Posted by Sam D on March 23, 2009
The Age reported yesterday that the Government will begin “trawling blog sites” as part of a new media ‘monitoring’ strategy, with documents singling out popular forum Whirlpool for special atention.
Soon after Senator Conroy praised Singapore’s Government for reducing monitoring of blogs, tender documents issued by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy reveal it is looking for a “comprehensive digital monitoring service for print and electronic media”.
The department later attached a clarification confirming the term “electronic media” included “blogs such as Whirlpool”.
Coming from other politicians, this might seem like some sort of move towards community consultation. But coming from Senator Conroy, it comes across as something of a thinly veiled threat, especially in light of recent exchanges between Whirlpool’s host and ACMA over linking to so-called ‘prohibited’ content.
Apart from being a waste of taxpayer money, this will no doubt inspire a degree of paranoia in some Whirlpudlians, as many users on the forum have been passionately and intelligently opposed to Senator Conroy’s ISP level Filtering plans, as well as his handling of the National Broadband Network. In fact, Whirlpools ISP filtering discussion threads have been pivotal in diseminating information, debunking myths and honing the arguments of those opposed to the Mandatory ISP Filtering/Internet Censorship plan.
But the threat fails in many ways. Over time, it has become apparent that the DBCDE has followed the discussion on Whirlpool for many months already, so many people are used to this anyway. The moderators of WP police the policy of not linking to ‘prohibited’ content quite dilligently, so it’s unlikely that the site, or any of the users can be cought out and used as a political scapegoat.
More importantly, as I have stated elsewhere, systematic cataloguing of the ISP Filtering discussion will provide an immense amouint of material hilighting just how unpopular Senator Conroy really is with the industry he is supposed to represent. This would be a compilation where we demolish every argument provided by the minister and his supporters, where we take great pleasure at his misfortune, where we regularly make a fool of him and prove him incompetant or a liar (or both) before the ink is dry on his own press releases. I would dearly love for this material to land on the desk of Kevin Rudd, and to be distributed at the ALP national conference in August, so the party can see just how much of a political liability this Minister, and this plan have become.
I have to agree with Stephen Conroy is C#nt , this does not bode well for Senator Conroy’s future as the Minister. At least that is what I hope, becuase the alternative is that it does not bode well for us.
Posted in Censorship, News, Politics | Tagged: ALP, Australian Politics, Censorship, Conroy, Internet, Internet Censorship, ISP Filtering, Kevin Rudd, News, Politics, Senator Conroy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Sam D on March 19, 2009
A list of URLs, allegedly the ACMA blacklist, has been posted on Wikileaks today. It is hard at this stage to go into much detail, or link directly to the list, as Australians have been threatened with up to 10 years jail for distributing the list .
However, the intrepid author of Somebody Think of The Children (STOTC) has started to have a quick look at the list. A few things are quickly apparent. There are more URL’s on it than previously thought. And (surprise!) the list contains some completely legitmate websites. It’s reported by STOTC that these sites include Abbywinters.com, which is pretty benign stuff if (unless you have a real problem with nudity), as well as Betfair.com. Xtube also gets caught in the ACMA net.
The EFA report that other surprises in the list include: “YouTube videos, a MySpace profile, online poker parlours and a site containing poison information were present, as well as many apparently harmless sites such as that of a tour operator and a satirical encyclopedia.”
Websinthe wonders who leaked the list? I doubt we will ever know for sure.
Posted in Censorship, News, Politics | Tagged: Australian Politics, Censorship, Free Speech, Internet Censorship, ISP Filtering, Kevin Rudd, Politics, Pornography, Senator Conroy, wikileaks | 1 Comment »
Posted by Sam D on February 25, 2009
Internet filtering — reasons to oppose it By Peter Robson at Green Left Weekly – Keep up the good work Pete!
Conroy confesses: web filtering will hit ‘other content’ Bernard Keane at Crikey reports that the goverment is considering the adding of legal contentbeing blocked by the mandatory filtering.
Internet Black-list revelations raise further questions about Labors Mandatory Filtering. Nick Minchin highlights the Liberal’s concerns over the content of the blacklist and the publication of the anti-abortion site after it was added to it.
Posted in Censorship, Politics | Tagged: ACMA, ALP, Australian Politics, Censorship, Conroy, Green Left Weekly, Internet Censorship, ISP Filtering, Kevin Rudd, Politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sam D on February 19, 2009
This past week-and-a-bit has seen the Australian newspapers website feature a number of it’s s0-called “Super Bloggers” giving opinion pieces regarding ISP level filtering.
Some of these articles were quite reasonable. However, I’m going to focus briefly on some that aren’t.
Clive Hamilton: Web doesn’t belong to net libertarians
I’m not sure where to begin with this offering. The first few paragraphs are unnecessarily lewd, presumably in an attempt to shock a fearful & conservative audience. In fact the depictions are so graphic that at least one person has lodged a complaint with ACMA. For a more thorough appraisal of this, go to SomebodyThinkof The Children! I’d just like to make one point (again!): Clive Hamilton writes in great detail and at length on the damage that pornography does to society, including adults. His opinions on this matter have never been published in a peer-reviewed journal. If someone has an idea about Climate Change, but this idea can’t survive peer-review, then it’s not considered good science. Why is ‘Public Ethics’ any different?
Stephen Conroy: Filtering doesn’t breach free speech
And why? Because the government says so. I’d apperciate some explanation for this position. This isn’t 15th century France, Kevin Rudd is not the Sun King, so this ” I am the state” type of attitude is not on.
Seriously though, repetition does not equal truth. Why can politicians never learn this?
The comments on both of these articles came thick and fast, and anti-filter views were predominant for a while. Then a flood of pro-filter/anti-porn views hit the Australian. Many people though this was strange, but an explanation was found soon enough. Apparently the Jim Wallace & Australian Christian Lobby had emailed their supporters asking them to show post comments in support of internet filtering on both of these articles. This was first reported on WhirlPool and was later picked up by SomebodyThinkOfTheChildren. The point is that the flood of support for the filters to defend us from the ‘filth’ that inhabits the internet was effectively manufactured, not to mention poorly informed. This isn’t a great move for the ACL, as their most effective lobbying was done when the general public not was aware of them. The more they try to influence debate and opinion on this issue, the more attention they will draw to themselves. And despite their standing in the Baptist and Pentecostal communities, they may yet turn out to be a political liability.
Posted in Politics, Religion, Uncategorized | Tagged: ALP, Australian Christian Lobby, Clive Hamilton, Internet Censorship, ISP Filtering, Jim Wallace, Kevin Rudd, Politics, Pornography, Senator Conroy | 3 Comments »