Aussie Web filter to cover games content

Australian federal government planning to block Web sites offering or selling banned games.


Australian gamers are probably well aware of their country's strict games classification system, with the lack of an R18+ rating meaning any title not fitting under the MA15+ rating is automatically banned from sale down under. This means it is illegal to sell a game that has been refused classification in Australia, and while this has mainly been focused on retail stores, it looks like the federal government is planning to extend its reach by blocking Web sites that host or sell banned games.

The federal government's Web filtering plan--a controversial proposal that will block Internet sites containing any content that has been refused classification--will include sites hosting or selling games that have been refused classification, according to a report on the Sydney Morning Herald Web site. Under the sensationalist headline of "Web filters to censor video games," the story quotes a spokesman for Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy as saying that 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."

It has previously been well reported that any sites that have been refused classification by Australian censorship authorities would be targeted by the proposed filter, so it seems logical that game sites would be included. As for blocking sites that sell banned games, it has long been illegal for Australians to order games that have been refused classification from overseas and import them into the country.

For more on Australian games classification, check out our in-depth Censory Overload feature.

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