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article imageAustralia's Web Filtering Plans Include World of Warcraft

By David Goldsmith     Jun 29, 2009 in Technology
'Annual Internet Villain' award nominated Minister Conroy sets Australia's unique approach to game ratings to expand to the web, not even World of Warcraft is safe.
Movie ratings are essentially worldwide, most countries having G to R equivalents though video game ratings are not quite as universal. In Australia games can only be rated as high as M15+ and those games which have been refused classification for containing higher rating content cannot legally be sold in the country. In the past this hasn't been an exceptional issue, most games fall beneath the limiting elements and those that don't - Fallout 3 and GTA4 for example - either have release dates extended in Australia so the objectionable content can be edited or hardcore fans can simply be ordered over the Internet.
Australia is in the process of implementing mandatory Internet filtering under the leadership of 'Annual Internet Villain' award nominated Minister Conroy. This filtering system is set to have two levels: a mandatory level blocking all content deemed illegal in Australia and an optional but by default active 'porn blocking' level.
The Sydney Morning Herald has extracted information from a spokesperson of Minister Conroy to the affect that games containing content refused from classification are also to be included in the mandatory level of the filter. Online stores selling the unapproved games shall show up as blank pages in the nations browsers and Valve's Steam software will encounter failure when trying to download. Game forms that do not contain ratings in there natural habitat such as online and flash games shall not be exempt but will escape blocking until someone - anyone - issues a complaint about them. World of Warcraft and SecondLife - both popular games with the over 18 gamers of Australia - see the risk of being blocked due to their online nature and no offline component making them unable to be classified.
More about Web filtering, Australia, World warcraft, Games
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