Stephen Conroy’s hubris knows no bounds, this weekend he was pushing ‘for the filter to go ahead regardless’.
MINISTER for Communications Stephen Conroy has vowed to push on with his controversial internet filtering scheme, despite a barrage of criticism.
”This is a policy that will be going ahead,” Senator Conroy said. ”We are still consulting on the final details of the scheme. But this policy has been approved by 85 per cent of Australian internet service providers, who have said they would welcome the filter, including Telstra, Optus, iPrimus and iinet.”
– (2010-May-30) [The Age]
That would be Senator Conroy speaking on behalf of the ISPs, regardless of their actual stated opinion regarding the filter;
A spokesperson for iiNet today said the company had been in touch with the office of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to complain after he claimed it was in support of the Government’s filtering policy.
“We’ve been in touch with Senator Conroy’s office to reaffirm that we don’t support the filter and requested him not to misrepresent our position,” they said.
– (2010-May-31) [NEWS.com.au]
The Age ran a poll with the initial story asking “Should the government filter the internet?”
Poll: Should the government filter the internet?
(86,703 votes votes)
That is 99% of 86,703 votes not wanting the Government to filter the internet, even allowing for an inaccurate poll this is still a statistically significant result. Isn’t the government supposed to represent the public? This attitude would go along way towards explaining why one in four voters is now alienated from the two major parties.. Pushing against that sort of public opinion is an arrogance that should see Senator Conroy loose his seat at the next election.
ABC television’s Q&A program – Episode 7 – 26/03/2009
Q&A live from Melbourne
On the Q&A panel were Stephen Conroy – Minister for Communications, Greg Hunt – Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Andrew Bolt – Provocative Columnist, Louise Adler – Publisher and Susan Carland – Muslim Sociologist.
[Download this episode of Q&A as MP4]
Blacklist snares Bill Henson fan site
… Colin Jacobs, spokesman for online users lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said: “With an abortion site, the Peaceful Pill Handbook and Bill Henson photos all now revealed to be on the blacklist, claims that the list only includes the ‘worst of the worst’ of the web are sounding like those over-emphatic defences of Guantanamo Bay.”
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said: “It’s a classic example of that scope creep. They say it’s about the worst of the worst but before you know it it’s expanding to cover other kinds of material.” …
– Blacklist snares Bill Henson fan site (2009-Mar-27) [SMH]
‘Oh no, we won’t block sites for political reasons’
Who watches the watchers?
Conroy admits blacklist error, blames ‘Russian mob’
… Senator Conroy, under siege after this website’s report yesterday afternoon that an innocuous link containing Henson’s artistic photographs of young boys had been added to the blacklist, said “the classification board looked at this website and actually said it’s PG”.
“A technical error inside ACMA I’m advised included it … but it was actually cleared by the Classification Board so it shouldn’t be on the list,” Senator Conroy said.
“I’ve asked ACMA in the last few hours to go through their entire list again to see if there are any other examples of this.” …
– Conroy admits blacklist error, blames ‘Russian mob’ (2009-Mar-27) [The Age]
I think we are now at the point where this system’s credibility (along with the Minister’s) has sunk below zero and into the negatives.
‘Caching error’ caused Henson blacklisting
… The Australian Communications and Media Authority said in a statement that a link to innocuous PG-rated artistic photographs taken by Bill Henson was incorrectly included on the list in the period December 1, 2008 to February 19, 2009 as the result of a “computer system caching error”. …
– ‘Caching error’ caused Henson blacklisting (2009-Mar-27) [The Age]
A caching error, who are they trying to kid? After fed being this crock as an answer we are supposed to trust the ACMA with technical internet solutions; boy are we in trouble!
This list contains 2395 webpages or site variations derived from the those secretly banned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and used by a government approved censorship software maker in its “ACMA only” censorship mode. The last update to the ACMA list is August 6, 2008.
While Wikileaks is used to exposing secret government censorship in developing countries, we now find Australia acting like a democratic backwater. Apparently without irony, ACMA threatens fines of upto $11,000 a day for linking to sites on its secret, unreviewable, censorship blacklist — a list the government hopes to expand into a giant national censorship machine.
History shows that secret censorship systems, whatever their original intent, are invariably corrupted into anti-democratic behavior.
This week saw Australia joining China and the United Arab Emirates as the only countries censoring Wikileaks. We were not notified by ACMA. …
That’s the problem with secret lists, they become public. And then they can be analysed.
University of Sydney associate professor Bjorn Landfeldt said the leaked list “constitutes a condensed encyclopedia of depravity and potentially very dangerous material”.
He said the leaked list would become “the concerned parent’s worst nightmare” as curious children would inevitably seek it out.
But about half of the sites on the list are not related to child porn and include a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist. 
ACMA said Australians caught distributing the list or accessing child pornography sites on the list could face criminal charges and up to 10 years in prison.
 Australian government secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist, 6 Aug 2008 (2009-Mar-18) [Wikileaks]
 Internet filter blacklist leaked on web (2009-Mar-19) [ABC News]
 Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites (2009-Mar-19) [The Age]
 Wikileaks reveals secret blacklist behind proposed Great Firewall of Australia (2009-Mar-18) [BoingBoing]
 ACMA list of prohibited and potentially prohibited overseas hosted content (2009-Mar-19) [ACMA]
Censorship Minister Stephen Conroy
Proving you can’t have too big a turkey for Christmas;
THE Federal Government’s controversial internet censorship scheme may extend to filter more online traffic than was first thought, Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy revealed today.
In a post on his department’s blog, Senator Conroy today said technology that could filter data sent directly between computers would be tested as part of the upcoming live filtering trial.
“Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial,” Senator Conroy said. …
– (2008-Dec-22) [news.com.au]
When was it to start again? Looks like someone has some overtime during the Christmas break … perhaps we can just “turn on the filter switch”.
… A live trial of filtering technology is scheduled to begin this week, but internet service providers have so far been kept in the dark over the details.
Less than a week before the trial was due to begin, participating ISPs Optus and iiNet said they had not been told if their applications had been accepted … — (2008-Dec-22) [news.com.au]
Minister Stephen Conroy has even started to blog (?) regarding the issue; unfortunately like most of this process the blog was more for looks at was scheduled to turn off at 3pm on the 24th Dec 2008 BEFORE any actual trial results can be evaluated.
One element of this program is the Government’s proposal to introduce internet service provider- (ISP-) level internet filtering. I’m aware that this proposal has attracted significant debate and criticism—on this blog and at other places in the blogosphere. I’m following the debate at sites like Whirlpool and GetUp and on Twitter at #nocleanfeed.
The Government takes the issue of cyber-safety extremely seriously and welcomes public debate about how we can achieve our goal of protecting children from harmful internet content. We wouldn’t have set up this site (or published negative comments on it) if we were trying to close down discussion. –
Minister Conroy on: Promoting a civil and confident society online (2008-Dec-22) [Minister Conroy]
Ok Minister there is a vast difference between following and listening to. Perhaps rather than just following you start listing to some of the opposing opinion especially when some of the opinion if from the experts in the field;
The System Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) represents professional system administrators across Australia. System administrators are the technical people behind commercial networks and computing systems, large and small. Accordingly, we believe SAGE-AU is in an excellent position to contribute to the discussion of the technical issues with your Department’s proposed network filter. Our Code of Ethics (1) requires that we communicate with users regarding computing issues likely to affect them; and thus we feel it essential that we explain these issues to you. … The proposed Internet filter cannot achieve its stated goal …