Tagged With censorship


In the last three months, the Australian Classification Board has “refused classification” for at least four video games – effectively banning them in Australia. The latest is zombie-survival shooter DayZ. Despite being previously available on digital storefronts with an MA15+ rating, it was banned when its developers tried to get a retail version of the game classified.


More websites and online videos could soon find their way onto Australia's blacklist after a federal department urged the government to toughen restrictions on violent and terrorist-related material. However, the proposed ban will include some notable exemptions. Here's what you need to know.


Facebook has a new set of Community Guidelines, and they're bad news for anyone who would like to even vaguely mention sex or anything related to it. The new guidelines profess to be targeting 'sexual solicitation', but the implications are far wider reaching than that.


“Free speech” is often raised as a defence in the court of public opinion, particularly when people are called out by their ideological opponents. “You’re attacking my right to free speech!” However, either through forgetfulness or ignorance, many Australians don’t appear to realise free speech is not a legal right they hold.


Ninjas (AKA shinobi) were covert mercenaries in feudal Japan who were trained in the arts of espionage, sabotage and guerrilla warfare. In the 1980s and early '90s they became a popular subject matter in Western entertainment, with countless masked assassins popping up in movies, TV shows and comics.

For some reason, this freaked the hell out of the UK government.


The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has approved the use of the 451 HTTP status code for websites that are inaccessible for legal reasons such as government censored content or blocked copyrighted material. There are limitations as to whether internet users in different geographical regions will see this error code but the approval of 451 is an acknowledgement of the prevailing issues of internet censorship and the online piracy.


Just two days before the election, the Coalition has announced it will introduce an internet filter that would be switched on for all broadband services and mobile devices by default should it win. Quite aside from the political timing , the plan seems light on technical detail to the point of confusion. UPDATE: The Coalition is now saying the policy it issued was an "incorrect document", though that leaves several questions unanswered.


Australia hasn't yet seen a blogger die in custody (that was Bahrain) or had a major internet service provider deliberately redirect users onto pages featuring malware (that was Belarus). However, internet censorship rules still see Australia featuring on the 'Enemies Of The Internet' list of countries produced by Reporters Without Borders.


One of the more tedious arguments used by people who favour compulsory Internet filtering and other forms of censorship is "People who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from these systems". In his LCA keynote today, security researcher Jacob Appelbaum highlighted a simple point that's worth making when people say that: if you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothes and why are there curtains on your house?