Archive for March, 2009

Backflip

Straighty has done a one-eighty. Let’s have a look at some of Conroy’s recent comments.

I contradict myself THIS much!

[Conroy] has also resorted to unedifying inferences against those who dared question his plan. When a Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam, asked some perfectly reasonable questions during a senate estimates hearing last October, Senator Conroy responded: “I trust you are not suggesting that people should have access to child pornography.

If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd Labor Government is going to disagree.”

These comments, to me, strongly imply that Conroy believes the filter will stop the spread of child pornography. Am I right? Apparently not:

Senator Conroy said the Government had never claimed the filter itself would stop child pornography.

We’ve never tried to pretend that this was a silver bullet, we’ve never tried to suggest this was the sole solution,” Senator Conroy said.

The aim of the proposed filtering is to block material that is already illegal and is refused classification, he said.

So he is trying to juggle several opinions at once here:

  • If you don’t support the filter, you support child pornography (ie., the filter will stop child pornography).
  • The filter won’t actually do much at all, we need to use other methods to crack child porn rings.
  • Wait, wait, the filter will block illegal material (including child porn) and refused classification material.

If you have any ideas on how Conroy could reconcile these contradictory opinions, let me know in the comments. I sure can’t work it out.

As a side note, I love how Conroy is now talking about blocking both illegal and refused classification material. I can’t wait until someone confronts him about wanting to block material that he knows is legal.

How much will your online freedom set you back?

About USD $6.77 a month.

Why not save your $900 stimulus payment and use it to evade Conroy’s filter for over seven years?

A damning assessment

Henry Ergas has a great piece in The Australian today that offers a fairly comprehensive analysis of the secrecy and idiocy that runs through the Rudd Labor Government.

He touches on some of Conroy’s failings:

As for the national broadband network, the Government seems intent on making its predecessor’s policies look good, a feat I considered to be beyond human ingenuity.

The Coalition merely wasted time and money. This Government seems determined to wreck the network we have. Stephen Conroy is poised to try what no country has seriously contemplated: undertaking a complete revamp of the incumbent’s network against the incumbent’s active opposition. This involves huge costs and risks for users, especially in country areas, for Telstra’s shareholders, and for taxpayers, who will bear the project’s inevitable and mounting losses.

And Labor’s secrecy:

Lack of transparency makes the Government’s record all the poorer. John Faulkner promised full disclosure. In fact, disclosure has been pitifully inadequate. Access to the modelling underpinning FuelWatch: refused. Access to the model used to evaluate the ETS: refused. Access to the cost-benefit studies underpinning the NBN: refused. Access to the Building Australia Fund’s project appraisals: refused. Access to the Treasury’s assessment of alternative stimulus packages: refused.

This makes a mockery of democracy, whose virtue, as the historian and philosopher R.G. Collingwood argued, lies in forcing governments to operate “in the open air, and not as a post office distributing ready-made policies to a passively receptive country”. This Government seemed full of policy wonks who would bring a fresh breath of serious expertise. Unfortunately, it has proven far more adept at politics than at policy.

Whenever the likes of Rudd or Gillard are asked for treasury modeling that backs up their policies, they offer nothing. This is, by their own admission, no more than “pay back” for Howard and Costello not releasing modeling when they were in Government. Labor has absolutely no interest in transparency or accountability in Government, only in keeping a terrible status quo alive. Undoubtedly, Labor’s actions while in Government now will serve as justification for the Liberals not releasing modeling when they make Government in the future. Someone needs to break the cycle. The taxpayers deserve it.

The Labor party is trying to implement so many new policies and spend billions of borrowed dollars without showing us the modeling and the evidence that underpins their decisions. All they’re interested in is playing tit for tat with the Liberals. Why are people not outraged?

An oldie, but a goodie

Just in case anyone hasn’t yet seen it:


Downfall was a great movie, but this beats it hands down.

Don’t get too worried about Optus

Optus has renewed its wish to be included in Conroy’s mandatory filter trial.

My understanding is that Optus and Conroy have always been in “negotiations”, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Conroy now starts trying to push Optus to get in on it. He is in desperate need of a large ISP to add credibility to his trial.

There’s no reason for Optus customers to overreact just yet. What they’re saying still sounds reasonable:

  • Optus is participating in order to accurately gauge the impact this type of technology would have on our network.
  • Willingness to participate in the trial does not necessarily indicate support of mandatory filtering.
  • It’s a trial – and designed to test the effectiveness and impact of such filters on a network environment.
  • Optus wants its customers to have a safe experience on the internet and considers cyber-safety an important issue for all internet users.
  • Optus would rather be a ‘part of the conversation’ than not be involved if the Govt decided to mandate filtering.

The only problem I can see is in the answer to the last question, “What about other content like adult content and things the government might like to stop people viewing?“. Optus answers:

  • Optus will NOT be filtering this type of content.

As I’ve previously reported, some of the most popular pornographic websites in Australia do appear on the ACMA blacklist. I think Optus customers should be notified that this is the case, as the current answer is very misleading.

Such are the difficulties for a PR department trying to answer questions about a secret blacklist.

Conroy to appear on “Insight”

Stephen Conroy will appear on SBS’s Insight at 7:30pm AEDT this coming Tuesday. It looks like they’ve found guests and experts on all sides of the debate, so I don’t think Conroy will be able to get away with as much as he did on Q&A.

Naturally, you can expect an angry write-up from me after the programme finishes. I can’t wait.

ConroyLogic.com

Conroy is fast becoming a national joke. He managed to get a few laughs out of the crowd last night on Q&A, but those folks were laughing at him.

The Russian mob’s latest cyber trick is Conroy Logic. Try refreshing the page a few times.

Conroy can try as he might to blame everything on Howard, the Russian mob, the global financial crisis, or sunspots, but he is the face of Internet censorship and heavy-handed government in Australia. I hope he never had any dreams of becoming popular. It’s getting to the point that he’s actually a liability for the ALP.