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12 February 2010

Australia Internet Censorship Issue at Breaking Point, by Greg Tingle - 11th February 2010

Special contributor to the website, Greg Tingle, looks at the continuing uproar over censorship attempts in Australia as they apply to the Internet and ultimately online gambling websites, some of which appeared on a much publicized "black list" some months ago.

Was it Hollywood's Elvira who said "All is fair in love and war"? Whatever the case that seems to be the mindset of "Anonymous" who is blasting Australian government websites in protest to the proposed Australian Internet filter also with its bastard cousin, the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) "blacklist".

Welcome "Operational Titstorm".

It's fair to say that some Aussies are bloody pissed off that their endless stream of "vice" such as porn, gaming and other "questionable material" may be cut off thank to the intenet filter cum post Australian election time.

As we know know too well, often when a a government tries to smother and cover up a news story the story becomes bigger. This is a classic example. It's now a red hot international news item and the more Senator Stephen Conroy and his team try to smother it, the more fuel gets added to the fire! The news story is up there with China's "Great Wall Of China" censorship matters, along with human rights, freedom of information, freedom of speech, Hillary Clinton and friends.

One needs little imagination to see that some parallels can be drawn to what will happen in Australian when certain things become illegal... they will go underground, likely get more popular and sought after, however some consumer protection will be lost.

In the igaming industry I would recommend that people stick to brands they know and trust, be it PartyGaming, BetUS, Betfair, Virgin Games and I understand that both Playtech and Microgaming powered online casinos currently have a clean bill of health.

If you're an Aussie reading this, my "spies" tell me that in approx 6 months Australians won't be able to access popular porn sites RedTube and YouPorn (unless they have some sort of whiz bang anti censorship - anti filter device)... something that could well end up on the black market (i.e: pubs and clubs, "mates rates" and items that "fell off the back of a truck"). Over a decade ago when pay TV was introduced to Australians one used to be able to purchase a device to plug into the standard pay TV equipment and get pay TV for free! This allowed consumers to get more variety of channels, unscrambled (and for free)... things could very well end up going in a similar direction for Australian internet users based on recent developments.

News just in... The Australian government is trying to pursue Google to voluntarily censor YouTube videos in Australia. Google have refused the government's request thus far.

Media Man thanks and praises American and Canadian news media and igaming media news websites for bringing the news to the people and we applaud Gambling911 in their fearless commitment to educating and informing the masses on internet censorship and other important matters pertaining to the igaming, betting and political arena.

Australian government spooks and contractors are trying to get the defaced websites back on the air as of the time of writing.

Greg Tingle, Media Man International