You’ve heard this story from a million different websites already. Senator Stephen Conroy, Australia’s Minister for It’s Not A Truck It’s A Series Of Tubes, wants ISPs to block every single website that sells video-games rated higher than MA15+.
You’d think it’d be easier to just introduce an R18+ rating for video games, like every other country in the Western world. (Apparently the only thing stopping them is the South Australian Attorney General. Here he is, and here’s his email address; you know what to do.)
But the Senator wants more (emphasis added):
Australia is the only developed country without an R18+ classification for games, meaning any titles that do not meet the MA15+ standard – such as those with excessive violence or sexual content – are simply banned from sale by the Classification Board, unless they are modified to remove the offending content.
So far, this has only applied to local bricks-and-mortar stores selling physical copies of games, but a spokesman for Senator Conroy confirmed that under the filtering plan, it will be extended to downloadable games, flash-based web games and sites which sell physical copies of games that do not meet the MA15+ standard.
I can go to Amazon’s intertubes blog site and I can buy these games, all of which are banned in Australia for not meeting the MA15+ standard:
- Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (no, really, it’s banned!);
- Manhunt 2;
- Postal 2; and
- 50 Cent: Bulletproof (the uncensored version).
Or I can go to eBay and buy all of those things and worse, and have them shipped to any address in Australia.
So Amazon and eBay are purveyors of naughtiness over the interwebs. They’re shamelessly violating Australian law, and They Must Be Stopped
Now, this is a serious question. Is Senator Conroy seriously proposing to block the world’s two biggest e-commerce sites from every person in Australia?