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Melon Farmers



8th November

 Offsite Article: A venal political attack on the press...

Link Here  full story: News Censorship in Australia...Government reforms on news media censorship
australian government logo The Australian s Chris Mitchell on the illiberal liberals threatening press freedom. By Tim Black

See article from spiked-online.com

 

31st October

 Update: State Censors...

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Australian government defends its wide-ranging ability to block websites without accountability
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
australian government logo Australia's law-enforcement agency has defended its use of a law that requires ISPs to block websites government agencies deem illegal, without judicial oversight.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) claimed they need section 313 of the Telecommunications Act, which requires telcos to enforce criminal laws, protect public revenue and anything deemed to be a matter of national security.

The AFP, financial regulator ASIC and an unidentified national security agency have interpreted the law to mean they have the power to order telcos to block websites hosting illegal material.

But ISPs have called for restrictions. They argue there is not enough oversight and that some providers had even received blocking requests from animal protection agency the RSPCA.

Between 2011 and 2013 the Department of Communications estimated 32 requests to block websites had been made. As far as it was aware, only three government agencies had used the power.

 

17th October

  Classified as a Bit Dull...

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Australian Classification Board publishes its Annual Report for 2013-2014
Link Here
australian classification board 2013 2014 A few snippets from Director Lesley O'Brien's overview:

In this reporting year, the Board made 4156 decisions. This included 4066 commercial classification decisions, 30 classification decisions on internet content referred by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and 60 classification decisions for enforcement agencies.

During the reporting period, 38 publications were audited. One publication had its serial classification revoked as a result of the audit. This decision was subsequently overturned by the Review Board.

Nineteen of the Board's decisions were reviewed by the Classification Review Board in 2013â?�14. These were for the review of the classification for 13 computer games, five films and to review the decision to revoke a serial classification of a publication. Of the 13 computer games reviewed, the original classification remained unchanged. Of the five films reviewed, the original classification for one film remained unchanged. The Review Board decided not to revoke the serial classification for the publication upon review.

On 1 January 2013, an R 18+ category for computer games took effect in conjunction with new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games which were agreed to by all state and territory ministers who have responsibility for classification matters.

Australian Film Classification Board

Australia

The Film Classification Board

The Australian state censor has responsibility for cinema, home video, video games, books and magazines.

Appeals about censorship decisions are heard by the Classification Review Board.

Film & Game Classifications

- G: (General Exhibition) These films and computer games are for general viewing.

- PG: (Parental Guidance) Contains material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.

- M:  (Recommended for mature audiences) Contains material that is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age.

- MA15+ (Mature Accompanied) The content is considered unsuitable for exhibition by persons under the age of 15. Persons under this age may only legally purchase or exhibit MA15+ rated content under the supervision of an adult guardian.

- R18+ (Restricted) People under 18 may not buy, rent or exhibit these films

- X18+ (Restricted) People under 18 may not buy, rent or exhibit these films. This rating applies to real sex content only

- RC (Refused Classification)Banned

Note that there is no R18+ X18+ available for games so adult games often end up getting banned much to the annoyance of gamers.

Note also that films classified as X18+ (Restricted) are banned from sale or rent in most of Australia. They can only be sold from Northern Territory and ACT (Canberra). Mail order and imports are allowed though and possession of X18+ material is legal

Publication Classifications

 - Unrestricted

- Unrestricted Mature: Not recommended for readers under 15.

- Restricted Category 1: Not available to persons under 18 years. Softcore

- Restricted Category 2 : Not available to persons under 18 years. Only to be sold in adults only shops: Hardcore

- RC: Refused Classification. Banned

Only publications that would be restricted 1 & 2 need to be submitted for censorship. There is also a scheme that magazines only need to be submitted once. Subsequent issues inherit the same rating. However later issues can be 'called in' for reassessment if anything crops up to alert the censors of changes.

Websites:
Classification Board

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