South Africa’s Film and Publications Board (FPB), the organisation responsible for classifying films and media content, has had it’s latest Amendment Bill approved by SA’s Cabinet yesterday.
For consumers of media, the Amendment Bill is different to the FPB’s updated Online Regulations Policy, but the accepted Amendment Bill could spell more trouble for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) if they don’t comply.
The Online Regulations Policy, which is still in draft form, essentially wants to censor the internet and regulate (and classify) everything that gets published, uploaded or created by anybody. It has been met with fierce resistance, and still needs to go through a number of steps before being law.
The Amendment Bill on the other hand, aims to compel ISPs to protect users (and especially children) against online content to the point where ISPs could face losing their licences if they don’t comply.
“The Bill strengthens the duties imposed on mobile networks and Internet service providers to protect the public and children during usage of their services. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) will not issue licences or renewals without confirmation from the Film and Publication Board of full compliance with its legislation,” Cabinet said in a media statement.
Cabinet added that the Amendment Bill better incorporates technology available today.
“The amendments provide for technological advances, especially online and social-media platforms, in order to protect children from being exposed to disturbing and harmful media content in all platforms (physical and online).”
[Image – CC by 2.0/Adriana Castro]