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South Australian Attorney-General John Rau said it
was not dumb to give parents assistance to protect and supervise
their small children in an environment that was largely unregulated and
While signing up to Facebook community currently requires users to be
aged at least 13, there is no requirement to provide proof of age.
An options law to be considered by the attorneys-general would consider
the merits of raising the age limit and also requiring proof.
'There would need to be some process of genuine verification where age
would be required for people to become a member of Facebook in
'That may be the simplest way to deal with the problem after all.'
Mr Rau said changing the rules on access to Facebook might require the
rigid cooperation of the operators in Australia and would need to be an
issue taken up by the federal government using its communications
'Age verification is something that various platforms deal with and I
can't see why it should be so much beyond the wit of Facebook to do the
same thing, if that was the solution people wanted,' he said.
'I think all young people need to understand that just because they are
operating in the virtual world, that is on the internet, it does not
mean that there should not be boundaries or rules or standards of
Mr Rau would also consider other issues including the impact of
Facebook and other social networking sites on court cases, like the
potential to impact on suppression or other non-disclosure orders.
It would also consider recent High Court decisions which ruled some
aspects of state-based and even anti-bikie laws unconstitutional.