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Mandatory Censorship in Australia Could Affect Internet Gambling

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Oct/30/2008
Australia Censorship

AUSTRALIA will join China in implementing mandatory censoring of the internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government.  That's the latest news from the Herald Sun

The government there will be introducing a national Internet filter aimed primarily at adult websites (porn).

As reported by the Herald Sun:

The revelations emerge as US tech giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups unveiled a code of conduct aimed at safeguarding online freedom of speech and privacy.

The plan was first created as a way to combat child pronography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy revealed the mandatory censorship to the Senate estimates committee as the Global Network Initiative, bringing together leading companies, human rights organisations, academics and investors, committed the technology firms to "protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users".

Mr Conroy said trials were yet to be carried out, but "we are talking about mandatory blocking, where possible, of illegal material."

The net nanny proposal was originally going to allow Australians who wanted uncensored access to the web the option of contacting their internet service provider to be excluded from the service.

Human Rights Watch has condemned internet censorship, and argued to the US Senate "there is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing the internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War, because some governments fear the potential of the internet, (and) want to control it".

Yet these same Human Rights Watch groups haven't exactly been vocal about condemning the state of Kentucky from blocking some 141 Internet gambling domain names.  A forfeiture hearing is scheduled for mid-November in that matter.

As for the Australian censorship action, Yahoo co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang welcomed the new code of conduct.

"These principles provide a valuable roadmap for companies like Yahoo operating in markets where freedom of expression and privacy are unfairly restricted," he said.

"Yahoo was founded on the belief that promoting access to information can enrich people's lives, and the principles we unveil today reflect our determination that our actions match our values around the world."

Payton O'Brien, Gambling911.com Senior Editor

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