Of all the moments of frustration in last night’s SBS program Insight — and there were many — the most revealing was from host Jenny Brockie. After almost an hour debating Internet “filtering”, Brockie said, “I’m still unclear about whether it works or whether it doesn’t work, as a system.”
Thus begins my article in Crikey today — though it’s behind the paywall. If you’re not yet a subscriber (and why not?) you can get yourself a 21-day free trial. [Update: Things are only behind the Crikey paywall for 14 days, Click away!]
My key theme is that the reason no-one can agree on whether “the filter” will “work” is that no-one has defined exactly what it’s supposed to do — least of all the Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy.
“I have only ever identified [the material to be blocked as] Refused Classification in terms of child porn, bestiality, rape, incest sites, those sorts of things,” Conroy said last night. “For adults who want to be able to watch the other sort of material, we’re not proposing to do that. We’ve never proposed to do that.”
Except that, as the article details, the story has changed over time.
OK, this morning’s post about Senator Conroy being sacked was a little April Fools’ Day jokette. But with the continuing controversy over Internet censorship, the delayed National Broadband Network (though that finally gets an announcement of something or other this week), and yesterday’s gaffe about iiNet spying on its customers, could it soon be true?