Australia’s government has once again exhibited its enthusiasm for censorship, with the Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor reportedly considering setting the country’s content classifiers onto Apple's App Store and Google's Android Marketplace. Apparently unaware that Apple works hard to sanitise its walled garden, O' …
well what would expect...
The Australian government is obessed with censorship ... real nanny state stuff pandering to a tiny fundamental Christian lobby group.
They still refuse to sort out the lack of R18+ rating for PC games so is it any surprise they are terrified of naughty stuff turning up on smartphones.
I can think of many words to describe them but "idiots" comes to mind.
not quite ..
I disagree about that. The government may SAY that they are meeting the needs of this group, but in fact they are (ab)using this group to further their own ends.
In a classic chicken and egg argument, the government's wish for censorship came before the apparent need to deploy it. Most governments around the globe are attempting to deploy some form of internet censorship, some are more successful than others. In Britain the announced motive alternates between "Won't somebody think of the children ... " and "don't let the terrorists win ..." depending on where the most favourable scare stories are originating.
well what would expect...
from an openly atheist PM?
a) pandering to a tiny minority (elitism)?
b) pandering to the majority (democracy)?
c) cynically using words many people to centralise and enhance her power and the power of her political stakeholders?
d) one or more of the above
One of the few "civilised" countries to have a worse government than the UK.
How long before women have to wear a Burka and have compulsory breast enlargement if they haven't managed a C cup by age 18.
Looks like their whole government is using 1984 as a guideline to make policies, that or Steve Jobs is advising them.
There's only one thing you can say to the likes of O'Connor and Conroy - "Oh do fuck off". Best accompanied by some subtle and dismissive hand waving.
the real danger here
There have already been compaints about some apps in the apple app store, but of course that's not hard, there are nutters in Australia who are willing to compain about just about anything. RC is not the danger, MA15+ is! Strange but true. Anything MA15+ available on the internet requires, according to AU law, an age verification portal before access by adults, just like the itunes movie gift feature that didn't have an age verification feature. One compaint was made to ACMA and apple was told to turn off the movie gift feature for all Australians unless they implemented an age verification system.
The same could potentially happen to the apple app store, google app store etc. Apple never put in an age verififcation system for the movie gift feature in the itunes store, so as far as I know its still unavailable for all Australians, they probably wouldn't bother puttinginone for the app store either, so at the first complaint its probably bye bye app store.
Oh yes, the movie in question that got the gift a movie feature shut down? V for Vendetta, is that irony? A movie about a repressive state being banned by a repressive state?
F*** Aussie Polies
I am so sick and tired of this gov. telling me what I can do and what I can't. Goverment is not a replacment for parenting.
They rather bang on about computer games than fix the raging alcohol problem in Aus. In Aus drinking and punching each other is acceptable but palying a R18 game in your privacey of your home is unacceptable.
Indeed, I am also amazed by the swearing and course language heard on the radio at practically any time of day. Obviously they believe kids will be playing gore-fest games but couldn't possibly hear this tripe in the car for example.
...but there AREN'T any R18 games in Australia - that classification doesn't exist
Australian 'Blacklists' are great - all those no-no sites in a single document!
Can you imagine some uptight Oz civil servant rummaging around the InterNet looking for URL's to add to the Oz Blacklist? What a scream.
Still, these lists are very handy as a compendium for the alternative lifestyle that the Australian Government seems to despise so much.
Strange how a country reknowned for it's pioneering ways is prepared to let some sad excuses for humanity in Canberra dictate their personal preferences. Happened, too, in the UK.
At least Americans would stand up and protest against this.
It's as if Australia and a few other countries have become like the movie "The Stepford Wives".
As a fan of Billy Connelly there was a very apt scene in one of his 'World tour of Australia' shows where he visited Canberra and compared the city as a whole to those Wagnerian Triumphal Arched monuments to dictatorial states, and then went on to explain to his audience that Aussie politicians are not normal people, that they don't even look like real Australians.
This was quite a few years ago now but it seems he was right on the button
As I said before
Whatever your brit can do wrong, our gov will do worse. It doesn't matter which party is in power, they are all the same.
The Lower Middle Classes In Action
Every contact I've had with Australian culture tells me that the intellectuals all live in London and the remainder of the political class are lower middle class net-curtain twitchers who fled England in the 1960s to avoid people with dark skins and want to recreate some sort of pre-lapsarian rural golden age. Hence the obsessions with sex, homsexulatity race, manners and healthy outdoor pursuits.
Leave them to it: the English are better off with them gone (and the interesting and intelligent offspring mostly end up in West London anyway) and Australia is far enough away and politically and economically insignificant enough that if they want to end up as 1950s theme park of repression and self-denial, that's their lookout.
And the beer tastes like piss, too.
Perfect example of the thin end of the censorship wedge
"...distributed through channels like the App Store don’t have to go through Classification Board processes before Apple will distribute them – unlike, for example, movies and computer games..."
Missing the largest volume sold through iTunes - Music. How long before they move to rate and control the lyrics?????
Now be fair...
All those things you heard about the Australian character, the self-sufficiency and mental toughness in a harsh land. It was all just PR for the tourists. Aussies are really delicate little snowflakes, teetotal and God-fearing. They need this sort of protection. They can't roll out official government censorship too soon down there for FB posts, forum posts and e-mail.
Just think of it as honest, trustworthy politicians giving you a nice big digital hug.
And it will be us next.
You can see Australia's app developers slugging it out to see who can launch the most complaints against rivals that stick, as I would imagine their smutmongers are doing now.
Where on earth did it all start to go so badly wrong, Australia?
Watch Apple & Google not care
What the Aussie goverment seem to forget is that both the Apple & Google app stores are not located in Oz, but in the shores of the Land of the Free(tm). Hence they can demand whatever they like, but if Apple & Google ignore them then the only thing they can do is block all access to the app stores. I wonder how well that's going to go down with the Oz punters.
"How long before women have to wear a Burka and have compulsory breast enlargement if they haven't managed a C cup by age 18."
I pity the young lads!
That is all...
You can still get Turkey Shoot
but I think it's the last copy !
The way this is going
It looks like they're making everyone a convict again...
I have a friend (yes just the one) who is intelligent, highly educated, tough, strong-willed, non-religious and remarkable free of abusive ex's. She firmly believes that the internet should be censored, that Northbridge* is a very dangerous place after dark, that illegal drugs are inherently dangerous (otherwise they wouldn't be illegal), that violent video games are bad for kids and therefore shouldn't be sold, and that pr0n is abusive to women and should be banned. Alongside that, she also believes that everyone should obey all the rules regardless of their chances of being caught, and that therefore banning something is a useful thing to do if that something is 'bad'.
Needless to say I, like most Reg readers, don't share these views. I actually find it vaguely horrifying that someone so otherwise clued-up should be so...naive? is that the word?
It has, however, opened my eyes to the fact that Australians largely get the politicians we deserve. You can see it in the Aussie press, their continual peddling of fear-based stories of hoons and bikies running amok and ruining the lives of good old Aussie battlers.
As long as this viewpoint in the public persists, pollies will be able to get votes for pandering to it <shrug>
and yes, this has no IT angle at all.
*Northbridge is the closest equivalent to a 'tolerance zone' in Perth. It's massively policed, and very safe compared to any UK city centre after dark, but every month or so the West Australian will run a story about the horrific violence and call on the govt to ban something new.
Should be drowned at birth.
"O’Connor told the Herald he will seek a change to legislation so that classifications would be undertaken only in response to complaints"
If this publicity seeking and ignorance driven twaddle is implemented then could I suggest that Australians start filing thousands of complaints about as many different apps as possible and drown this stupidity in it's own red tape.
So, banning things eh?
Maybe these Oz officials are looking at the wrong content to ban. In my 32 years I have become quite the horror fan, being it a movie or video game. I have never as a result of my experience with any horror based media performed anything maliciously with the intent on harming others or myself for that matter. I do find it a little hypocritical too with this being the country that gave us Mad Max, Romper Stomper, Undead and more recently Daybreakers.
Granted Daybreakers on the whole wasn't over the top but it did feature a character getting torn to pieces by ravenous vampires which is something not too far from the Mortal Kombat style violence.
Vote Australian Sex Party.
The country of MadMax gets to be Sad and Scared of his Shadow Max.