Senator Stephen Conroy had the perfect opportunity to explain his Internet censorship plans last night: his first major address as minister to the IT industry at a gala dinner. But according to iTnews Australia‘s report, he added nothing new.
“Labor has never argued that ISP filtering is a silver bullet solution, but it is an important step in the overall strategy to make the internet a safer place for children,” Conroy said.
Although he acknowledged ISP level filtering could potentially affect Internet speeds, Conroy added little else to quell concerns surrounding the issue, other than to say there would be a trial process to iron out any technical anomalies.
“I can assure you that we will go forward through an informed, consultative and considered process to ensure that a workable solution is found,” Conroy said. “This evening, I ask the industry to continue engaging with the Government and with my Department to ensure that we achieve an outcome for ISP filtering that meets the needs of industry and the wider community.”
Senator Conroy, apart from actually addressing everyone’s concerns, technical and social, eventually you do need answer the basic question: What will and will not be censored?
Is it “prohibited content”? That plus X-rated material? R-rated? MA? M? Is the Internet to become a G-rated experience unless we register with the guv’mint?
Are we to invent a new classification of “SF-rated material”: whatever happens to be Senator Steve Fielding’s hobby-horse this week?
You also say the filtering must “[meet] the needs of industry and the wider community.” But the industry has no need for filtering — it’s an expensive and irritating distraction. And “the wider community” has shown a profound disinterest in the whole thing.
If Senator Fielding wants the government to be everyone’s Internet baby-sitter, fine. Shall I start calling you “Daddy” from now on?
Hat-tip to Michael Meloni.