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Censorship Your Rights Online

AU Classification Board To Censor Mobile Apps 129

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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  • by jipn4 ( 1367823 ) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @06:17AM (#29833271)

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

    Think positively: it's one of the few skills that government is really good at :-)

  • Re:This is bad, how? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Merls the Sneaky ( 1031058 ) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:05AM (#29833485)

    If they become rated they become prone to the "great Australian firewall". Proposals include blocking of "RC" (refused classification) content. There is no R+18 rating for games here. Effectively banned, though not illegal to possess.

  • by srjh ( 1316705 ) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:20AM (#29833537)

    Unfortunately they're not quite that honest - that title is from the author, not the Australian Government.

    His actual title is "Minister for Home Affairs" [].

    I would have said that the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy [] was more deserving of that title. He's the one pushing for mandatory state-wide internet filtering, three-strike copyright infringement laws, and privacy/interception exemptions for ISPs so they can prove their users aren't breaking the law. Also known as the internet villain of the year [].

  • by AdamInParadise ( 257888 ) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:35AM (#29833587) Homepage

    1) The South Korea's Games Rating Board is supposed to certify every game.
    2) The Jesus Phone is finally about to be launched in South Korea and it will be widely popular for lots of reasons (you can trust me on this one).

    But because of 1), the South Korean AppStore will not include games... []

    Yes, a state can do that.

    [Already posted in a similar story a few days ago.]

  • Re:Go censorship! (Score:3, Informative)

    by nneonneo ( 911150 ) <> on Thursday October 22, 2009 @09:08AM (#29834249) Homepage

    You can still download apps off iTunes, and it is possible to create free accounts in other countries without needing a credit card (you simply need to switch stores and download a free app).

    So, if you proxy iTunes, and use a foreign (e.g. American) account to purchase apps, there's not a whole lot censorship can do.

  • by donscarletti ( 569232 ) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @10:56AM (#29835261)

    The news you get about Australia generally comes from Australians. Australians have a habit of complaining about things, especially their own country. What news you get out of Australia will generally honest, but very much focused on the negative. It does cut down on things like illegal immigration, since any Australian will happily tell the world how prevalent racism is in their society and the shamefully brutal treatment of refugees. But it is important to remember that what you hear about Australia is a list of what needs to be improved, generally not a reasonable basis for comparison with other countries, since generally you might have heard those country's issues discussed in a less pessimistic voice. I've traveled around a fair bit, Australia has it's weaknesses but so do all countries, even Australia's government despite it's recent obsession with censorship is fair by government standards (not saying much). Australia's government is a bloated, inflexible and expensive pain in the arse, but so is yours.

    The Australian censorship system worked fairly well in the past. Only a very small handful of media were banned in the past and they were generally things banned in most other countries too and was not vigorously enforced. Generally, censorship was aligned with what the bulk of the population wanted (although arguably that is still the case). Things changed a lot with the introduction of compulsory rating of computer games, since the ratings system wasn't able to handle the broadening scope of themes in computer games. But computer games is a small part of the Australian censorship system, and censorship is a small part of Australia. Also, it says a lot about Australia's unwillingness to accept bullshit that the government still can not implement an Internet censorship scheme after 3 years of trying despite having quite good IT resources at their disposal.

    Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about Australia. A lot of stupid shit happens down there, but this is the case everywhere, it just pisses Australians off more.

    Also, who says no good news? Yesterday Slashdot said that CSIRO invested $150M in scientific research, that's pretty good. The patents looked fair to me and even if they weren't, at least the ill-gotten gains are going somewhere useful.

Loose bits sink chips.