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Australian web filter to censor imports

Online retailers selling 15-plus rated games to be blocked

The Australian Government has promised to use its new nation-wide internet censorship regime to block sites hosting and selling games unsuitable for 15-year-olds. Dark days...

Australia is without an 18 certificate for games, which means that anything that can't be given a 15 rating is simply banned.

So far the law has only applied to physical retail, but it's now been confirmed that Australia's internet filtering will be extended to downloadable games, web games and sites which sell physical copies of games that do not meet the 15 rating.

In other words a 30-year-old adult (the average age of gamers in Aus) will no longer be able to buy games rated above 15 online... or at all. A free country?

Colin Jacobs, spokesman for the online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the Government has gone beyond its mandate to help parents deal with cyber-safety.

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"Far from being the ultimate weapon against child abuse, [the mandatory censorship scheme] will now will officially censor content deemed too controversial for a 15-year-old. In a free country like ours, do we really need the government to step in and save us from racy web games?"

The filtering could also block "the importation of physical copies of computer games sold over the internet which have been classified RC," reports the Sydney Morning Herald (via Kotaku).

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