Australia Looks to Ban Online Poker Sites

Australia Looks to Ban Online Poker Sites - March 2009

The list of Internet sites to be banned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority reveals that such virtual casino gamble poker rooms as PokerStars are included, as well as news sites such as PokerNews. The sites placed under ban are supposed to be top secret, and the Australian government has threatened to fine any media revealing the list as much as $11,000.

The filtering program has met with mass disapproval. Even fervent gambling opponent and Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has rejected the plan. Reports indicate the process slows Internet speeds by more than half, and legitimate sites are accidentally blocked while targets easily evade the filter. Australia's two largest Internet services have refused to cooperate with testing of the filtering software.

The government had suggested approximately 1300 sites would be barred from Australian computers by the nationwide filter. But the current list is almost double that size, containing over 2300 webpages to be blocked. But far more sinister are the implications concerning government control of information. As well as online poker sites, other targets include political sites on abortion, youtube videos, and even a dentist's office.




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