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Censorship Entertainment Games Your Rights Online

Australian Web Filter To Censor Downloaded Games 200

Posted by timothy
from the we've-already-got-these-cool-filters-in-place dept.
Xiroth writes "The Australian Federal Communications Ministry has confirmed that they intend to use the planned filter to block the download of games that have been refused by Australia's classification authority, the OFLC. As an Electronic Frontiers Australia spokesman noted, 'This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping.'"
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Australian Web Filter To Censor Downloaded Games

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  • Refused? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roger_that (24034) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:08PM (#28470323)

    Who decides what games even get looked at for classification? What if they just haven't gotten to the game you want yet? Is there a backlog of games to classify? So many 'gotchas', so little logic/common sense/ways to appeal. My heart goes out to you Australian gamers.

  • by DnemoniX (31461) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:12PM (#28470363)

    I will say this slowly for you politicians. The Internet sees censorship as damage, it will route around you.

  • Ban games? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:12PM (#28470365) Journal

    I guess that means no more updates for BZflag and Tux Racer.

  • Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by parlancex (1322105) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:12PM (#28470367)
    It's genuinely disappointing to see happening in other free countries because I guarantee one of the first arguments that will be made for implementing a similar scheme in Canada will start with "This system is already in place in many other countries such as Australia, etc.", then again I suppose it's equally disappointing that our country is so easily influenced by some of the precedents set by US et al.
  • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:14PM (#28470401)

    It's just a file so it could be *gasp* encrypted and bypass said filter

    If any legitimate services do this, they'll be banned. This is a lose for game companies, honest consumers and the government (who loses out on tax revenue). Once again, this dosn't effect the pirates in the slightest, although (for once) this doesn't target them. Is it any wonder that piracy is so widespread?

  • The door is open (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anarchduke (1551707) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:23PM (#28470511)
    The sad truth in all this is that once you say that it is all right to censor anything, you have already lost the war. Now each item that the Australian government (not the public, but those in control) finds objectionable will come under review and may be censored. This is the slippery slope we all scream about until we are hoarse.

    Each step down this path will have the same excuse, "It's for the children".

    I wonder how long it will be until the Australian government censors news articles for the "fear effect" such uncensored information might have on the children.

    I will say it again, once you accept that censorship is acceptable, then it is only a matter of how much will be censored.
  • Re:Refused? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dk90406 (797452) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:25PM (#28470543)
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but it was my impression that Australia is more scared of violence and drugs than tits. Titofobia seems to be patented by USA.

    But it still puzzles me that the AU people, which I've always considered as easygoing and enlightened, accept this level of government "protectionism".

  • by paazin (719486) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:25PM (#28470555)

    I doubt they read Slashdot. But what about emailing, snailmail, or call them?

    Pretty much what I was thinking.

    Really, it's probably best to write a letter to your local paper (assuming you live in Australia) - that's a rather good forum for such topics that really hasn't found a truly similar foothold on the Internet yet contrary to those spelling out the doom of newspapers like many here.

  • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:28PM (#28470609)

    That's when you go back to the old Mom question of "If all the other countries were jumping off a bridge, would you jump too?"

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:47PM (#28470831)

    The Internet sees censorship as damage, it will route around you.

    The internet for some users yes. But not for everyone and not for every game. Is this scheme going to be applied to Xbox live for example? Because I can tell you from personal experience that XBLA sees any censorship and damage (and, well, normal functions if I'm being honest) as a signal to give up completely. And commit console suicide probably as well.

    Some slashdotters will scoff at those people sure, but I trust a lot of you recognize that not being very computer literate and using consoles shouldn't mean the government should get to tell you what videogames you can and can't play in your freetime.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:48PM (#28470857)

    I will say this slowly for you politicians. The Internet sees censorship as damage, it will route around you.

    There's nothing very unique about the Internet in this regard.

    Anything that the population might want: internet packets, illegal drugs, tax-free cigarettes, Bibles, Prohibition-era gin, unlicensed DVDs, etc. will get routed around the government's attempts to block it.

    Maybe all that really changes is how many people get hurt in the process.

  • by kalirion (728907) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @04:03PM (#28471115)

    Why do all these closet homosexuals get into politics?

    Huh?

    Closet homosexuals are all for tits. They'd live in houses made of tits if they could, to advertise to the world how manly they are, in between gaybashing those homosexuals who are actually secure in their sexuality.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @04:04PM (#28471147)

    Lunix is the crappiest OS since the days of Dos 6.2

    Little Johnny: Mommy! Mommy! Can I feed the troll? Pleassssse???

    Mom: No dear, he'd just keep on coming back for more. Come on, sweetheart, get into the car.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 25, 2009 @04:16PM (#28471381)

    Seeing as the Encrypted channel could be connecting on any port to any computer on the internet, how will they know it a game update download they are blocking?

    If it is encrypted, it will not bypass the filter. It will be blocked, because it is encrypted. The innocent have nothing to hide, the innocent have nothing to fear. Are you innocent? Only criminals use encryption. Trust the government.

    So they can block games they know about, how are they going to provent the access of proxies, vpns, and every other kind of tunnel out there.

    If it is encrypted, it will not bypass the filter. It will be blocked, because it is encrypted. The innocent have nothing to hide, the innocent have nothing to fear. Are you innocent? Only criminals use encryption. Trust the government.

    For services like steam how are they going know a bad game is being downloaded not a good one?

    If it is encrypted, it will not bypass the filter. It will be blocked, because it is encrypted. The innocent have nothing to hide, the innocent have nothing to fear. Are you innocent? Only criminals use encryption. Trust the government.

    I really wish politicians would atleast try to understand how things work, the internet is a network of peers not servers and restricted clients, and not every things is http!

    If it is encrypted, it will not bypass the filter. It will be blocked, because it is encrypted. The innocent have nothing to hide, the innocent have nothing to fear. Are you innocent? Only criminals use encryption. Trust the government. What part of this are you not understanding, citizen?

  • Re:Precedent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by steelfood (895457) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @04:17PM (#28471395)

    It's a perfectly legitimate excuse if your ultimate goal is to commit suicide.

  • No Route Possible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak@@@eircom...net> on Thursday June 25, 2009 @04:28PM (#28471597) Homepage Journal

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Repeating this mantra is not going to make the growing censorship of the internet go away. back in the days when the internet was solely the province of the technically minded, this may have been true. But in the days of a global, universal internet, this mantra is slowly but surely becoming hollow.

    Governments of the world are not, NOT, going to put up with a medium in which anyone whatsoever can read or publish anything they wish, at any time, on a global scale, without any government control. More importantly, the public is not going to put up with it. This simply isn't the way human societies work. People want censorship.

    If you doubt this, poll your friends and neighbors. Ask the plain question; "Do you think their should be government supervision of the internet?". The overwhelming majority of people will answer, "Yes". And they will not mean supervision over "extreme" material like child pornography and snuff sites. They will mean supervision over anorexia boards, neo-nazi sites, "obscene materials", fringe persons and political groups, atheists/creationists, and in general censorship of anyone that they do not like.

    This increasing government interest in internet censorship is not coming out of nowhere. It's a natural progression of the general will of human society; to repress views they disagree with. If you can find enough people who dislike a thing, you can get it banned. That's what's happening to the internet, and that's why its getting so much support.

    In the future, the current internet era (or more appropriately the one ten years ago), will be looked back on as we now look back on the late nineteenth century drug era, in which cocaine, cannabis and even heroin could be bought, sold and taken quite legally. People had rights to drugs in those days, but, slowly but surely, disapproval of those liberties lead to their restriction. The same thing is going to happen to the internet.

    Eventually, you will need a license to publish material on the web, or at least to host a site, and all sites will be fully regulated by vast, probably international, government offices created for the purpose. This is coming and there is going to be no way to route around such a mortal wound to the free web.

  • Re:Precedent (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 25, 2009 @04:32PM (#28471679)

    "If all the other countries were jumping off a bridge, would you jump too?"

    They do already, sort of. Look at the DMCA, an idiotic US law that other countries are falling over themselves to implement in a similar vein. It's an anti-consumer law, but who cares about that, it gives media cartels power, and that's more important.

  • by JockTroll (996521) on Friday June 26, 2009 @06:22AM (#28479685)

    Loserboy nerd, if you think like this you deserve the title of loserboy because you have a loserboy mindset and deserve to be beaten up.

    Proposing underground alternatives is not the answer: it's like saying "who cares if there's tyranny on the surface, we can hide in sewers". While this may be feasible in wartime for a limited period, it's absolutely not viable in the long time. If you leave any ground, any time of day to the enemy, he will take it and use it against you until there's nowhere to go.

    Sneakernet? Yeah, right. They'll make random searches a daily occurrence, to catch the pedo-terro-anarchist. Wifi net? Couple of radiowave detectors and they'll start busting down doors until fear will make everybody turn their transceivers off.

    Keep this in mind: those who want freedom must fight an enemy that can make even breathing illegal. This enemy lies without us (government parties and economic lobbies) and within us (special interest groups). Both sides must be taken down.

    Anything else is just painting your prison bars gold.

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