Ep 14 of 2010
April 5, 2010
Conroy seems damned if he does damned if doesn’t these days, and why wouldn’t he. According in reports in ITwire last week,Communications Minister Stephen Conroy rejected suggestions from ALP colleague Senator Kate Lundy that the Government offer an ''opt-out' for its plan for a mandatory ISP-level filter.
On the eve of the introduction of filtering legislation to parliament, Senator Conroy appeared on the 'Australia Talks' program on Radio National last night to battle an almost universal condemnation of the filtering scheme where he reiterated his policy and said Australian citizens should not be able to opt out of the filter as the Government does not allow the same liberties with other forms of media.
The Minister said he had received no official complaint from the US State Department about his plans to filter the Australian internet and yet The Australian newspaper reported that the State Department contacted the Australian Government to express its concerns over the filter. Who’s telling porkies now then?
A caller accused the Minister of only using examples of content that causes "moral outrage" - such as child pornography and bestiality - as examples of what would be blocked, which suggested to him a "political agenda." But the Minister argued that trials of the filtering technology found it to be "100 percent accurate".
There would be "no overblocking or underblocking," he said. "It is 100 percent accurate, and blocks only an individual page within a network."He said that pages providing detail on how to commit suicide would be blocked, while pages containing debate about euthanasia as an issue would be left unscathed. Conroy said the Howard government's client filtering alternative was a "complete failure" because less than 30,000 Australians downloaded a filter at a cost to the Federal Government of $84 million.
November is fast approaching and Conroy has two ticking time bombs in his portfolio – the NBN which still remains in limbo as there’s been no decision made in the carve up of Telstra, and the internet filter which has been the target of world wide condemnation. If only we knew what the Opposition party had in mind for both, we may have a clearer picture of what’s in store for communications in this country in the decades to come.
This week on TTR
Conroy under attack from all directions?
Google toys with closing Australian office,
Microsoft deploys updates for Internet Explorer outside the normal cycle
The creator of the worlds first PC dies and
Adam tells about the latest domain scams