'Appalled' opposition hits back at Conroy’s Internet censorship

The Government’s attempts to silence criticism of content filtering sparks outrage.

In a posting to the Australian Network Operators Group mailing list, CEO of PIPE Networks Bevan Slattery also voiced his concern at the interference of government officials with the IIA, and the potential of the content filtering scheme to enter the realm of censorship.

"The IIA now needs to make a clear, concise and public statement on it's position with respect to both the response to Government regarding their request to seek censorship on their behalf and secondly the idea of censoring *all* "illegal" content on the Internet," he wrote.

Keep this up and we will be in 1984. Mind you I think we are there already

Bevan Slattery

"I also fear that as every URL is now being checked it is highly likely that this, or a future government will require every URL to be recorded/retained against the account. So not only will Australian's Internet use be censored, but highly likely, be historically recorded for later investigation. Now we are in China. They will use "Child Pornography" as the tag to get the filter in place and "Terrorism" to get the URL history in place."

Slattery warned that the filtering scheme could be circumvented by people using remote (out of country) Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to obtain their content free from government logging, or worse still, establish a cottage industry in closed encrypted networks.

"Sounds familiar? The Government may start to ban encrypted VPN's without government approval. Now we are in India 3 years ago. Alternatively the Government may just ban organisations/people from using VPN's with higher than 40 bit encryption. Now we are in the US 7 years ago. Keep this up and we will be in 1984. Mind you I think we are there already."

"I would have thought this issue is of such importance that the Government would spend a little more time considering the repercussions of imposing "blanket decisions" without appropriate consultation. Much like blanket guarantees on bank deposits, these well-intended decisions will have serious implications and unintended consequences on those who the Government is trying to protect."

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