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Australia censoring the Internet, blocking out M-rated games

3:40 PM on 06.25.2009 // Jim Sterling

The Australian Government has officially gone drunk with power. Not content to heavily butcher and/or outright ban videogames that don't conform to their horribly outdated MA15+ age rating cap, the Australian authorities are now going as far as to censor the Internet, invoking an almost twenty-year-old clause to get away with blocking access to any Web site that may host or sell videogames above the paltry 15 rating.

The government is justifying its actions by using Schedules 5 and 7 of the 1992 Broadcasting Services act, that basically give Australian authorities the power to ban whatever they want, whenever they want. Basically, the government can and will make ISPs block any site hosted by another country if the content is "potentially" bannable. It also allows Australia's Communications and Media Authority to make up its own rules about what is and isn't allowed. 

For a good while, Australian politicians have tried to argue that it's not their fault that Australia has such a horrible censorship record, and that it rests on the shoulders of the country's ratings board. However, this rather Orwellian move is nothing short of sinister on the part of the government, and sets a frightening precedent for the future of the media in Australia. 

This is not good at all.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

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