Weekly Wrap 4

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets, posted a day early because I’m about to go off-grid for the weekend.


  • Inside Microsoft’s Security War Room, my debut for iTnews, along with a photo gallery. During my Microsoft-funded trip to Redmond, Washington, I visited the War Room where they work on critical security patches for all Microsoft products.
  • The political naivety of the digital elites for ABC Unleashed, in which I bemoan the way some people seem to see all politics through the narrow, narrow prism of the Australian government’s mandatory internet censorship policies. The comments are fascinating, especially those who seem to think I’m in favour of Senator Conroy and the government’s internet censorship plans.


[Photo: A sign spotted outside the ZanziBar, Newtown, last night, offering free Snuggies for hire. “Snuggie”? If you haven’t heard of this device before, check their website or watch the infomercial.]

14 Replies to “Weekly Wrap 4”

  1. In a way you are correct about the anti-censorship campaign. We’ve failed to engage with the people that matter; the opinion formers. For example, where are the traditional anti-censorship voices when we should be hearing them? Margaret Pomeranz, are you out there?

  2. This is what Stephen Conroy has to say about @stilgherrian


    Wednesday, 23 December 2009

    Stephen Conroy: Dear Crikey, here’s why you’re wrong

    By Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy

    Stilgherrian wrote about a fake Stephen Conroy website having the domain deleted by the industry self-regulatory body auDA where he asked, “Did Senator Conroy or someone in his office pressure auDA for a quick result?”

    Stilgherrian had the answer to this question but clearly he didn’t like the answer so he chose to ignore it. He contacted my office at 7am on Tuesday asking whether anyone from the office had asked auDA to take action on stephenconroy.com.au.

    At 11.19am he was provided with the following response: “The Minister’s office made no request and took no other action in relation to the domain stephenconroy.com.au” and was referred to auDa regarding their policies.

    Stilgherrian replied and made no reference to the response being close to deadline or being too late to pull the story to at least add the response. (See the full exchange here.).

    Despite including my office’s response in the “Corrections” section the following day, the fact remains that, in having the answer that my office had made no request well before deadline, but still proceeding with an entire article based on the suggestion that I or my office had requested action, Stilgherrian is either calling me a liar or he has decided to deliberately ignore the response so that he can write the story he wants to write anyway.

    But he didn’t stop there with making up the facts to suit his story. He then drew a correlation to allegations run by Asher Moses in the Sydney Morning Herald when he said “Conroy’s policy advisor Belinda Dennett did try to silence one of Conroy’s critics, network engineer Mark Newton.”

    At the time Asher Moses, a vocal critic of ISP filtering, made these allegations my office advised him that this simply did not happen and he had been misinformed. That Moses ran the story with the allegation anyway seems to be enough of a “fact” for Stilgherrian to repeat whenever he feels it helps his story.


    @stilgherrian is now a reformed character recognising the value and importance of the Minister for Broadband and Digital Communication….

    Margaret Pomeranz is still around arguing for an R18+ rating for video games.


  3. @MLA: I suspect the answer to your question about Ms Pomeranz is that for many internet folks, things that don’t happen on the internet aren’t real.

    @Bob Bain: Senator Conroy’s attack was wrong, as it happens. He left out the possibility of there being a simple mistake. Yes, his office did send a response to me before deadline. But while I forwarded it to Crikey immediately, with instructions to change the last paragraph as I’d agreed with them, there was a cock-up at their end. The earlier version of the article was published. Had Senator Conroy just asked what happened instead of going off like that, a lot of grief would have been saved.

    His comment about the Belinda Dennett is just an excuse to have a whinge. Why wouldn’t I accept a report in a major newspaper as fact, or something close to it? And in any event I’ve heard from other sources that the incident did happen.

  4. Wake up and smell the Democracy Stilgherrian


    opinion I couldn’t help but laugh when I read Stilgherrian’s rant on ABC Unleashed yesterday about how Australia’s “digital elites” may understand technology but somehow don’t get the apparently unbelievably complicated world of Federal politics.

    In it, Stilgherrian advances the same old tired argument that it is political parties that are better suited to determining who among their number should become ministers when they win government — and that anyone else is naïve to want any say in the matter.

    ( I think it’s coffee )

    Don’t blame me. It’s the talking point of the moment with the #nocleanfeed crowd. 🙂


  5. @stilgherrian

    “Both Richard and I are right, but he is more right than me” 🙂

    Source ANU Link List (Wed Jun 30 12:48:38 EST 2010)


    Some people appear to be more right than you and less right than others.

    ( I note that Marghanita da Cruz is active in the ANU Link list. I merely note this because Marghanita was heard discussing the Sydney Linux User Group at a recent SLUG meeting)

    I have no doubt that Senator Conroy is the raving loon who believes passionately he can implement a policy that isn’t even remotely possible to implement, and that it’s possible to implement the passionate beliefs of Kim Beazley who kicked this “cleanfeed” thing into the ALP policy agenda.

    As for the NBN and other achievements I believe watching a few episodes of “Yes Minister” might be in order. The NBN was proposed by an ACS member in South Australia (Reg Coutts and his team) and said in simple terms “The ALP fibre to the node policy isn’t the best way to go”. The other person pushing “an” NBN (in several countries) is Paul Budde.

    Neither of these people are known to be ministers of the crown.

    None of Senator Conroys election committments have been met. These included

    (a) high speed Fibre to the Node (not implemented) and
    (b) a “cleanfeed” system which hasn’t even been legislated yet.

    And it’s still possible to purchase “RC” material in my local electorate.


  6. addendum to “And it’s still possible to purchase “RC” material in my local electorate”

    As Julia Gillard is now on Twitter…


    @JuliaGillard why is your government seeking to block “RC” ‘films” that are legal to own / purchase in NSW and available in Penrith ? 6:30pm


  7. I still hope the ALP will change it’s policy on Internet censorship as part of the Gillard shakeup.

    With that outcome in mind, I think it’s time to put some pressure on.

    I live in FNQ in the Federal seat of Leichhardt, currently held by Jim Turnour for the ALP. Jim took the seat from the Liberals in 2007. It was one of the gains that brought the ALP to power.

    Jim’s opponent at the next election is Warren Entsch who will run for the LNP. This is what Warren Entsch wrote me last weekend:

    “..the previous (Howard) Government, of which I was a member, had a policy of providing voluntary Internet ‘filter’ technology, free and on request, to anyone who requested it. To me, that was a sensible position, and one that I continue to support.

    “I would vehemently oppose any move to implement any form of mandatory Internet censorship, and have no hesitation in publicly confirming my position.”

    I’ve written an article about this for a popular independent local blog – see http://www.cairnsblog.net/2010/07/warren-entsch-says-no-to-compulsory.html

    My article concludes:

    “At the last election, I supported Labor with my preference vote over the Coalition, helping to defeat the Liberal candidate and the Howard Government. I’d imagined doing the same this time – even though I haven’t been much impressed by the performance of the local ALP member, or the Rudd Government’s performance in general, on several issues that matter to me.

    “Warren Entsch has just given me a good reason to reconsider.”

  8. @stilgherrian perhaps you can change your link from “the National Party recently voted to any mandatory ISP-level internet censorship” to:-

    “National Party members vote against internet filter”

    repeat The National Party voted against the internet filter. They did not vote to “any mandatory ISP-level internet censorship”


    ( Not for “any mandatory ISP-level internet censorship” )

    journalists (sigh) 🙂


  9. @Baden Smith: Is there a business-like word which combines the fact that you don’t pay any money with the fact that you have to give the thing back when you’ve finished with it?

Comments are closed.