Australia’s drive to protect its own population from the horrors of the internet may be starting to have knock-on effects on the surfing habits of its neighbour, New Zealand - some websites are no longer accessible in NZ via Aussie ISPs.
A Reg reader wrote to tell us: "NZ surfers being routed via Optus routers in Oz have been blocked from NHL.com, and peopleofwalmart.com along with all 'Gamehouse' social games on Facebook.
"This doesn't appear to be blocking people inside Oz, just certain NZ telcos relaying via Oz... X-net is one NZ ISP seemingly unaffected - maybe their subscribers are all clean living priests or summat... Then again..."
For those unfamiliar with the joys of the sites in question, People of Walmart is in no way affiliated to the store of that name, describing itself as "a satirical social commentary of the extraordinary sights found at America’s favorite store".
While the sight of bizarrely-dressed, half-dressed and cross-dressed shoppers parading the aisles of Walmart may be alarming to Middle America, we have yet to identify any content that might remotely be classifiable as "smut".
However, the block on NHL is even more peculiar, preventing New Zealanders from reading about the goings-on in the North American National Hockey League. These may well be violent, but to suggest they are in any way pornographic is something of a stretch.
According to our reader, a tracert command will take the diligent surfer as far as "vlanxxx.52gdc76fo2.optus.net.au" before vanishing into the ether. If anyone can shed any further light on this contrary piece of censorship, please let us know. ®