Will Second Life, Skype, Even Google Be Blocked By The Australian Government?

January 6, 2008 — 3 Comments

I’ve been discussing on Twitter and elsewhere this week exactly what may be blocked by the Great Firewall of Australia once our nanny-state Government decides to implement it (we’re not sure exactly how yet either, could by via Regulation/ Declaration via ACMA, of by Act of Parliament).

The key is that the Australian Government wants to block anything that is pornography, inappropriate material, illegal and violent, at least those are the words used in the various press reports. The censorship loons and the do-gooders are naturally focused on porn, so lets just take a brief look in that direction.

Naturally we’d be talking about porn sites, because X rated porn is illegal in Australia…except ironically in Canberra. But “porn sites aren’t the only places you can find porn.

Second Life

I’d think Second Life would be high up the ban list of the Australian Government because simply Second Life contains seedier areas that include virtual hard core porn, and perhaps worst beastiality and “age play” as well (mind you, SL would be better off with out the last one…that my friends is beyond sick, and likely illegal as well). The thing is though you cant simply block one part of Second Life and not the other “clean” parts, these aren’t web sites we are talking about, this is an all encompassing virtual world.

There was some talk a while back on SLOZ (now Metaverse Journal) about Telstra hosting its own Second Life servers, and perhaps this is where we might all end up, in our own small version of Second Life that it cut off from the rest of the world.

Skype

Skype can be used as a conduit for porn, at least the over 400k references to Skype Porn on Google would suggest that it might be. The Government cant stop people using Skype for “clean” purposes over porn so it may well get blocked.

Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, Usenet

Definitely a good chance of getting blocked. Usenet in particular is full of porn, from pictures through the videos. Google Groups is part Usenet, and Yahoo Groups have been dirty from the mid 90s onwards.

BitTorrent

There’s porn there, lots of porn. The fact that a lot of file sharing is illegal as well may well push the Government towards banning BitTorrent.

Email?

OK, this is a long shot, but I can still get porn delivered to my inbox, and indeed if I check my spam folder in Gmail now it’s full of porn.

Twitter

Talk dirty to me, face getting blocked

Blogs

Lots of porn on blogs, lots of other blogs that use words such as fuck and cunt that would given them an R rating that would result in them being blocked as well

Google

Google cache offers snapshots of sites, including porn sites, then there’s Google Images for thumbnails as well.

Internet Archive

See Google. The have snapshots of porn sites.

The last few examples may be a long stretch but you’d get the idea. The Government cannot fully block porn and other things it deems we should not be looking at or reading, and yet if it attempts to do so our rights to partake in non-porn activities will be impeded, and that’s even before you consider that our internet speeds could be up to 78% slower due to the firewall itself.

3 responses to Will Second Life, Skype, Even Google Be Blocked By The Australian Government?

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