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Australia Plans Internet Filters to Block Online Casinos and More

But all Australians would be barred from sites thought dangerous to adults, which may contain Internet casinos as well as x-rated material featuring consenting adults.

Big Brother is alive and well in Australia, where the government plans to test Internet filters to prevent citizens from accessing online casinos. Senator Steve Fielding, who unsurprisingly campaigns under the "Family First" banner, wants a mandatory policy forcing service providers to filter available sites.

Australian political observers say the government is under pressure from a vocal minority to require Internet Service Providers to block not only illegal material, such as child pornography, but anything of which they disapprove, such as online gambling sites, pornography, fetish sites, and whatever comes next.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy had promised that anyone unhappy with the censorship of the Internet could opt out of the filtering plan, but Conroy's tune has changed. Now he says that there will be a two-tiered system.

Adults wishing to drop out of the block against websites deemed dangerous to children could do so. But all Australians would be barred from sites thought dangerous to adults, which may contain Internet casinos as well as x-rated material featuring consenting adults.

The blacklist would be administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which brings us back to Big Brother. Is the ministry's name not ridiculously Orwellian? When the Communications Authority is in charge of censorship and preventing communication, you know its past time to watch out for government.

Published on October 27, 2008 by A.J.Maldonado

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Recent Comments

Posted by: DavidWhen: 10/30/2008 02:36:06 PM EST

The real aim of this bill is political.

They do not want us educated out side of the main stream media.

They do not want changes in political structures, like monetary systems, taxation, freemarkets...
Posted by: DazzaWhen: 10/30/2008 03:20:47 PM EST
Australia has always been a backward country compared to most.
Australia is heading down the Chinese and early Russian path of limited democracy and where corruption, money and power will be the ultimate control.
Fortunately our government are NOT too clever yet and as most people know, setting up VPNs, and proxy servers is quite simple to bypass most filtering services.
Unfortunately though, the filtering will still slow down and hog bandwdth as some ISP have already stated. Up to 70% reduction in speed.
Good excuse for them to raise prices, reduce service and cash in!
Posted by: anti fascistWhen: 10/30/2008 03:28:03 PM EST
In a nation where the internet infrastructure is already sub third world standards they want to put a useless filter in that's going to make traffic even slower. Way to go. Guess they're going to raise even more tax to 'protect' us. 45+% taxes and a national firewall. Where do I sign up for the party, comrade?
Posted by: Joseph E.When: 10/30/2008 04:04:15 PM EST
About time something like this is done.Nowadays all teenagers have knowledge of the sex porn sites with all its evil. The mark left on these young ones is devastating and leads to drug abuse, sex crime and untisocial behavior
Posted by: Ken FurstWhen: 10/30/2008 04:10:19 PM EST
The concept that the Government knows best is quite frankly becoming a little on the nose. The arrogance of the previous Liberal government has obviously transferred to this current group of clowns, but even as I write this I think that Big K has enough political nouse to know that he is killing his chances of re election by this action alone. Australians have copped the gross abuse of their civil liberties for an incredibly long time, I wonder how much longer. Censorship is garbage, an outdated idea and Fielding should have more sense.
Posted by: MattWhen: 10/30/2008 05:00:12 PM EST
Funny thing is that the U.S is about to elected a socialist like our Australian Prime Minister. Ha Ha
How stupid is that.
Posted by: AndrewWhen: 10/30/2008 05:27:22 PM EST
I think this idea is ridiculous. Fair enough, filter sites like child-porn, how-to-make a bomb etc.. but filtering perfectly legal content that the government deems 'dangerous' to us is ludicrous.

Joseph E you're mind is warped by the media. I knew about porn sites since I was introduced to the internet 12 years ago at the age of 10. I've since seen them a lot in my time, have seen plenty of pornography and I am a perfectly stable person of society with a stable job and clean criminal history.

Basically what I am saying is your statement is a massive over-generalization. Porn is nasty, but it's out there and it's time that we stop sheltering people and educating them instead.

Posted by: someoneWhen: 10/30/2008 05:47:23 PM EST
umm your article is a bit wrong.
It's a two tiered system, yes. But 1st filter blocks illegal content, 2nd filter is for pornography and other things deemed unsafe for children.
The 2nd filter is opt-out, 1st filter is not.

There has been no mention of blocking online casinos, mostly because they're not deemed illegal. Blocking of online casinos could happen on the child safe filter, but is unlikely too as an online casino isn't generally deemed as something a child would end up at.

I'm all happy if they want to filter stuff, even if it's a big waste of money and current tests so far have deemed the filters as fairly poor and not accurate enough. But I'm only happy with it if people have the option to opt-out of all filtering, not just half of it

-- Someone from Aus