Using a Carriage Service to harass, menace or offend

Cat Dibley made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Communications and Media Authority

Australian Communications and Media Authority did not have the information requested.

From: Cat Dibley

Delivered

Dear Australian Communications and Media Authority,

I hope this finds you very well.

I am writing with interest in the following documents:
- Documents outlining the Telecommunications complaint policy and processes regarding receiving unsolicited material intended to harass, menace or offend
- Summaries of complaints regarding harassment and offensive/menacing material via a carriage service for the last two years (2016 and 2017)
- Documents regarding official complaint process and staff training manual for reports of online harassment, menacing behaviour or deliberate intention to offend. (Not including Spam)
- Incident reports detailing mistakes made by ACMA employees regarding official complaints of harassment / menace / deliberate intention to offend.

If possible, please treat this as an administrative / informal request. Otherwise please proceed with my request as a formal information request under the Act.

Yours faithfully,

Cat Dibley

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From: Freedom of Information
Australian Communications and Media Authority

Dear Cat
 
Thank you for your email.
 
You have enquired about the following documents:
 
-       Documents outlining the Telecommunications complaint policy and
processes regarding receiving unsolicited material intended to harass,
menace or offend
-       Summaries of complaints regarding harassment and
offensive/menacing material via a carriage service for the last two years
(2016 and 2017)
-       Documents regarding official complaint process and staff training
manual for reports of online harassment, menacing behaviour or deliberate
intention to offend. (Not including Spam)
-       Incident reports detailing mistakes made by ACMA employees
regarding official complaints of harassment / menace / deliberate
intention to offend.
 
Given the language used in your email, I understand you to be asking for
information about the criminal offence of ‘using a carriage service to
menace, harass or cause offence’, under section 474.17 the Criminal Code
Act 1995 (Cth). The ACMA does not have any functions or powers directly
related to allegations or complaints about that criminal offence
provision. Accordingly, although it is possible that the ACMA has received
(misdirected) complaints about contraventions of the offence provision,
and there could therefore plausibly be records of such complaints, that
doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing you are after.
 
We understand that the Australian Federal Police would be the primary
contact for complaints about the offence provision. We also note that the
Office of the eSafety Commissioner has functions in relation to certain
types of offensive and illegal content. They also deal with cyber-bullying
issues. Information about their role in such matters can be found at their
website: [1]https://www.esafety.gov.au/.  It may be that your request
could be directed to one or both of those agencies, to the extent their
functions are relevant to your enquiries.
 
The ACMA does deal with complaints on a wide range of issues. In
particular, and of possible relevance to your enquiry, is the ACMA’s role
in in relation to the Handling of Life Threatening and Unwelcome
Communications Code (see:
[2]http://www.commsalliance.com.au/Document.... That Code
deals with ‘unwelcome’ and ‘life threatening’ communications (which
include communications that may constitute an offence under section 474.17
of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)). The Code primarily deals with the
steps that carriers and carriage service providers must take in response
to complaints about unwelcome and life threatening communications.
Accordingly, the ACMA can consider complaints about whether carriers and
carriage service providers have complied with the Code (rather than
complaints about the individuals making the unwanted calls). However, we
don’t understand you to be seeking information about Code complaints.
 
In light of the above, and noting your preference to deal with this as an
informal request if possible, I am not treating your email as a formal FOI
request at this stage. However, if you would like to make a formal request
to the ACMA, please confirm that is your intention by return email. If you
do wish to make a formal request, please also consider whether the scope
of your request can be clarified, having regard to the information above.
We’d be happy to discuss any of the above further.
 
We trust the above information is helpful to you.
 
Sincerely
 
ACMA FOI Coordinators
[3][ACMA request email]
 

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