Government expands mandate of eSafety Commissioner

Julie Inman Grant appointed Children’s eSafety Commissioner

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner will be renamed the Office of the eSafety Commissioner as part of a move by the government to expand its responsibilities.

The government announced today that Julie Inman Grant had been appointed to the role of Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

Inman Grant replaces Alastair MacGibbon, who was appointed to the role of Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on Cyber Security earlier this year. MacGibbon’s appointment formed part of the government’s national cyber security strategy. (Andree Wright has been acting as eSafety Commissioner since his departure.)

Inman Grant is currently head of government relations for Adobe in APAC. Previously she held the role of director of public policy, Australia and South-East Asia, at Twitter.

The government said the office’s expanded remit will see it help tackle the non-consensual sharing of intimate images (‘revenge porn’).

The office will develop a “new online reporting tool which will allow victims to report incidents as well as access immediate and tangible support,” said a statement issued by communications minister Senator Mitch Fifield and minister for women Senator Michaelia Cash.

The government will launch a public consultation on a civil penalties regime that will take aim at people engaged in sharing revenge porn images and websites that host the material.

The government said it is also working with states and territories through COAG “to support a nationally consistent approach to criminal offences relating to the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.”

Last month Labor MP Tim Watts introduced a private member’s bill seeking to explicitly criminalise revenge porn.

The proposed legislation — Criminal Code Amendment (Private Sexual Material) Bill 2016 — would make it a crime to transmit, make available, publish, distribute, advertise or promote “private sexual material” without the consent of the subject of the material (if the person “knows of, or is reckless as to, the subject’s lack of consent”).

The bill would also make it an offence to blackmail an individual by threatening to make such material available.

Earlier this year a federal parliamentary inquiry examined ways of tackling the issue.

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