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A modest proposition

Okay, back on the topic of Australia’s proposed Internet filtering system, which is continuing to move forward. The films V for Vendetta and American Gangster from iTunes are now blocked to those who would purchase them but are a part of the trial system.

Why? Because iTunes requires no more than a valid credit-card payment as a verification method for access to mature content.

Does that sound like anyone we know?

Being that it’s essentially Web-based, of course, the filtering system can block individual URLs, but other services (like, for example, Second Life) would have to either be blocked entirely or left entirely open.

A part of the problem, according to Cameron Watt, is that Apple assume that anyone able to buy with a credit card must be over 18 – and so they are not applying an approved age rating system to the transaction. – The Register

That’s essentially the same system that Linden Lab is using, in addition to the Aristotle service, no? That’s a matter of some concern, I must say.

Senator Conroy describes the purpose of the system, saying “Our proposition has always been a modest one – to block child pornography…”

I must have missed seeing the child pornography in V for Vendetta and American Gangster. Maybe it was in the director’s cut.

Actually, only 34% of the blacklist covers child pornography. With the majority of the blacklist devoted to things that aren’t child pornography, what happened to that modest proposition?

Both the films, of course, are available in video stores, supermarkets and video-rental stores. Which is just fine. Purchasing them online, however, from someone without an “approved age rating system” (I can’t find a description of what might make one an ‘approved’ one anywhere) is naughty – but purchasing them offline from someone without an “approved age rating system” is okay.

Currently, Exetel (the company providing the technology) reports that the trial was a “runaway success.”

I suppose it must be, because the notion makes me want to run away.



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