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Australian Web Filter To Censor Downloaded Games

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the we've-already-got-these-cool-filters-in-place dept.

Censorship 200

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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FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470273)

FIRST!

Their censor software was written by a Lunix user (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470443)

Lunix is the crappiest OS since the days of Dos 6.2

Re:Their censor software was written by a Lunix us (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470891)

6.22 was kinda good. If you replaced the command.com file with something like 4dos.com

Re:Their censor software was written by a Lunix us (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470973)

Lunix is the crappiest OS since the days of Dos 6.2

Look, it's not our fault your dog bit off your testicles. You were warned not to pull it out when he was hungry, but seeing as you're severely mentally retarded, you probably never really understood the dangers.

Oh well, at least you can still post your retarded little sentences on Slashdot, though you'll never know the pleasure of being with a woman, despite now having so much in common with them.

Re:Their censor software was written by a Lunix us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28471523)

He said Lunix. L, get this, U (wow, I guess this word is not going to turn out Linux), N, I, X. Can you read? Or are you just a RABIDLY REACTING Linux fanboi piss-flap* who can't read?

Re:Their censor software was written by a Lunix us (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471733)

He said Lunix. L, get this, U (wow, I guess this word is not going to turn out Linux), N, I, X. Can you read? Or are you just a RABIDLY REACTING Linux fanboi piss-flap* who can't read?

I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you. I was to busy staring at your oddly-shaped, egg-like head that has about the same cubic capacity as a small margarine container, and I was wondering to myself "How can someone with a brain roughly the same dimensions as a piece of dog shit communicate in anything other than grunts and slobbers, and how does he have the cerebral capacity to not just sit there and drool, and occasionally try to hump furniture."

So, what were you saying again?

Re:Their censor software was written by a Lunix us (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

You can't censor my Willy. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470295)

Imagine your willy being smacked until it bleeds.

J.delanoy

Re:You can't censor my Willy. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470407)

If you will it, Dude, it is no dream.

Re:You can't censor my Willy. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470607)

Can I stick my willy in your bum?

Re:You can't censor my Willy. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470807)

Do you own an iPhone? What about an Apple Computer?

Do you have AIDS? (not HIV - full blown AIDS)

I only take it up the ass from authentic mac-fags.

Refused? (5, Insightful)

roger_that (24034) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Refused? (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470393)

It's all worth it though. Since we know that if little Johnny sees one pair of tits, his head will explode, and we know that all other forms of censorship are effective, this is a critical step to protect the kids. If even one child's head is saved from exploding, brutal totalitarian dictatorship is worth it!

Re:Refused? (2, Insightful)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 5 years ago | (#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".

Australia is a Failed State (5, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470653)

Nope. The Australians are afraid of breasts (Ref: Conservatives MPs... want topless... bathing banned on NSW beaches [news.com.au] ). The world is has gone mad.

Re:Australia is a Failed State (4, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470745)

(Ref: Conservatives MPs... want topless... bathing banned on NSW beaches)

Jeez, you think the "NSW" label would be good enough to warn people.

Re:Australia is a Failed State (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470871)

Why do all these closet homosexuals get into politics?

Re:Australia is a Failed State (3, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Australia is a Failed State (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472507)

they are also afraid of public displays of sexuality because they do not respond to the "appropriate" signals

it is much easier to live a lie if that lie is beneath the surface

Re:Australia is a Failed State (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471383)

The joke is, that it is only interesting, as long as not everybody is doing it.

Seriously, after an hour on a topless beach, you start to look them in the faces first. :P

And before you know it, they are not that interesting anymore.

Re:Australia is a Failed State (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471693)

Hopefully soon, they'll ban breastfeeding in public.

There is nothing like the wrath of pregnant outraged hormonal women.

Re:Refused? (3, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470853)

Please correct me if I am wrong, but it was my impression that Australia is more scared of violence and drugs than tits.

Anyone who argues against censorship of violent video games hsould be rounded up and shot! It's the only way to avoid violence!

Re:Refused? (3, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470789)

It's all worth it though. Since we know that if little Johnny sees one pair of tits, his head will explode

Oh crap... how are they going to protect nursing babies???

Re:Refused? (3, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470801)

It's all worth it though. Since we know that if little Johnny sees one pair of tits, his head will explode

Oh crap... how are they going to protect nursing babies???

Are you some kind of pervert that wants little babies sucking on breasts?!? Pedophilia at its worst!

Re:Refused? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470847)

Do you know what happens if kids were to find Duke Nukem and pause it when he gives the hookers money? BLASPHEMY.

Re:Refused? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470867)

This is only marginally on topic, but what I think is really wierd is when they censor a movoe for TV, all they censor is the tits and swear word. All the blood, gore, violence, etc. remains.

Re:Refused? (2, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470573)

Who decides what games even get looked at for classification? What if they just haven't gotten to the game you want yet?

According to the article, somebody from the public needs to make a complaint;

Senator Conroy's spokesman said 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".

I'm sure there will be special interest groups of many varieties saving the children from various categories of filth and immorality. The Internet will be a much more polished facade of reality than it is now.

Re:Refused? (1)

boggis (907030) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472093)

Games will be classified when they receive a complaint from the public. So if nobody else knows about the disgusting filth you are playing, you should be fine.

Re:Refused? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472149)

Stop being too logical, its not about the true effectiveness, its about the progression of control of the population. If they try, and manage to block one thing, they consider it a success and continue down the same road, looking for #2, then #3. The have time, and unlimited budgets.

Unclassified games (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470335)

My understanding is a LOT of games don't get classifications out there.
Filtering them out so you can't get them at all is horrible as the content isn't necessarily bad (and if it is they shouldn't be the ones judging if someone of age should be able to play them).

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

OFLC: Yeah, good luck with that.

Re:Unclassified games (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Unclassified games (5, Funny)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470611)

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.

Re:Unclassified games (1)

oolon (43347) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470919)

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

Re:Unclassified games (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Unclassified games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28471767)

Yeah, keep rocking with that paranoid fantasy. It's not you who is sick, it's everyone else. You keep on believing that.

Re:Unclassified games (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471881)

I'd say the ever-growing scope of the Australian filtering system suggests he's right.

Re:Unclassified games (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472117)

I sincerely doubt Australians want to kill off online banking and VPN (two other uses for encryption) in order to stop Japanese rape-sim downloads.

Then again it is Australia. "Hello, Bruce! Are you a pooftah?"

Re:Unclassified games (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471529)

Its simple. You drop any packet that does not look like normal 'nothing to hide person surfing' traffic.

There is not just black list, there is whitelist approach too. Technology does not win this once the other side gets serious because the other side physically controls the tubes.

As for steam and whatnot, opeartors of those services will take care of it if they want to keep doing business there.

Re:Unclassified games (1)

Belegothmog (712435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472197)

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.

Stay Alert! Trust No One! Keep Your Laser Handy!

Re:Unclassified games (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472583)

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.

Stay Alert! Trust No One! Keep Your Laser Handy!

"Trust The Computer. The Computer is Your Friend."

Re:Unclassified games (2, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471437)

This is the same problem with Cable and Satellite TV filters. Most of the movies and TV shows are unrated and setting the V-Chip or whatever filters for PG-13 and under will also filter out unrated shows and movies.

When you block something to keep the children away from it in this way, it also blocks adults from getting the games as well. Just like blocking TV shows and Movies will prevent an adult from seeing them. But you have to enter the four digit code on TV devices to bypass the filter, and kids are smart enough to watch the adults enter the four digits and then use it to bypass the filters.

Sure you could bypass the filters on the Internet by using a DNS server or servers from another country like the UK or USA so that they cannot block it by DNS access. You could also use Tor or some other proxy to bypass the filters. I am sure that the Australian Teenage kids are smart enough to do stuff like that to bypass the filters. It is just like the Youtube system to see adult rated videos, enter your birthdate and for the year instead of entering your own year use the birth year that Mommy or Daddy has and you'll get adult access. That sort of filter system is stupid and can easily be gotten around even by teenagers and young kids.

For the last time... (5, Insightful)

DnemoniX (31461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470363)

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

Re:For the last time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470417)

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

Re:For the last time... (3, Insightful)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:For the last time... (1)

Yogiz (1123127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472487)

Please do write to these politicians but I have to say I'm not holding by breath. Do any of the politicians that request things like that really care what the voters think? The filter was arranged in Germany although there was a large opposition to the idea. The politicians didn't care one bit. I seriously doubt that the suits in Australia are any different. How many people are there left in the parliaments of the world that still try to do what their voters want. It's not like they have anything to lose by not caring because there is no one else to replace the guy with in the next election who would care any more.

Re:For the last time... (1)

Het Irv (1424087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470453)

Thats really the only way to put it. The more your Firewall attempts to block, the less effective it is. Plain and simple.

Re:For the last time... (3, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470557)

Does this mean my updates for Duke Nukem Forever may be delayed?

Re:For the last time... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470619)

their thoughts?

w00t, less of our money spent on facilitating the transport of other peoples data.

Don't encourage the greedy bastards please.

Re:For the last time... (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:For the last time... (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471573)

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.

To be fair, the Xbox 360 sees Tuesday as a reason to commit console suicide.

Re:For the last time... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471729)

To be fair, the Xbox 360 sees Tuesday (Tuesday here is defined as every day of the week) as a reason to commit console suicide.

Fixed that for you. Although I think I covered that with my "and, well, normal functions if I'm being honest) as a signal to give up completely."

Re:For the last time... (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:For the last time... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471669)

What changes is that these guys get to go back to their navel-gazing core constituencies and say "See, I made those intertubes safer!", and those constituencies will vote for them, apparently believing that some stupid filter can stop anyone with even a passing knowledge of proxies and the like. Hell, if the Butchers of Qom couldn't stop all the images from getting out of Iran, then how the hell do these guys think what apparently is a pretty shitty filter can do it?

I wrote a letter to my own representative (up here in Canuckistan) about new surveillance powers my government wants to give police, and told him precisely that. Those with the technical know-how are not in the least bit threatened by any of this. There are any number of ways to circumvent these sorts of filters. You might catch the dumber child pornographers or pirates who are either too brazen or stupid, but that's going to leave you with the skillful ones.

But, like I said, the real reason behind all of this, and you mark my words this is true, is that some politician or bureaucrat has a son or daughter or sibling or cousin or good pal that has a contract to provide services related to this filter. You see, politicians are pretty much lacking in morals, and the more moral they claim to be, the more repugnant and depraved they truly are.

Re:For the last time... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471177)

The internet is an abstract idea that only exists as when the sum of all of the networks is greater than the individual parts. Networks can and is meant to be scaled up or down. A country-wide firewall is not damage. Filtering, which you can think of is a firewall that looks at content rather than connection, is not damage. Damage is when one node disappears off the network. You can still route around that. But there's no "around" when a country-wide firewall disallows connections to be made with servers outside of the country, or when filtering is applied to an entire nation, especially an island nation like Australia.

The saying you're looking for is, better locks only results in better lockpicks.

That having been said, who didn't see this coming?

No Route Possible (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471597)

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.

Ban games? (3, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470365)

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

Re:Ban games? (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472409)

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

Bwaah-haa-ha! Updates for Tux Racer? It looks as if the project died in 2001. The latest incarnation isn't too active, either.

Precedent (4, Insightful)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Precedent (3, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470521)

At least in the US, if a politician tries to censor our internet from violent media, we still can buy guns to shoot them with.

Re:Precedent (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?"

Re:Precedent (0, Offtopic)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471051)

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?"

Or perhaps, "If all the other countries are following the USA into Iraq..."

Re:Precedent (2, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471395)

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

Re:Precedent (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471595)

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?"

(puts on senator hat)

Two questions:
1. Can I in some way say it's for the children, morality, economy, or national security?
2. What's the fastest way to the nearest bridge?

Re:Precedent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Precedent (0, Flamebait)

Duositex (620105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470877)

The precedent in the US is that such censorship would never happen here.

It just makes so much sense (3, Interesting)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470427)

Will they be blocking violent movies too? What about violent books and song lyrics?

I don't doubt this will have an effect. Instead of 15-20 year olds playing violent games occasionally, they will now find them incredibly cool, and go to great lengths to play them. They won't have much trouble unless Australia figures out how to block torrents and eBay too. Even that wouldn't stop anyone.

Re:It just makes so much sense (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470889)

Exactly, this is like when the filter at work started blocking legitimate (if not time wasting) sites (Facebook, YouTube, etc) so what did people do? They got proxies, however unlike Facebook and YouTube one of these proxies that someone used wasn't exactly virus-free so their system got a virus because of the blocking.

Re:It just makes so much sense (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472181)

The solution to that is to fire the person who used the proxy. I am sure it was against company policy, right?

Re:It just makes so much sense (1)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472321)

Porn and Sex Toys tends to come in convenient inconspicuous brown paper packaging.

[Brown Paper DVD-Sized-Box]

"Microsoft Windows"

... Of course it might get conspicuous when you order 5 or 10 copies of Windows a year ...

Bad old days (1)

Mikash33 (1585131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470445)

Someone could try and open a sneakernet to hand out downloaded games on flashies... if only it wasn't on an island.

The door is open (4, Insightful)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Protect the Children... And the Parents Too! (1)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472777)

Please Mr.Government Sir. Protect the Children! I am an incompetent parent that doesn't want to discipline or observe what my children are doing online. So please Mr.Government protect my children for me. It will be so much better.

Oh yeah and while yer at it, Protect me too. I might go hyena-ass crazy if I'm allowed to see an unRated GAME.

Can You Hear Me Now? (4, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470515)

I'm just a bit curious here, can someone in-the-know highlight the internet policy differences between Iran, China and Australia? I'd think a side-by-side comparison of policy features would be really neat.

Re:Can You Hear Me Now? (1)

viking099 (70446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470755)

That sounds like a grand idea! I look forward to your in-depth blog about it in the near future. :-)

A way to produce more & better AU hackers (4, Funny)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470541)

This is an attempt by the government to increase the numbers and improve the skills of hackers in Australia. "You want to play those cool games, you have to hack your way past our Internet filters." People here on Slashdot are so paranoid. This is an attempt by the Australian government to provide a training environment for those computer skills that are needed in the 21st Century.

Re:A way to produce more & better AU hackers (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470913)

From what I can gather about these filters, an eight year old could hack around. The only thing Australian politicians are more of than liberty-hating is just plain retarded. What a collosal pack of uneducated, possibly uneducatable half-wits. I have no doubt that the Australian government will be taken for millions over the list. And the Australians deserve it, because what they should be doing is showing up at their rep's office and threatening to feed them to the sharks if they don't immediately go to Adelaide and turf the PM.

Oh noes!!!1!!! (2, Funny)

stokessd (89903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470603)

Gnometris isn't rated, I'll never be able to update it...

Sheldon

Re:Oh noes!!!1!!! (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472217)

You got modded 'funny', but you've hit a very good point: Free and Open Source games are -never- rated and would thus be banned altogether.

Just think about that for a while to let it really sink in.

Aus Gamers (1)

StickansT (1585125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470635)

This makes my soul cry a little bit. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Aus gamers out there. Also makes me glad that America is'nt doing this.

Re:Aus Gamers (1)

Myrimos (1495513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471515)

This makes my soul cry a little bit. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Aus gamers out there. Also makes me glad that America is'nt doing this yet.

And that's how we edit comments here at /.

I'm glad i'm leaving Australia (1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470655)

This is just fucking ridiculous.

I'm glad I'm leaving Australia.

Supposedly this means WoW will be banned, too.

We need a Source Mod (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470657)

Someone needs to make a source mod where the objective is to go around violently killing alien monsters that censor the internet.

Re:We need a Source Mod (1)

StickansT (1585125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470711)

But make it clean so the Australians' can play it.

Re:We need a Source Mod (1)

FutureDomain (1073116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471041)

Someone needs to make a source mod where the objective is to go around violently killing politicians that censor the internet.

There, fixed that for ya.

Now if they (2, Funny)

stillpixel (1575443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470747)

could just use this to block Ads!! No more horribly pixelated girls dancing in repetitive motion with some message about President Obama wanting you to refinance your mortgage!!!

Soon... (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470785)

Soon, only content specifically authorized by the AU government will be allowed to be viewed.

It's not so bad, think of all the virii and malware you won't have to contend with!

Huh? (1)

stei7766 (1359091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470805)

I'm a bit confused on how this would actually WORK. Blocking sites is one thing, just have a url blacklist. But say one game on steam is rated but another is not, how can it know which one youre downloading?

Can packet sniffing tell that much about whats going through the tubes? I thought it was mostly: "Thats P2P, thats http, thats some more http..." Even if it could, what kind of overhead are we talking about?

Great News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28470929)

This is great news, if the scope creeps far enough the whole thing will fall to pieces.

Steam ? (2, Interesting)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28470987)

Does this somehow extend to Steam games? Steam uses some different TCP/IP port to funnel its content, I believe, so the old trusty Aussie web filter censoring software might not be able to catch those. (haha)

Wait a minute. (1)

immortalpob (847008) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471011)

Using a blacklist to enforce a whitelist? Somehow this seems logically flawed..

MMORPGs? (1)

HollyDX (1585203) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471101)

So does this mean all MMORPGs clients will be blocked so you can't download them? A little while back someone mentioned that games like WoW or any other MMO couldn't meet a specific rating because of online content updates/players/etc, so they wanted to ban all MMOs but decided that they didn't fit under the same rules because MMOs didn't exist when the law was made. So I guess this may just happen now?

Re:MMORPGs? (1)

herbert92x (1582673) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471457)

It seems likely, since online gaming providers can't guarantee that their game isn't being used to say obscene things in places where children might hear.

From the article: "That exemption is the only reason why multi-player games with user-generated environments are possible in this country; without it, it'd only take one game user anywhere in the world to produce objectionable content in the game environment to make the Australian Government ban the game for everyone," said Newton.

Who knows -- people in Australia may have to move to Iran to play World of Warcraft.

I wanna see them... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471277)

...blocking encrypted downloads. Lol. Even a ROT128 would circumvent that.

So.... (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471291)

So...... when are we starting the bonfires and begin throwing books?

Filters are evil; once there they always get worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28471463)

This is why you don't want any filters in place. Once they're there they will get used to filter pretty much anything you can imagine. It may start with child porn, but it'll undergo successive stages of scope creep until it filters anything the government doesn't explicitly approve of.
Of course, without filters the police will have to actually to some police work and rescue child porn victims. We can't have that, can we?

Handle my own parenting duties (1)

techoi (1435019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471495)

Since I am silly and want to handle my own parenting duties, is there another internet I can start to utilize? I prefer to protect my children, as much as possible, from the evil and stupid of the world and thus don't want the average politician interacting with ANY of their upbringing. On the upside, I think we finally found a country (Australia) that would be happy to take Utah off our hands. Hell, maybe we can trade Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska for that giant fricking rock of theirs.

Flood them. (2, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471571)

We need to submit to them *every single* game on the internet whether it be OSS, Flash, MMOG, Steam / Impulse, Forum based (MySpace & Facebook games) or play by email. Everything. Let them choke on their own stupidity.

Game in a Slashdot comment (1)

sega01 (937364) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471617)

_____
|o|x|o|
|o|o|x|
|x|x|x|

OMG!

You just downloaded a game! You didn't pay the tic-tac-toe inventors royalties, or the governement taxes!

My comment will be censored one day if this really works. Australian Internet Censorship ftw.

HTTPS anyone? (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28471751)

In response, STEAM announced that users can opt-in to SSL for their protocols for an extra $1 per 10GB (to cover buying a few SSL accelerator cards). Australia briefly responded by blocking port 443 until the outcry of a million Aussies unable to get their email, buy porn or surf ebay.au with pitchforks made them "reconsider" the idea.

Can i get a new internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28472743)

i don't like this one any more

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