The Null Device

Free speech in Australia

Another update on the state of free speech in Australia: A spoof of the Prime Minister's website, created by former Oz troublemaker Richard Neville, has been taken down by request from the Prime Minister's office, under anti-phishing guidelines designed to target sites which impersonate banks to steal user credentials. (Presumably a quick phone call was easier than sedition proceedings.) The site, johnhowardpm.org, was hosted by Yahoo, but used an Australian domain registrar, Melbourne IT. The moral of this story: if you say anything the Australian government doesn't approve of, don't register your domain in Australia.

Meanwhile, the reasons for the banning of the video game Getting Up in Australia have emerged: the game is illegal because it teaches skills that can be used in committing a crime, namely vandalism. Presumably under this precedent, all first-person shooters will now be illegal in Australia. And then there's Pac-Man, Mario Bros., and other games featuring behaviour-altering pills, which encourage drug use.

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