ACA rules target adult mobile content

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The Australian Communications Authority has issued rules prohibiting phone companies from supplying content that is rated x18+ or has been refused classification.

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has issued rules prohibiting phone companies from supplying content that is rated x18+ or has been refused classification.

The rules, released by the ACA this week, are designed to protect consumers who use mobile premium services.

Dr Bob Horton, acting chairman at the ACA, said the new rules would cover SMS and MMS services accessed through ‘19’ numbers, and also premium services available through mobile carrier portals.

Content which is rated x18+ or refused classification cannot be supplied, according to a statement from the ACA.

SMS or MMS services delivering MA15+ or R18+ content would have to use numbers starting with ‘195’ and ‘196’, to make it recognisable to users.

There are also procedures, as part of the new rules, which are designed to prevent minors from accessing the age-restricted content.

Horton said an independent body would also be set up under the scheme for complaints that "consumers have not been able to resolve with their phone company or the provider of the content”.

Sports scores, audio and video music clips and sports highlights, mobile ring tones, mobile wallpaper, games and other downloads, age-restricted content and chat rooms were cited by the ACA as examples of mobile premium services.

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