'Appalled' opposition hits back at Conroy’s Internet censorship
- 24 October, 2008 14:35
The newly appointed shadow broadband minister, Senator Nick Minchin, has voiced his appall that a member of Senator Conroy’s office had tried to curb severely critical comments made by Internode network engineer Mark Newton regarding the government’s Internet content filtering scheme.
Labor’s plan for content filtering will require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to offer a clean feed Internet service to all homes, schools and public Internet access points.
Under the scheme there will be two blacklists: one which blocks illegal material like child pornography; and another blacklist, referred to in a department press release, which blocks a list of material deemed unsuitable for children.
Users can opt out of the latter blacklist, but there is no opt-out for “illegal content”.
ISPs have warned that blanket content filtering will cripple Internet speeds because the technology is not up to scratch. Civil libertarians such as the Electronic Frontiers Association have warned that filtering could lead to censorship of drugs, political dissidence, information on euthanasia and other legal freedoms, in addition to mistakenly blocking legitimate material. A content filtering scheme installed within the offices of parliament in May reportedly blocked legitimate topics such as gun control and breast-feeding.
This morning, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that a policy advisor at Senator Conroy’s office had sent an e-mail to the Internet Industry Association (IIA) expressing concern that Internode’s Mark Newton, as an IIA member, was behaving “irresponsibly” with regard to criticisms he made of Conroy’s controversial content filtering scheme on the popular Whirlpool broadband forum.
SMH reported that the email was accompanied by a phone call demanding the message be passed on to senior Internode management.
“I am appalled that a member of Senator Conroy’s staff is apparently trying to bully the IIA over this matter,” Minchin told Computerworld.
“That association is perfectly entitled to express its views and indeed it is very important that the public and the parliament understand the views of the IIA on this matter, and they shouldn’t be bullied by Senator Conroy or his staff. It is absolutely out of line and Senator Conroy should discipline that staff member,” the shadow minister for broadband said.
Minchin said Newton was in fact a constituent of his in South Australia and had written to him with concerns regarding the content filtering scheme. Minchin responded at the time that the opposition was “certainly not” committed to supporting the scheme in parliament.
“When we left office it was our view that we had appropriate arrangements in place in relation to this issue of filtering. The NetAlert scheme we launched in August last year, and which is still in place, we believe strikes the right balance in terms of ensuring that Australians who want to ensure that their children are not exposed to child pornography have the information at hand, the capacity and the free software that enables them to do so,” Minchin said.
Join the Computerworld Australia group on Linkedin. The group is open to IT Directors, IT Managers, Infrastructure Managers, Network Managers, Security Managers, Communications Managers.
- Great Wall of Australia: Industry cops sanitised Internet
- department press release
- No opt-out of filtered Internet
- Filtered Internet to inflate access costs, slow speeds
- Great wall of Australia: Industry rejects sanitised Internet
- Critics claim govt's porn filtering will fail
- Great Wall of Australia: Content filtering fails parliament
- NetAlert scheme
- Australian Network Operators Group
- Virtualisation and Cloud Computing: Optimised Power, Cooling and Management Maximises Benefits
- Best Practices to Make BYOD Simple and Secure
- Deploying Flash in the Enterprise: Cost Comparison
- Top 10 tips for Migration
- Power of Three: Building Mobile Initiatives Guided by Business Goals, Technology and Governance
- NAB plans customer migration to NextGen platform
- A/NZ College of Anaesthetists to expand campus security monitoring
- Credit Union Australia signs Good Technology to secure 400 devices
- Taxi startup ingogo hails $3.4 million in latest funding round
- Updated: Federal Court dismisses Aust Post trade mark appeal
Amazon drones are 'fantasy,' says eBay CEO
Training critical to Australia tapping broadband potential: CSIRO
US faces major Internet image problem, former gov't official says
Why CIOs stick with cloud computing despite NSA snooping scandal
Telstra hits 300 Mbps in LTE-A trial