Petitioning Hon Members of the House of Representatives

Protecting Children and Women Online

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The Hon Tony Smith MP Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Senator the Hon. Stephen Parry, President of the Senate
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Member for Warringah,
Hon Members of the House of Representatives
Hon Members of the Senate

Whilst being an amazing tool to enable people to connect, learn from each other and share experiences and ideas, Social Media has also become a platform utilised by some to wreak harm and injury on others.

Australians are continuously seeing stories in the media about our society's inability to deal with and stop;
- Bullies and Trolls tormenting our children and individuals online,
- Sex Predators/Paedophiles using Social Media to target our children,
- Revenge Porn postings to humiliate and destroy reputations,
- Stalkers and Rapists using Social Media to identify and target their victims, and
- Racists/Haters posting their hate online.

Far more common are the stories are about the victims of these problems and the inability for the perpetrators to be identified.

Laws are passed imposing tougher punishments for those few that are caught but as yet little is being done in terms of prevention except telling people to be careful.

Angels Hope proposes a simple, cost-free preventative solution called the Cyber Initiative that will make identifying and catching these people easy and immediate as well as providing a real preventative measure to deter people from engaging in these behaviours.

The Initiative calls for all users of Social Media apps and websites register a phone number with their accounts, making account owners identifiable if needed.

All phones in Australia required to be linked to a physical address (landlines), have proof of identity (mobile phones) or linked to a credit card (online phones).  The Cyber Initiative simply makes use of the current rules and laws around obtaining a phone to create safety online by having Social Media accounts tracked back to the owner.

The Cyber Initiative can help to prevent any more people becoming another Jessica Clelland, Amanda Todd, Olivia Penpraze or Carly Ryan.

The Cyber Initiative is proposed with four key elements.

Phone Number Verification
A two-step verification process is required which means a person enters their phone number and the Social Media company sends a code to the number provided which the account owner enters to verify.

Annual Verification
Angels Hope proposes that verification is undertaken once a year.

Privacy
To protect people's privacy, Angels Hope proposes for Social Media providers to be forbidden to sell data or market to a phone number without the account owners manual opt-in consent.  Consent cannot be a requirement of verification.

Access
To further protect people's privacy, Angels Hope proposes that access to a phone number can only occur by way of a Court issued Subpoena or Statutory Authority Demand (such as the Anti-Discrimination Board or the Fair Work Commission).

The Cyber Initiative makes use of existing requirements and legislation already in effect, making implementation cost free to the Government and the Taxpayer.

The Cyber Initiative makes use of registration elements already existing on Social Media Platforms - all Social Media companies already have a field for a phone number - making the only cost to the companies (outside of verification messaging) being that of changing the Phone Number field from option to mandatory.

The Angels Hope Cyber Initiative would be a world first in creating real protection for users of Social Media and for the first time true accountability of those that misuse Social Media for criminal purposes.

Respectfully


Reuben Cunningham, Co-Founder
Alex Jordan, CEO
Angels Hope Australia

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