Aust Govt Adds Video Games To Proposed Web Filter

stephen-conroy-mugshotThe Australian Federal Government has revealed plans to extend its internet filter plan to include computer and video games.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the proposed legislation will "block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds."

This potentially includes:

* a local or overseas website selling a game that has been refused classification locally, meaning for example that a website selling the previously banned Silent Hill: Homecoming may have found itself blocked

* browser-based or downloadable games and any website hosting such games that contain content that would be refused classification

* massively multiplayer games also containing content that would be refused classification

A spokesperson from the office of Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications, told the SMH that the filter would cover "computer games such as web-based flash games and downloadable games, if a complaint is received and the content is determined by ACMA to be Refused Classification."

Quite how this system will work when it's based on "complaints", we're not sure.

In determining whether any online content might be refused classification, the ACMA would refer to the Classification Act, which states that MA15+ is the highest category before content is refused classification.

But where does this leave MMOs and other online games that, at present, are not required to be classified by the Classification Board?

Speaking to Kotaku, Ron Curry, head of the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, said of the proposal:

"No filter is or can be 100% successful in stopping access to online digital content as the methods for disseminating digital content are constantly evolving. If parents hold a solid belief that ISP level filtering removes the possibility of accessing inappropriate content, there is a real and significant risk they will not undertake appropriate supervision and education of the online conduct of minors.

"This proposal simply provides another example of the gap in the current legislation. Hopefully this will provide concerned adults with another reason to take the time and effort to reply to the Government’s upcoming discussion paper on the R18+ Classification issue."

The government's internet filter is currently under trial with a number of ISPs. The policy has not yet been introduced.

Web filters to censor video games [SMH]



      You have got to be f$&#ing kidding me.

      So, essentially EVERY online retailer will be banned because they allow us to import games that have been refused classification?

      Every Flash portal will be blocked because they may have R18+ content?

      This is utterly ridiculous.

    Just when I thought this whole filter fiasco couldn't get any more ridiculous!

    When Will the Madness End... Does this mean they will also Ban Websites that review Games that are refused Classification here so we never find out they exist, because "You can not miss something you have never heard of" can you

    aaaaand the farce continues. Someone buy this man a ute already...

      Ha! Nicely said!
      While we're at it, can somebody buy Michael Atkinson one as well?

    political suicide

    Haven't they woken up yet?

    This plan is not in any way feasible. The more they talk about it the more it appears as blatant censorship.

    In conclusion conroy and his bunch of clowns please GTFO.

    You said it... i hate this bullshit.

    internet filtering is an awful idea. fullstop

    I second that opinion

    Words fail me... How out of touch are these people?

    Can someone hurry up and put a leash on these people already? This is not bloody North Korea.

      no shit!! did krudd turn us into a communist country? i could understand and would fully support if they wanted to block kiddy pron and extremist websites but this is just getting out of control! how the hell can these morons justify censoring what seems like half the internet? i gotta say, if liberal were to come out and say they would can this BS for good at the next election i would probably consider finally registering to vote! (i'm 31 and have never voted)

    its not like its going to succeed anyway(the whole thing i mean).

    however in this new policy, at the very least i would think federal law being applied to block fair trading for web based vendors would be against our trade practices within Australia or at the very least our free trade agreements with countries like USA.

    Steven Conroy just keeps digging a hole though. freedom of speech groups will certainly be on him over a censorship policy that is getting increasingly further away from its original intent. blocking ILLEGAL sites and moving to a far more dangerous policy of blocking undesirable sites as well.

    wow... this is not good; So there are going to try and ban ebay for selling R18+ games hey

      Now there's a thought... We lodge a complaint about refused classification games being able to be bought on Ebay, the ACMA adds Ebay to their filter and we sit back to see how long it takes for our mate Steve to be out on his ear.

    Utterly ridiculous. Stephen Conroy is the worst thing the happen to the Australian Parliament. Ever.

    So essentially every online retailer will be blocked.

    democracy means freedom! (unless we dont like what you see)

    they do I move, simple as that. At least in yankeeland I'll get some decent internet speeds

      No kidding right - at least in other countries the internets quick enough to deal with the fact that 'Uh no - this is illegal - FAIL!' .. here - hell good luck to anyone ever wanting to expect half decent internet usage again..

      Is it wrong to want to shoot him? :P

      You don't need to move you just gotta not vote for Labor next year. This thing is the ALP's baby, take them out of government we take out the filter.

      Liberals have always been against this, this issue first came about way back 2004. They were against it in government and they have been in opposition.

    It's things like this that have resulted in me becoming so irritated with politics that I plan to just vote for the sex party next election.

    Not really going to do them much good, if they invest all the millions of dollars into this it's just going to be circumvented anyway. I don't really understand what the government is trying to gain from all the censorship, they claim it's to protect children... But there isn't much difference between a MA15+ game & a potential R18+ game, if the parent/s let the child see the content the harm is already prevalent. A better course of action would be TV/print ads informing parents of the content available in games & online, and putting the onus back on them. It's up to the parents to protect their children from contemporary media!

    Let him know how you feel, people: [email protected]
    Of course, I get the impression he already knows and doesn't care. He'll just put his hands over his ears, go "la la la" and continue to think about the children.

    *slaps head*
    I just figured it out. The guys like Andrew Bolt - he's just attempting to cause controversy to build publicity. Who knows if he even believes this stuff.

    It's a monster we can't fight people.

    I hope this backfires. Think about it like this. If the liberal party had any common sense, they would take the focus off filtering, and focus their resources on painting the labor party as anti-gamer.

    I'm a gamer, and I like to buy stuff from overseas websites. Therefore, I will not vote labor.

    This is hilarious, it will never pass.
    How will they filter eBay?

    Wonder if it's the same complaint based system they use for adverts?

    Because that's going to work great.

    Some kids on his mobile to one of his mates saying how he totally killed this dude on couterstrike, his grandma overhears and rings a toll free number... it's going to be just great.

    "..if a complaint is received.."
    It's whatever they want.

    They going to block ebay too?
    Maybe I'll jump on it now and grab a copy of postal :|

    Oh come on... really? How about we create a seperate internet to the rest of the world! No traffic in or out! would solve this mess once and for all.


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