Iinet, Censorship, and Conroy’s Lies

[emphases are mine]

SMH: Filter goes ahead regardless:

“The government’s $128.8 million Cyber Safety policy includes forcing internet service providers to block access to a secret blacklist of website pages identified as ”refused classification” by the Australian police. Web pages will be nominated for blacklisting by Australian internet users who come across illegal or ”unacceptable” websites.

”This is a policy that will be going ahead,” Senator Conroy said. ”We are still consulting on the final details of the scheme. But this policy has been approved by 85 per cent of Australian internet service providers, who have said they would welcome the filter, including Telstra, Optus, iPrimus and iinet.

One of Iinet’s recent statements on censorship contains the following:

I’m very keen to clear something up. It’s been recently reported that we’re (and when I say “we”, I mean iiNet as a company) supportive of the Federal Government’s plans to legislate the introduction of ISP internet filtering. We are not.

What we did welcome was the Government’s announcement in December, because it was a vast improvement on what they were originally proposing. But that’s all we welcomed. We welcomed that their plan was better, but still not something we support or endorse.

So let’s be clear. We don’t support the Government’s proposal. We never have. […]

If the Government continues to proceed with their ISP filtering plan we will continue to oppose it and seek to make their bad idea better by suggesting improvements. But we’ll hold fast in our view that it will still be a bad idea that simply won’t work.

Iinet has been vocally and consistently opposed to mandatory internet filtering from the start:

“We are not able to reconcile participation in the trial with our corporate social responsibility, our customer service objectives and our public position on censorship,” iiNet managing director Michael Malone said.

“It became increasingly clear that the trial was not simply about restricting child pornography or other such illegal material, but a much wider range of issues including what the Government simply describes as ‘unwanted material’ without an explanation of what that includes.”

Iinet’s opposition to government censorship even goes back as far as the 1999 Censorship Bill. Iinet’s information page on internet filtering links to the EFA, the No Clean Feed campaign, and GetUp’s anti-censorship campaign.

Conroy is just plain lying. That’s something you can’t say in parliament, but I’ll say it here: assuming Conroy has been quoted accurately, Conroy. Is. Lying. Iinet does not support or welcome the proposed filter, and it is a lie to say that they do.

The SMH continues:

Yet Senator Conroy said ”blocking material is not considered to be censorship”.

”This filter is really not changing much, except that the blacklist of website pages will be mandatory.””

Noun. Singular

1. The use of state or group power to control freedom of expression, such as passing laws to prevent media from being published or propagated.

*scratches head*

Categories: Politics, technology

Tags: , , ,

8 replies

  1. Conroy is such an asshole.

  2. Which state is he a senator for again? And is he up for re-election in this next round (please let the answer be “yes”, if only to spare us all from having to put up with another three years of wittering from this durn fool of a man)? Oh, and can anyone explain to me why, in the names of all the gods there are, he seems to be so absolutely and utterly set on this one measure above and beyond all else as a Labor party priority for this administration? I mean, aside from the explanation my cynical side is busy offering, which is that both of the major parties want the mechanisms in place to be able to lock down information flows in Australia, so they can keep track of what the population learns. After all, the mainstream media are currently pretty much in corporate lockstep, the ABC and SBS are kept down by budget restrictions, so there’s only this internet thingie to worry about now with regards to nasty criticism about things like the lack of critical discussion we’re exposed to about political topics.
    *sigh* I sometimes wish I wasn’t so cynical. I also wish I wasn’t so damn certain I’m probably right.

  3. Can Sentator Conroy please provide his definition of censorship? No, really.

  4. Donna, I suspect Senator Conroy’s definition of “censorship” involves the use of the term “Liberal Party” somewhere in it. The Aussie version of “It’s OK if you’re a Republican”, I suppose. Or maybe it’s the great “it’s not X if I’m doing it” loophole beloved of all political types, be they elected or otherwise.

  5. Iinet has now been in touch with Conroy’s office to have a few words in his shell-like about his little fibbing problem: Don’t claim we support filter, iiNet tells Conroy

    ONE of Australia’s largest internet companies has rubbished claims by a federal minister that it supports the Rudd Government’s internet filtering plan.
    A spokesperson for iiNet today said the company had been in touch with the office of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to complain after he claimed it was in support of the Government’s filtering policy.
    “We’ve been in touch with Senator Conroy’s office to reaffirm that we don’t support the filter and requested him not to misrepresent our position,” they said.

  6. Conroy’s term is up on 30th June 2011. Another year is 1 year too many!

  7. A campaign to encourage Victorians to vote below the line specifically in order to avoid voting for Conroy even if they are otherwise inclined to vote or preference ALP senators might be a way to avoid the “voting for the ALP will be considered a filter mandate” problem[1].
    I can see problems with this, not least that voting below the line increases the chances of you making a mistake and therefore having your vote ruled invalid.
    [1] Dear concerned trolls, we’ve had the “vote Coalition!” discussions:

%d bloggers like this: