Quickhit: internet filter on backburner

Sen. Conroy announced today that the mandatory filter is going to be put onto the back-burner until an independent inquiry has been held.

The review, which Senator Conroy says is likely to take about a year, will look at what makes up “refused classification” rated content.

Senator Conroy says internet service providers Telstra, Optus and Primus have agreed to block websites known to contain child pornography in the meantime.

Wow, I bet they’ll be blocking dozens of sites for the brief period before the didn’t-catch-the-cluetrain people behind them are arrested. But they won’t be blocking the file-sharing networks where most child pornography actually resides, mainly because they can’t.

A few people see this as a classic Sir Humphrey move to get rid of an unworkable policy without appearing to back down just before an election. We can only hope.



Categories: culture wars, law & order, technology

Tags: ,

9 replies

  1. *hopes with you*

  2. The bit I loved was looking at the comments for the above article. The question asked was ”What do you think is behind the Government’s decision to delay its internet filter?” and the almost unanimous answer was “an election coming up”. I am so proud of my country’s cynicism I could almost burst, some days.
    Gave me a laugh to see so many commenters so much in agreement, anyway.

  3. As much as I like having a female PM, I think I’ll vote Green.

  4. Hmm yes, I hope that’s what’s going on too. I mean, they’re completely bombarded with experts telling them it’s a really stupid unworkable idea: could it be possible at all that it’s quietly been chucked in the too hard basket?
    Anyway, yes, I’m voting Greens anyway. More primary votes gives more funding to them. I’ve never voted Labor and I’m not about to start now. Just as long as the preferences flow the right way.

  5. I hope they are backing down on the filter, but fear its just an election ploy to get the issue off the table. So when they’re returned to government they’ll implement it anyway and hope the fuss dies down between then and the following election.

  6. I wish this idea of compulsory filtering the internet would die already. Why not mandate that the ISPs must provide it as a free option when signing up for an internet connection. If you want the filtering, go for it. But leave my pipe along thank you very much!

    And make the black-list public thanks. There is no need to keep it a secret!

  7. Subsidising opt-in filters supplied as a one-click option by ISPs I could get behind – plenty of people who only use the internet for work and basic recreation would love to have that implemented.
    Also, if it was optional, there’d be no need for secrecy about the blacklist. It’s only because they want to make it compulsory that the think it needs to be secret, because they want to stop the bad guys from mirroring their sites under new domain names that aren’t on the list. The problem is that there are webhosts out there who offer one-click mirroring services, and registering new domains is really easy, and all the bad guys have to do is send out updates on their encrypted mailing lists (although they’re probably tweeting their updates now).
    They’re using a sledgehammer to try and pound a holographic tack. Wrong technology entirely.

  8. tigtog wrote:
    >> It’s only because they want to make it compulsory that the think
    >> it needs to be secret, because they want to stop the bad guys
    >> from mirroring their sites under new domain names that aren’t
    >> on the list.
    I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective and for a second I was thinking, yeah, that’s possible. But really, wouldn’t the “bad guys”* notice it in their log files, or get told about it by their users pretty quickly if suddenly a whole country can’t access their site?
    I had thought the main reason they didn’t want to share the list is because they didn’t want to “promote” these sites to the innocent Australian public, thus providing an irrepressible corruptive temptation and turning even more would-be normal people into kiddie fiddlers.
    It’s all about control and about some self-important do-gooder’s belief that they know what’s good for everyone else.
    -James.
    *I think there was a dentist’s site on the list that was leaked last year, I know some people don’t like visiting the dentists, but c’mon people!

    • It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other as far as their (published) motivations go.
      Let’s face it, the policy as it stands is a grab-bag of whatever Conroy thinks might fly.

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