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Tech Talk Radio Show 12 of 2009
Transmission date: March 23, 2009

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Ep 12: TTR Ep 1209: Susan McClean talks Cyber Safety and Kids, Microsoft’s IE8 officially hits the streets, Lidija Davis talks Facebook and Adam Turner joins us live in the studio to talk about Freeview.

March 23 , 2009

A storm is brewing over the parliamentary offices of the minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital economy,  Senator Steven Conroy. One of the 2007 election promises of the Rudd government is seemingly becoming a little more problematic than first thought. Protecting our children on line at first glance seems to be a noble and proper thing to do, but what’s now becoming evident, is the problems associated with implementing such a policy and spinning it in such a way, that is has a positive connotation  - that is protection of our kids – how can that be bad? On the other side of the coin, you have that ugly word censorship – a word that no politician would ever want to use in context with homeland policy. OK, nice idea, now let’s implement it.

So the first thing Senator Conroy needs is cooperation with those organizations providing the community with connectivity to the internet. There are two possible outcomes here, a positive – “yeah sure”, we can help with that, or a ‘you’ve got to be kidding – “bugger off”. What do you think the result would be? History now shows that the latter was the response of all the major ISP’s. Some (iiNet) even offered to help out to prove that what the minister was proposing simply wouldn’t work. Funnily enough, that offer was not taken up by the minister’s office.

Late last year, a list was finally published containing the names of six small ISP’s who the government had chosen to be the guinea pigs in its Australia wide filtering system. The next, and possibly most dangerous part of this whole process was to start compiling a list of websites that would be blocked by these ISPs. This onerous task was given to ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This list, in anyone’s terms would be a black list. A list that, if it ever found its way into the public arena, would be extremely detrimental to the governments cause because it would be considered a “censorship” list – a list of sites that the Rudd government didn’t want you see.

Last week the inevitable happened, this list became public through the website Wikileak.
Not only does it look like the government need legislation for ISP compliance in the implementation of this filter, but it’s now under criticism about what is on and not on the list, the list that was supposed to protect our children online, and the lack of security surrounding the list. On one hand the government doesn’t want to be seen as censors of the internet, and on the other it wants block access to sites which it believes is detrimental to the nation. The two concepts are mutually exclusive.

There seems to be a growing resistance to the Rudd Government’s policy both from many factions of society within Australia. At what point does the government reevaluate its policy? At the moment getting any form of legislation through the senate to force ISPs to comply seems to be lost cause, so what rabbit is Conroy going to pull from his hat? Chances are the hat is empty, and his deck of cards was four cards short. The good news is he’s still has the joker, which he just might have to play to disperse the perfect storm.

Susan McCleanThis week on TTR

Susan McLean, former Victoria Police Officer, who was Victoria Police’s first ‘Cyber Cop’, joins the panel to discuss the current trends in cyber bullying. Susan has a 27 background in law enforcement and is considered an expert in the area of cyber safety and young people.

Microsoft’s IE8 officially hits the streets,
Lidija Davis talks Facebook and
Adam Turner joins us live in the studio.