• Conroy: the filter is not akin to political censorship

    Apr 13 2010, 12:55

    The Sydney Morning Herald reports on a speech Senator Stephen Conroy gave to the Sydney Institute on Monday night:

    “The internet is an incredible piece of technology and in our lifetime it’s unlikely we’ll see anything like it again,” he said.

    “But for all its technical brilliance, the internet is a distribution and communications platform.

    “Having no regulation to combat illegal activity actually weakens all that is good about the internet.”

    Senator Conroy said ISP level filtering alone was not enough to help fight child pornography or keep children safe online, which was why the government supported the block of content such as child sexual abuse imagery and material advocating terrorism.

    “This is a modest measure, which reflects long held community standards about the type of content that is unacceptable in a civilised society,” he said.

    “Those who claim the government’s approach is akin to the sort of political censorship practiced by authoritarian regimes are simply misleading the Australian public.”

    Read more here.  Once again Senator Conroy misses the point.  The reality is that the introduction of a filter would give the Australian Government a mechanism to determine what content adults can and cannot access, and there is no guarantee this Government, or future Governments, would not expand the scope of the filter.  Furthermore, because the blacklist will be secret, it will be impossible to know what content the Government has effectively banned.  Finally, some of the other countries in the world that have a similar system are Burma, China and North Korea.