New rules for adult mobile phone content?

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The Australian Communications Authority is looking at the possibility of new rules for premium services accessed from mobile phones.

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is looking at the possibility of new rules for premium services accessed from mobile phones.

The rules deal with premium services accessed through SMS, MMS and mobile carrier portals, according to a statement from the ACA. "The proposed rules address community expectations about preventing explicit adult content being accessed on mobile phones and restricting access to other adult content to people who are 18 and over," it stated.

Public meetings are being held during February about the proposed new rules, which Dr Bob Horton, acting chairman at the ACA, described as "a completely new area of regulation".

"We are looking for feedback about proposed measures to restrict access by children to adult content, to prohibit explicit content and to protect children who use chat rooms on their mobile phones from behaviour such as paedophile grooming," Horton said.

"Our intention is to promote a sustainable and responsible market for premium services accessed by mobiles, and a safe environment for the use of mobile phones," he said. "If inappropriate material is found to be accessible through mobile phones, the rules give the ACA the ability to have it removed quickly."

Horton said that it also wanted to make sure consumers were informed about the costs of premium services, and how they could unsubscribe to services they no longer wanted.

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