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Censorship Your Rights Online

AU Classification Board To Censor Mobile Apps 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-got-a-ban-for-that dept.
bennyboy64 writes "The Australian Classification Board is seeking to censor mobile phone applications under its National Classification Scheme. 'I recently wrote to the minister [Minister McDonald] regarding my concern that some so-called mobile phone applications, which can be purchased online or either downloaded to mobile phones or played online via mobile phone access, are not being submitted to the board for classification,' Australia's Classification Board director Donald McDonald told a Senate Estimates committee. I wonder if they know that there are over 80,000 applications on the iPhone platform alone?"
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AU Classification Board To Censor Mobile Apps

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  • Go censorship! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cbope (130292) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:33AM (#29833063)

    Just think, it will likely take them YEARS just to catch up with all the iPhone mobile apps. The best thing we can hope for is their heads will implode from all the "reviewing".

    Just when I thought the nanny state of the UK could not be topped...

  • Re:Go censorship! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slacker22 (1614751) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:36AM (#29833085)
    I'd hazard that the only things to be censored will be a few isolated but popular (newsworthy) apps which have the potential to be politically embarrassing.
  • Re:Go censorship! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hasney (980180) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:36AM (#29833091) Journal
    Australia have got so hot on censoring everything these days they're more of a great grandma state at this point.

    With all the digital distribution options as well, I don't think they really know how easy it is to bypass regional restrictions on places like app stores.
  • Wasted sarcasm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asliarun (636603) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:39AM (#29833101)

    I think they're heading in the right direction. They should also review and classify all websites on the internet as they can be downloaded to mobile phones as well. Shockingly, these so-called internet applications can even be downloaded to computers in even higher resolution. I wonder if they know that there are much more than 80,000 internet applications on just the world wide web alone. On top of this, they get regularly updated! Should keep a committee busy for a while, I think.

  • Re:Go censorship! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:41AM (#29833111)

    There may well be 80,000+ apps for the iPhone and a rapidly expanding number of apps on Android, WinMobile, WebOS, Meamo and Symbian but surely that is the point. This is about a quango seeking to expand its influence as it sees the content matter that it originally was set up to certify becoming increasingly less relevant in the exploding world of multimedia, always on (and available) platforms and distribution channels. It is a pure matter of self interest and survival.

  • like hell it isn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by serps (517783) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:42AM (#29833123) Homepage

    This is not censorship: this is rating, like done with movies and so already.

    Yes, but anything that is refused classification is unable to be sold. That's what censorship is. It's ironic that the predecessor to the OFLC was the Film Censorship Board, yet anything they didn't review was available to sell. i.e. they didn't censor.

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:43AM (#29833141)
    According to TFA (which I actually read before commenting, yes unbelievable) this is about computer games. AU already rates console games and movies, they want to extend to online games and with that mobile phone games. Rating functional apps is of course nonsensical.
  • Re:Help! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Skythe (921438) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:46AM (#29833153)
    Ridiculous.
    Do they really expect to be able to review all 80,000 + iPhone apps, 10,000+ Android apps, and everything else in every other app store? What are they going to do, attempt to pull every app until each one is reviewed? This sounds like some 60 year old executive finally upgraded his aging Nokia to an iPhone and thought it a good idea.
    These apps are digital downloads from (generally) overseas sources, I'm sure there are plenty of programs you can download from the vastness that is the internet that contains content that people would object to. Do they review them? No.
    And I know not of Stephen Conroy's involvement in this, but he's already under enough fire from the proposed Internet Filtering Scheme. Give it a rest!
  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @05:54AM (#29833185)

    "The Australian Classification Board has written to Government expressing concerns that mobile phone applications are being made available in Australia without being subject to a ratings process."

    Government: magically transforming self-righteous assholes into civil servants.

  • by BorgDrone (64343) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @06:17AM (#29833267) Homepage

    Rating functional apps is of course nonsensical.

    What is the difference between a 'functional' application and a game ? A game is just as functional as any other app: it's function is to entertain.

    Also, non-game applications can also contain 17+ content, the appstore contains some erotic applications that aren't games, shouldn't they be rated ? Where do you draw the line ?

  • by countach (534280) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @06:17AM (#29833269)

    I actually listened to some of the senate committees [aph.gov.au] this week on censorship. Boy does this government LOVE censorship. You should hear the self-righteous prattle they were going on with. The ridiculous thing of course is they are trying to stick their fingers in the dyke while the whole thing is coming down around them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @06:29AM (#29833315)

    I agree with this, assuming it's something which requires either money or extensive effort from devs.

    Even if that was the case, it isn't the end for the developers - I'd say most Australian developers currently have the US/other countries as their main market, but it will definitely impact their ability to make sales based on local presence.

    However, it would be very bad for the consumers as most developers from around the world will just say meh and not publish here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:00AM (#29833463)
    Or in slashdot terms: the OFLC operates a whitelist, while the Film Censorship Board operated a blacklist. Give me a blacklist any day. The OFLC is irrelevant anyway. There's no way they can keep up with the volume of material, and even if they could there is no way the police can monitor every distribution channel. Consequently the OFLC can safely be ignored. Just don't get caught.
  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:01AM (#29833719)
    I also worry that this sort of shit makes it easier for people to commit real crimes, as I feel that many would fear taking the initial step onto the wrong side of the law. When we pass laws that ensure that all citizens are on the wrong side of the law by default, I feel that we remove a large barrier in the minds of the people. Not only that, but it makes a total farce of law enforcement.
  • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @03:33PM (#29839101)

    Awesome! Freedom of expression of ONLY THINGS YOU FUCKING LIKE!

    Wait! That's not freedom of expression at all! OH SHIT, I'M BEING ARRESTED, DISSENSION IS UNRATED SPEECH NOT PERMITTED!

    Yeah, your ideas of freedom and censorship are all screwy and wrong, but hey, you for one will actually be welcoming our fascist authoritarian overlords without being sarcastic about it. So.. yay for that, right?

    (freedom from being offended by the words or beliefs of another: one of the dumbest fucking ideas in the history of humanity. and I am aware that "chopping one's genitals off" is also an idea in the history of humanity, and I'm saying this ludicrous pro-censorship stance is even fucking dumber and less thought-through.)

    So fuck you, Mr. Pro-Censorship, Fuck You and your Fucking Redefinitions of Words. "lols well see censorship isnt restrictive, it actually sets you free, you're free to be restricted from ever seeing the things we don't want you to!"... yeah, no, get your damn dirty hands off my language.

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