Kiwis Contemplate Jail Time for Aduts Who Buy M Rated Games for Minors

By Mike on 1:14 pm

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Could Canada be the last Commonwealth country left on Earth that hasn't gone totally insane? I know, that's very difficult to believe. Recently, both Australia and New Zealand have been cracking down hard on tech offenders, often for some downright silly things. While Oz is planning to put up it's own Great Firewall to block out "offensive" websites, the Kiwis think buying M-rates games for minors should be a criminal offense worthy of jail time.

According to Bill Hastings, a New Zealand government official, the law is already in place though is currently not enforced. The current penalty is a $10,000 fine or three years in prison. Assuming NZ uses the same legal system as Canada does, that would make it an indictable (capital for US readers) offense. Hastings wants to enforce jail time as a form of "shock value" to discourage others from committing the crime. ""They might think the offense is silly, but it ain't," Hastings told the Dominion Post. (As a side note, there's something unsettling about a government official using the term "ain't" during a press conference.) "That's what the law says, but... you're not going to have police officers in every bedroom... There would certainly be some shock value to prosecuting a parent who gives their under-18 child access to a restricted game. It would send out a message that the enforcement agency means business. I think the word 'game' can mislead people for sure. It's not checkers. For the first time in history, kids are more savvy with technology than parents... parents need to get up to speed on the digital divide. They need to look at what their kids are playing and doing," he added.

There seems to be a disturbingly illiberal trend occurring in British Commonwealth countries recently towards widespread censorship and surveillance. As I said, Canada seems to be one of the few exceptions where this is not happening. That's not to say it couldn't happen. Most would probably agree it's wrong to give your child an M rated game but is that really worth putting someone behind bars, or even such a steep fine? Of course not. There has also been talk of doing similar things within the United States but for the most part it's fallen on deaf ears. It's not the same thing as buying alcohol, smokes, or a Swank and giving it to a minor. What's next, jail time for parents who let their kids watch R rated movies? Huge fines if their kid stumbles on your old Playboys? Give me a break.

Source: PSU

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