back to article Great Australian Firewall to censor online games

The Great Australian Firewall will try blocking websites that host or sell video games not suitable for children under the age of 15. A spokesman for Senator for Victoria Stephen Conroy told The Age on Thursday that the government's internet censorship regime will extend to downloadable and web-based games that don't meet …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Adrian Esdaile

    OK, Internet firewall, gimme some bricks!

    Right, so we live in the stupidest country on Earth, with the stupidest government - but we already knew that.

    So if we are banning anything that may damage the average 15-year-old male's delicate sensibilities, I guess that means we need to start bricking up newsagancies. You know, the ones with R-rated mags openly on display and sale?

    There are also entire sections of our cities that will need to be demolished, though with Kings Cross in Sydnay this would actually be urban improvement. Go for it.

    Funny that the UN also mentioned today that Australia is the largest producer / market for amphetamines and ecstasy. Obviously though, no 15-year olds are involved, they're just all perfect innocent little angels.

    Grenande! - because the only thing that could improve this country is MORE nuclear testing.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    Plans to be more of a dictatorship than China by 1984.

    (Moron poly-tickers)

  3. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    World of Warcraft

    So, as WoW is unrated, IIRC, it will go on that list of games to be blocked? Looking forward to the march of tens of thousands, dressed in self-made WoW armour and weaponry, on Canberra.

    What is it with this country that seems incapable of appointing ICT ministers with a clue (first Ralston, then Coonan, now Conroy - and Minchin the shadow ICT drone is a moron as well)

  4. Efros

    WTF is going on down under

    They're being more restrictive than Dita von Teese's 16" waist bustiere, one wonders if the good Ms. Teese would make it through the filters!

    We need a Dita icon.

  5. Glen Turner 1


    No SecondLife. No eBay.

    Looks like our government is well carried away.

  6. Michael Hitchins


    i know this useless fertilizer sack acting as a politician was winning the excellence in stupidity awards, tugging at the 'think of the children' line to push his backwards orwellian agenda, but this one seems to be stupid even for him.

    This should make it plain and clear that this project isnt just aimed at the blackest of black websites, but also as a tool for whatever might upset the senator and his cronies. Just because you cant classify something doesnt mean its illegal, and with more games being aimed at adults this oversight is going to only get worse. Hopefully this gets traction in the mainstream press around here so people know its stupid we cant classify the games and how totally stupid it is to let a senator be involved in controlling the internet.

    Also, online games generally say that the experience and rating may change online, and seeing how people act in something like WoW, is the senator going to turn on that too? If anything that would be a good counter fud argument, alas WoW players might not be so useful as protesters as you'd have trouble peeling them away from their precious game haha

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fair dinkum, Stevo is a twat

    Stevo needs to shut the fuck up and let people decide for themselves, what is acceptable and what's not. Honestly, the energy these fuckwits spend on blowing hot air (and goats) could be better spent on actually improving the lives of the citizens rather than nannying them. I am a pom AND an Aussie, so I'm seeing more and more of Blighty's stupid creeping censorship permeate Aussie life every day it seems.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Those Aussies must love their children something fierce

    It doesn't make much difference. After you add the couple-hundred milliseconds of latency that the firewall will cause; no MMO or FPS would be playable anyway.

    The grenade is for Conroy and his ilk. What is this firewall nonsense anyhow? His retirement plan?

  9. Kevin (Just Kevin)

    Already illegal

    One thing that only got a brief mention in the story is that the games that they've announced will be censored are already illegal in Australia. That's what "refused classification" means.

    That leaves two arguments:

    1) Why go to all this effort to censor when it's already illegal?


    2) Why all the fuss? What need do you have to download illegal games? Or illegal anything for that matter.

    Sometimes those two opposiing views get lost in the hysterical "they're banning games" response. They're already banned. The ban is not new. The ways it is enforced are expanding.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Hey, Conroy ...

    Censor this!

  11. Iamfanboy

    Is Australia the test-bed for a worldwide version of internet censorship?

    Now, me, if I were in charge of some nebulous worldwide attempt to destroy 'net neutrality' - that is to say, remove the freedoms that the Internet has so widely spread and accustomed us all to - I would look for some English-speaking, fairly conservative country to test it out in first.

    Well, England was the first test-bed of a non-governmental censorship body, but it seems that Australia is the first to actually implement the technology as such to control it more specifically.

    Still, this will hit home where other threats to freedom won't - there are plenty of people who are agin child porn but WILL play the games they want to.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Conroy again

    "Senator for Victoria Stephen Conroy:"

    Stephen Conroy is NOT the senator for Victoria. As 'Victorian' as his useless ideas make him seem, he is sadly the federal minister for miscommunication ( and a complete brainless tosser to boot ).

  13. jake Silver badge

    Is this any real loss?

    Does anyone over the age of 15 actually play computer games?

    Yes, I grok the issue of censorship ... I just find that raising a stink about access to, or lack of access to, computer games to be far from the most important of societal censorship issues. Lord knows the early teen set already knows how to use proxies ... Let the (current) gubmint do their thang, it won't change the way my daughter uses the Internet (she's over 18, and is currently doing research for her next degree out of Melborn.

  14. jake Silver badge


    Damn this laptop's trackpad, anyway!

    OK, it was me, not the hardware ... I "fat-thumbed" it :-)

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Nuke Australia.

    They are a full enemy of the internet, along with Iran and China and deserve the same treatment.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Epic Fail (again)

    OK, so this would just drive more and more net users to P2P networks....not part of the nanny (oops) net filter system.

    These retards just don't seem to get it.

  17. Mark 65


    This man is a technically illiterate scope creeping, bible bashing fucktard and he should be promptly escorted out of Parliament and given a dry slap for everyone's benefit.

  18. DiViDeD

    I like kittens - Fluffy clouds are nice too

    So our illustrious government has decided to protect Da Chilluns by making sure that nothing gets through to the Grate Aussie Interwebs except tellytubbies and puppies.

    In breaking news, dancers in strip clubs will be required to wear greatcoats at all times, pubs will serve nothing but lemonade and chicken nuggets, and TABs (betting shops) will no longer offer the option to bet.

    When a child pays my (frankly, bloddy outrageous!) broadband bill, THEN said child can dictate what I get to see on it.

    Can we have an icon representing Kevin Rudd being slowly roasted over burning coals? Or a photograph would be better

  19. Goat Jam
    Thumb Up

    Thanks for the reminder

    Just payed my EFA membership

    I encourage all other Aussies to do the same.

  20. Kevin Thomas
    Paris Hilton

    And I thought...

    that the British Government were pushing their "Big Brother" ideas a bit strongly...geez. Makes me almost glad I don't live in Oz, where men are men and the sheep are going to be even more worried now that they can't surf for their favourite babes-n-guns.

    Paris...because this is probably the last time they'll be able to see her on the web once the digital iron curtain closes completely.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Internet should be my opinion only!

    We're waaayyyy past this level already. When they censored Wikileaks even though all the links listed on Wikileaks were themselves already on the list, we are already censoring criticism.

    It won't be long before they're censoring 'hate' speech, and the ministers will ensure he gets to decide what is 'hate'.

    Australia has really been a poster child here. It shows how fast you can go from well intentioned filtering to an internet moulded to someones personal opinions in such a short space of time.

    I bet the Supreme 'Shah' of Iran is watching closely in jealously.

  22. The Original Ash


    Proxy / VPN was that?

    Every single Australian should get a proxy / alternative DNS service set up and boycott this system. Shame it out.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Better learn Chinese...

    ....the Green Dam is coming your way.

    Best check your parlimantary expenses, that's how we got rid of little starlin wanabee over here

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    This is what happens ...

    ... when you introduce these things, mission creep and it'll only get worse

    The UK government would love this level of control.

  25. Secretgeek
    Thumb Up

    Thank you Australia...

    ...for making a Brit briefly feel like he doesn't live under the most oppressive regime in the 'free' world.

  26. TheOtherMe

    He's just a very naughty boy

    Just one little wedge and they get their foot in the door. Then they start to show what they really intended in the first place - About time this issue just died a natural death, Australian Adults DO NOT need censoring, and kids should be controlled by their parents not the gubberrmint.

    PS. Stephen Conroy is NOT *the* senator *for* Victoria, he is (apart from being a total wanker) just a senator from Victoria.

  27. David Grimiore


    I'm so glad that the government here can see that I am incapable of making desicions regarding what I should look at and that they steped in to help.

    Ok, now that the sarcasm is over, how will this apply to a store like Steam? I'm not too sure on the details but if Steam offer the same games worldwide then some of them would fall into the 'unrated' catagory. Will they block the entire Steam network, how about Amazon or any other worldwide game retailer?

    FAIL, in a big steaming heap, is the best desired outcome for the firewall.

  28. David 141

    Don't underestimate the kids

    It's more likely that the adults will be blocked, while the kids will treat bypassing the firewall as a part of the game.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    I really hope

    that some freedom-fighting biker introduces this fucking bastard Conroy to the wrong end of a 12-gauge sometime soon. I'll vote for the bikers' Freedom Party if they do!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy we go

    Right, so now its only child porn sites and sites that host obscene material.

    And now

    Sites that host video games rated greater than 15.

    What will be next?

    Extremest websites?


    Far right and then far left websites?


    Websites that call for an end to censorship?


    Websites that oppose the current government?


    Websites that allow people to post their thoughts?

    Probably take them about 10 years or so.

  31. Gordon Pryra


    Ohhh I live in Australia with a beautiful climate, loads of jobs, hot wiminz and a government subsidised year long BBQ on the beach with all the aforementioned bonuses in triplicate.

    But I can't download games that are made to break the censorship guidelines but have very little content and I'll only play once before throwing away anyway.

    Who cares if it’s the hole in the dyke regarding censorship laws? The rest of the world would swap crap games for hot “fostered up” wiminz at BBQ’s in a second

  32. Secretgeek

    Scream if you want to go faster.

    "This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping".


    Bloody sprinting more like, this things only been up and running for a few months!

  33. Stef 4

    Poor poor Australia

    Soon it will be Hello Kitty for all.

    So they will be banning all alcohol soon, in case under-age drinkers get hold of some?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Porn, gambling and now games...

    A perfect lesson in how to slowly alienate the voters, demographic by demographic. What's next, beer?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    well never fear the Japanese have joined the crusade against game immorality no more porn games that include (3way, bondage, rape, gang rape, impregnation, coersion, hookers, school girls, student counsel members, mate play, train gropping, slave, forced, sexual violence, etc, etc) Interestingly all the above are still fine in porn films, go figure.

    Cheers moralists, you guys build a better world. Banning "bad" games is just retarded and the Aussies are currently amongst the maddest around - they need to learn games are played by people of all ageas.


  36. Jaap stoel

    Ideas are more powerful than guns.

    When will opposing political views be considered too dangerous for the public?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Censorship Sucks

    Don't get why everybody thinks Australia is such a great place. Censorship on the internet is just plain wrong, and you expect it from certain countries, hope it never happens over here to this sort of extent!!

  38. Futumsh
    Big Brother

    The thin end of the wedge...

    ...just got a little thicker

  39. GettinSadda
    Big Brother

    Far to far?

    "The government's decision would mean even Australians over 15-years-old will be unable to access websites that sell downloadable or physical copies of video games as well as those that host web-based games, The Age reports"

    So is out then! - What are these guys smoking?

  40. alan 39

    This is all inline with goverment policy

    To encourage all austrialian's to take up the national game of Knifey Spoony. Only once all computer games are banned will people return to the tradition game :)

  41. John P
    Paris Hilton

    Take heed

    all Brits, as this is exactly what Gordo and Nu Labour are after. Nothing short of complete control over everything we see, followed by everything we say or do.

    There is a BIG difference between protecting vulnerable young kiddies (who are generally out looking for this stuff anyway) from unsuitable content and curtailing an adult's right to view perfectly legal adult content (be it pr0n or 18+ games) whenever he or she so chooses. It won't be long before someone sues the government for breach of human rights, and as an added rarity, use of the 'breach of human rights' clause will actually be suitable.

    Paris - cos it won't be long before she gets banned from the Ozzie Interwebs.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    In other worlds:

    Oceanias Government announces:

    There is no pr0n on the internet. There has never been pr0n on the internet. Sexcrime is punishable by death, everybody knows that.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Seriously, what does Australia contribute to the world?

    Foster's is about the only thing I can think of, apart from bad TV programmes nobody watches.

    Unfortunately Foster's is very nice, but I will not buy things from oppressive tinpot dictatorships like Iran, North Korea or Australia.

    I just hope the UK never becomes as bad as Australia is on the way to... If they do, I'm leaving.

  44. Jaymeister

    Surprised face?

    I do believe this farce with the aussie firewall has worn out my surprised face long ago.

    No-one should be surprised by this. Any efforts to censor the internet in the interests of protecting the people are really just a thinly veiled excuse to set up censorship so you can screw the people over. Always have been, always will be.

    My only advice is for those poor sods down under to take heed of my chosen icon for this post. Interpret it any way you will.

  45. Yorkshirepudding
    Big Brother

    on the upside

    it might stop little kids shouting down the headset on cod4


  46. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    All your minds are belong to us

    Almost anything you like will offend or annoy someone, somewhere. In fact, I bet nobody can name three things that someone else will not object to ("two dandelions and a daisy" do not count - they are all flowers. And I know a few hayfever sufferers who would actually welcome a completely concrete planet!)

    With that in mind, how long before it will be ilegal to think, do or say anything because there will always be at least one complainant (witness the "mass uproar" of 2 or 3 complaints over some tv ads, for example) who wants it banned?

    Think of the children, think of the wimmin, think of the religious bigots, think of the ministers who want you to believe that they are so much better at deciding what is good for you than you are - I don't waste time watching skin flicks or playing online games but that doesn't mean I want them banned - whasn't it Machiavelli who said "I may not agree with you, but I will defend your right to say it"?

    Freedom of speech and freedom of 'action' in the English-speaking world is disappearing rapidly, and we are almost powerless to prevent it. try organising a protest and watch how fst the "anti-terror" laws get invoked - if you don't support the Government, then you must be against it, which means you must agree with <insert Terrorist of the Week here> and therefore you are an enemy of the People.

  47. Paw Bokenfohr


    Just OMFG. Lost for any other words.

  48. JohnG

    Online game = Get around the Great Firewall of Australia

    Surely one of the most popular online games will be to get around the Great Firewall of Australia? After that, the world's your oyster.

  49. LaeMi Qian

    Ah, Australia!

    Beautiful one day, [CENSORED] the next.

  50. John G Imrie
    Big Brother

    @Jaap stoel

    When will opposing political views be considered too dangerous for the public?

    That was lat year, if you didn't get the update report to Miniluv for reconditioning.


  51. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: All your minds are belong to us

    "...think of the wimmin"? Be a little more specific, please. I can't imagine you're merrily lumping us all in with religious bigots.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Free country?

    Sorry, but no place on Earth has come close in over 100 years. Any criticism leveled against the government isn't valid so long as people continue to support political solutions. This is political democracy in action, no point in complaining unless you reject the entire system that goes with it.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    YES!!! YES!!!!

    I was fed up of all the Aussies telling me how much better their lifestyle and weather is than the UKs, now they're heading towards a dictatorship, I AM LAUGHING MY HEAD OFF!!!

    Get it RIGHT UP YE!!!

  54. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    Sites that would be banned:



    Valve (Steam)

    Microsoft (XBL and Games for Windows Live)

    Sony (PS3 thingy)




    Online versions of Big Box stores

    Why you gotta be that guy Auz?

  55. Michael Nielsen

    Still wonder

    What kind of person really thinks that they have the rights to define what other Adult can or cannot see or do.

    Adults are supposed to be able to decide for themselves, that's what makes them adults.

    Funnily enough I read (in an Australian report) a few years ago that the reason that XXX movies were banned (censored) in Australia was because they were so "violent" (mind you XXX is usually defined as non-violent porn), however at the very same time R18+ allows for various chainsaw massacre movies, and movies where people are having bits chopped off.

    So Basically censors throughout the world thinks this way.

    showing breasts, rear ends, without clothe or natural human reproduction someone swearing, or criticising religion - end of the civilised world, must be censored.

    Seeing someone getting gutted, or cut to pieces in graphic details - that is natural, occurs everywhere anyhow, so no problem.

    lol, check out any kind of media censorship through out the world, and that's the general rule, a bit of breast, sex, or the like, then they censor it heavily. Violence, that's ok - after all the usual robberies are done by someone whipping out their unmentionable and threatening to wack off.. in front their victims.. Never heard of a gun, or knife used for violent robberies, or murders - have you ?

    Sorry, but I really cannot figure out the censorship through out the world, nor why it exists.

    When people starts to believe they have the "rights" to decide what is appropriate for others, then we have already left freedom, civil rights behind, and civilisation behind, and are now talking dictatorships of one kind or another - or at the very least the initial steps towards it.

    Child porn is already illegal because child abuse is illegal, under most laws, in most countries, how about enforcing these laws, pressuring the last few places where child abuse is not illegal, to make it illegal, instead of pulling the easy censorship card out, which all too often leads to corruption, and abuses of people's civil rights. In other words, let's do something about the problem "child abuse", instead of hiding it "censorship".

  56. Secretgeek

    @Michael Nielsen

    Australia isn't the only country with that kind of schizophrenia towards sex and violence. Just take a look at the greatest split-personality suffering country of all - America. You can watch someone being dismembered limb by limb much easier than you can see two people having consensual sex.

    Anyone but me think that's slightly unhealthy?

    As for mainstream TV, Family Guy put it best.

    'They will clean up all your talking in a menace such as this

    They will make you take a tinkle when you want to take a p*ss

    And they'll make you call fellatio a trouser-friendly kiss

    It's the plain situation!

    There's no negiotiation!

    With the fellows at the freakin FCC!'

    Burn 'em all.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Why not just be done with it?

    And jsut build a huge wall around the island, cut off all communications and turn it back into a prison....

  58. fishcakes
    Big Brother

    love this...


    Ah, Australia!

    By LaeMi Qian Posted Friday 26th June 2009 12:13 GMT

    Beautiful one day, [CENSORED] the next.


    Please tell me your name's Chinese. It would make it even funnier.

    I promised the missus that, after being in the UK for a while, we'd move back to Aus. Really, really, starting to regret that now: expensive food, expensive beer, expensive clothes, expensive broadband; thought I would be leaving all that behind.

    At least the free online content filter protects my sweet, innocent, incapable-of-having-had-a-single-mature-thought-since-i-was-15, mind from dangerous influences like a computer game. Here's the thing: the MA15+ is rated for 15 year old girls as well as boys, so it's games that 50-yr-old politicians think are inappropriate for 15-yr-old girls.

    [chose the pic because it's the closest to hitler i could find.]

  59. Anonymous Coward

    @Sara Bee (actually more like @All your minds...)

    children, women, what about the men? there are plenty of things that WE (I am myself a proud cardholding member of this exclusive club) do not enjoy or condone (IF you choose to group half the population of earth (aprox) into one huge demographic and then discount the oppinions of a few million...)

    When will we get a great internet firewall that blocks out the great social mind pornography that is soap series? Eastenders and Corrie is corrupting out young boys and men and making them believe it's normal to behave like complete lunatics or that they represent normal social relationships... or that you can go to your room in one episode and never be seen again!?!?

    Tis an outrage!

    If only we could make some sort of consensus over what everyone likes or dislikes, and then kill off the minorities... we would finaly have harmony.

    I guess we could just imprison the people who don't agree with 'us' (whoever 'us' are) but quite frankly I find this to be just one huge cop out.

    androgynous person with jacket who could be of any age and of any sex!

  60. Ross Atkins

    @jake (Is this any real loss?)

    Yes, it certainly is. You ask "Does anyone over the age of 15 actually play computer games?" Well, I (mid-thirties) do, my housemate (also mid-thirties) does, my GF (mid-twenties), my parents (both mid-sixties) and any number of other people play games of all kinds. Just because YOU don't, you don't think anyone else needs to either? That's verging dangerously close to the kind of thinking that our dear Senator Stalin^H^H^H^H^H^HConroy is using when he thinks there's not going to be a backlash over this.

    Oh, and AC(26th June 10:33): FOSTER'S a worthwhile contribution to the world?! What on earth were you drinking beforehand that Foster's actually seems like an improvement? It could all be poured straight back into the horse it came from and leave the world a better place. We only ship it out to other countries because nobody here will touch the stuff.

  61. Kevin (Just Kevin)

    @Ross Atkins

    Yes, you play games but those games are all rated MA15+ or lower. Anything rated above that is ILLEGAL. It's the highest classification that exists in Australia.

    I, like you, don't agree with the filter but people are having the wrong argument. They don't want you to stop playing Mahjong or Spider Solitaire. They just want to stop downloads of "Let's beat the cr*p out of women for points" - which is illegal and can't be bought anywhere in Australia (legally).

    So, let's talk about censorship, the secrecy of the list, the double-talk, etc. But to get distracted into "not only 15 year olds play games" dilutes the arguments that are worth having.

  62. Lionel Baden


    the problem is from this report i dont beleive it is just going to be lets beat the crap out of women thats going to be banned !

    and anyway more to the point everybody is making

    is it not my decision if i want to play letsbeat the crap out of women game

    tbh depending on how the game is made it may even be humorous. what about the the game for fighting gods e.g. you could pitch jesus VS buddah etc etc

    That would get banned for being so controversial but hey i laughed my bollocks off and im christian.

    but then again not everybody would find it funny some people found it offensive and tried to get it banned !!!

    make your own mind up unless you would like somebody else to tell you if its offensive. and will you believe them and trust them ?? (whilst they build moats for a 100k)

    and the actual game

  63. jake Silver badge

    @Ross Atkins

    Read the rest of mine. I think you'll find it more balanced than you thought.

    Agree about Fosters. I'll drink Bud Light before Fosters.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like