Conroy yet to meet Google-backed anti-ISP filter group

The lobby group, whcih also includes iiNet, Internode, and the IIA, has been trying to meet the comms minister for months

Despite months of lobbying, a Google and iiNet-backed industry group, the Safer Internet Group (SIG), has been unsuccessful in meeting with the communications minister, Stephen Conroy, to discuss their alternative to the Government’s proposed mandatory ISP-filter.

According to a spokesperson for the group, Laurel Papworth, the group has made contact with the minister’s office, but has yet to secure face-time with Conroy to put forward its proposal to keep children safe online, while maintaining freedom of the Internet for adults.

Papworth said that the group, which also includes Yahoo, the Internet Industry Association (IIA), the Internet Society of Australia, Internode, the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) and the Inspire Foundation, was bound together in their unified lack of faith in the Government’s proposed ISP-level filter.

“The Internet filtering issue has compelled us to come together more formally on this. It’s about creating a future, an outcome for all Australians and the focus on building a sustainable internet, a sustainable future internet for future Australia,” she said. “The mandatory ISP-filter that they’ve proposed so far doesn’t work."

Alternate solutions put forward include, education, comprehensive policing of illegal content, industry tools, promotion and support of broader participation in ongoing solutions, targeted research of risks and opportunities for young people on the Internet.

Papworth said the communications minister’s office knew that there were "substantial questions" the Australian public needed answers on relating to the mandatory filter.

“We’d like to see direct dialogue with the community, we think that there needs to be more research into what does work and better education," she said. "This is an intelligent government, they’ve bought this issue out they’ve made it a focus. For the first time, Australians are seriously thinking about the kind of future Internet they want for the next generation.”

Along with its five core principles, the lobby group has also published a number of ‘fact sheets,’ detailing the ISP-filter debate, titled Empowering Parents and protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Another is the report by the University of NSW, Edith Cowan University and Queensland ‘sUniversity of Technology on the scope of content caught by mandatory filtering.

SIG has also completed research into the reasons mandatory filtering won’t deliver real child safety and also what other countries are doing.

Their website provides active tools for being e-Smart, has information about safe places for kids online and a number of useful links to organisations and experts in the field of Internet safety.

As reported by Computerworld Australia Google, ISOC-AU and iiNet have been vocal critics of the mandatory ISP level filter.

The office of communications minister, Stephen Conroy, has been contacted for comment.

Tags Internet Industry Association (IIA)Mandatory ISP filteringGoogleconroyinternodeiiNet

More about CowanEdith Cowan UniversityEdith Cowan UniversityGoogleHarvard UniversityIIAIinetInspireInternet Industry AssociationInternodeUniversity of NSWYahoo


Wishful thinking


With such a large number of industry players, not to mention the general public, against the implementation of the mandatory filter, and with Conjob's refusal to engage us ... we are only left with the fact that he has a personal vision which he will force on us, however flawed it may be.

It's simple Conroy: back out of your corner, say sorry and talk to us. Everyone understands the message, we just don't agree with your method. You should remember that you are an elected official, and you serve us, not your own personal ambitions.

We vote with our feet.



It would appear that the only way you can gain an audience with Senator Conroy or indeed any of KRudd's lakies is if you wear a priest cassock or vouchsafe some other form of belief in the imaginary.



Conboy doesn't seem to think he needs to discuss secret government censorship with anybody but the fundie godbotherers - since they are all piously blessed with a belief in their own infallibility.

Praise the lord, for it comes to pass that there is an election looming. . .



And your gunna vote for Abbott d' Abbot, ha.



I've reluctantly, but firmly, come to believe that any drover's dog would now be preferable to the imposition of secret government censorship.

roger taylor


Filter my internet! and adopting a stalinist stance to consultation i didnt realize the labour party were taking things this far! i know where my votes going next election never been a political animal but i think NO! i know i will do some letterboxing over this issue



In that case, 'here boy' Abbot, is the one for you.

But we'll see his true colours once he's in too?



Is any body aware of any such filter that operates anywhere in the free world?
Just ask yourself WHY is Conroy pushing this.
Ask the question, what equipment and who manufactures it will be used?
What deal has been agreed too about equipment already.
Probably the same equipment that was done for NBN so far
Much more to this behind the scene than anybody can imagine!
#2 Cowcakes, the way you get to Conroy is through AFL in Melbourne,or hitch a ride to Perth with Rudd, Conroy is one of the grovelling ministers on the plane trying to get ten minutes,That why Conroy is not in a position to say or do anything, Rudd won't tell him, it's now low priority!



Interesting point, Raymond, though it seems a narrow religious bias may also have a lot to do with Rudd and Conboy's stubborn stupidity.

Plus some secret agreement with the religious lobby about getting their votes in the Senate and Reps, which it looks like they are going to need. It's a pity that their censorship policy will cost them a lot more votes than those lobbyists are able to deliver.



When asked why he met with the head of the Australian Christian Lobby regarding the filter shortly prior to the release of the Enex report, Conroy replied that their was nothing unusual and they met because the ACL is a stakeholder in the policy.

Jim Wallace has spoken of meeting with the Minister more than once on this.

A group of fringe dwelling fundamentalists who are despised by many Christians are stakeholders, yet some of the industry players appear not to be.

Something doesn't add up.

D Newman


By and large Australian politics dont add up, to many small town soap box drama queens all trying to act big like they did in the schoolyard, mentality didnt progress much from there.

Julie Thomson


And lo, the Lord spaketh unto Conroy saying "The Internet is the work of the Devil. Go forth and hinder access to its sinful pages so that the people of your land are not corrupted by the evil of its pages".



well i wouldnt vote for either. and its heartening to see the greens have announced they will direct no preferences - not to Labor or to Liberal - the voter . their platform now is vote greens at #1 and count back from your worst to the best candidates. i dont know what the ballot sheet looks like but i already know my last two spots under the line are going to start with "L".

i mean, Abbott d' Abbott, or the overgrown schoolboy of fail, with his impositioner in tow. with a support cast in ACL! get lost you lot.

btw Raymond, the filter hardware is quite different from the usual hardware and not at all cheap. i recall Ars Technica did a story on the filterboxen available ~8 months ago, if you are interested you could start there.

Raymond, who worked somewhat moderately for Maurin


#'s11,12,13 Newman, Julie, and Anonny, does anybody think anyone of us would be on these sites have our two Cents worth, if, private enterprise was running NBN.
Some body please tell me who in the government benches ran any sort of business,the only contender is Gillard,who worked as a junior and moderate level solicitor for Maurice Blackburn and Partners,she of course is so very dangerous with her connections to the Fabian Society.
So as in most cases for government! get out of our business and get out of our lives!



Oh dear I am going to pay a price for that name box mess I made!
Ah well, will give small minds something to cling too.


oh dear


What would be the point of uh, contacting in senator conroys uh, portal, for a comment on his spam, or scam, if he would just reply like this? infected!



I think it's safe to say that Labor are angry at the citizens of Australia for voting in Howard 4 times in a row, and now want to make us pay for it by ignoring everything we have to say.



Some how I don't think Conroy is being fair in the debate over his knowledge blocker as I like to call it. If he was serious in his job and followed what his role as minister requires he would be talking with this group. He only refuses because he has set his mind to a decision without rational debate. As I have said ofter, the only sure way of stopping all of this is vote against Labour at the next election.



I am more than happy to vote for any party that won't turn Australia into a totalitarian regime. Right now, my vote goes to the Greens as they will oppose the legislation as soon as it is introduced in the Senate.

Come on, Conjob, there is very little information that you told us. At least meet with this lobby group and talk about this further. Your reputation has already been damaged.



I would love to be a fly-on-the-wall in that meeting. It will never happen though because Conroy doesn't have the knowledge and understanding of the internet to answer any real questions. Any interview with him on the matter goes no further than an opportunity for him to put forward his "can't buy it in a newsagency [well actually, yes you can]" line. Three or four questions on Q and A is about all we're ever likely to get and frankly I can't see that happening again, because every time he appears on it he makes a bigger fool of himself than the previous time. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for the guy, his "spams and scams coming through the portal" comments showed how tired and bewildered he is getting. The guy can't navigate his own iphone and he's in charge of implementing the NBN with one hand and crippling it with the other.



There's a lot of Green promotion about opposing the filter, but despite various suggestions, the party does not seem to have come out officially and said they will oppose govt censorship of the Net.

Senator Scott Ludlam has made it clear that he personally opposes the filter. But Green candidate Clive Hamilton has claimed to be the filter developer, and official Green policy seems to be that they will seek to move some amendments when it comes up. This is a long way from an official statement that they will oppose the legislation.



Wishful thinking "We vote with our feet."

So we went and had a look at the anti-filter protest in Melbourne and like 12 people turned up and were in the pub 1 hour later.

We did not get the feel that many Aussies were outraged enough to do any more than blog about the filter.

Chloe, I read the SIG docs, and they keep referring to the govt blocking what they deem "inappropriate content", but all the statements and proposals specify Refused Classification only on the blacklist. (Classification Board decision)

So which is actually right, and which is the speculation? Huge difference between those two.



@Albus, a good point because, yes, there's a huge difference, and it's one that seems to be utilised by Conboy & Co to suit their purpose.

At the same time as they are talking out of one side of their mouths about RC-only coverage, they have been calling for people who want to impose secret censorship to provide further lists of "inappropriate content" they want to ban when the election is out of the way.

Once the censorship mechanism is in place it becomes a simple regulatory change to increase the scope of coverage, a fact which is well known to some people.

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