We work with law enforcement partners and international collaborative partners to remove and restrict access to illegal and restricted content wherever it is hosted.
The actions we can take vary depending on the type of content and where it is located.
Child sexual exploitation material
We take action to remove online child sexual abuse material that is hosted in Australia and overseas.
Material hosted in Australia
We notify the relevant Australian police about child sexual abuse material and, once we are certain that their investigation will not be compromised, we issue a takedown notice directing the hosting provider to remove the content.
Any hosting provider that does not comply with a takedown notice issued by the eSafety Commissioner faces serious penalties.
Material hosted overseas
eSafety is the Australian member of the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), which allows for the referral of child sexual exploitation material between network members to relevant law enforcement agencies for rapid removal in the country where it is hosted.
In the small number of cases where child sexual abuse material is hosted in a non-INHOPE member country, we inform the Australian Federal Police.
For more information, read detailed guidance about the Online Content Scheme eSafety operates.
Abhorrent violent conduct material
The Online Safety Act includes a number of powers which allow eSafety to request or require an internet service provider to block material that promotes, incites, instructs in or depicts abhorrent violent conduct.
These powers protect the Australian community by seeking to prevent the viral, rapid and widespread distribution online of terrorist and extreme violent material, such as the video created by the perpetrator of the March 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack.
It is intended that eSafety can issue blocking requests or blocking notices in situations where an online crisis event has been declared by eSafety.
Any blocking direction made under the Act would only be in place for a limited time, to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Following the initial blocking period, eSafety can take further action to address the relevant material, in consultation with the ISPs and affected websites.
For more information, read detailed guidance about the Abhorrent Violent Conduct Powers regulated by eSafety.
Restricted Access System
The Online Safety Act requires that eSafety has a Restricted Access System Declaration in place at all times. This is intended to limit the exposure of children and young people under 18 to pornography and other age-inappropriate online content.
A Restricted Access System (RAS) covers the kind of material that has been or is likely to be classified R18+ or Category 1 Restricted (‘Restricted Material’) under the National Classification Code.
- realistically simulated sexual activity between adults
- high impact nudity
- high impact violence
- high impact drug use
- high impact language.
Services that will be obligated to meet the requirements of the RAS will include social media services, designated internet services and relevant electronic services that are providing access to material from Australia.
It will also apply to Australian hosting service providers, who will be required either to stop hosting the material or take reasonable steps to ensure access to Restricted Material is limited to adults.
Learn more about the development of the Restricted Access System Declaration 2022 and explanatory statement.