Govt advises on safe web surfing

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Protecting children from offensive online material is among the aims of a federal government website launched today.

The NetAlert website has been redeveloped to focus on protecting Internet uses from potential risks online, according to a statement issued by Daryl Williams, Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts.

NetAlert is an independent body, set up under the government's online content regulatory scheme. It was allocated an extra $2 million for three years in the 2003/4 federal budget.

"NetAlert will, over the next three years, more clearly focus on the protection of children in the online environment and on research into filtering and related technologies," according to the statement.

Information for ISPs and Internet content hosts is also included on the site, such as obligations and responsibilities under the online content co-regulatory scheme.

"The launch of the new NetAlert website will complement a range of measures put in place by the Australian Government to protect users and encourage safe Internet practices," it stated. "These include the complaints mechanism administered by the Australain Broadcasting Authority and the recently launched Net Detectives initiative to educate school children about chat room safety."

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