The SLENZ Update – No 106, June 29, 2009

Addendum  to SLENZ Update, No 105:

Hysteria over Australian SL-block

rumours: fear-mongering or worse …

The Sydney Morning Herald  journalist, Asher Moses, who wrote “Web filters to censor video games” – the story which led to “mass” Second Life hysteria – has disclosed to SLED-lister, Second Life resident  and PhD candidate in the  School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics,  at the University of Queensland, Morgan Leigh, that Second Life was never actually mentioned by Australian Senator Conroy or his spokesperson,  just “online games”.

Moses told Leigh that the story was based on a question the Green’s senator for Western Australia, Scott Ludlam, had asked of the government.

The question was “(13) Will computer games exceeding the requirements of the MA15+ classification be RC (refused classification) and potentially blocked by ISPs on a mandatory basis for adults; if not, what other exceptions to RC would be similarly permitted.”

Leigh told  SLED-listers this information, and other information on Ludlam’s questions on filtering and censorship,   could be found at  http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/question/further-details-about-blacklisted-items-and-urls

Leigh said Moses had “expressed surprise at the resultant hype regarding Second Life”.

Leigh, however, also told SLED-listers, “The latest (Australian) Government should have learned from the previous attempts  ( to filter internet content) that unless it wants  to turn Australia into  China it cannot widely block access.

“I for one am totally not worried that I will wake one day soon to find Second Life unavailable to me,” he said. “I am, however, worried by the broader issue of governments seeking to decide for adults what those adults can and cannot do.

“Australia is sadly lacking any kind of bill of rights. Our constitution apparently ‘implies’ we have certain rights, like free speech etc., but beyond that we are still just subjects of  Her Majesty.”

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