facilitate easier access and information sharing between law enforcement agencies and dating sites.
Consultations are currently underway on the government's proposal for a new online safety act, which will increase expectations on digital platforms to keep their users safe online. It would not be prudent to pre-empt the outcome of these consultations. The government is committed to protecting children from online child sexual abuse. That's why we have invested $70 million to establish the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation. The centre brings together capabilities from across the public and private sectors as well as civil society to drive a collaborative national response to countering online child exploitation.
Question agreed to.