Conroy censors own site?

Conroy censors own site?

Summary: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has had the phrase "ISP Filtering" censored from a tag cloud on his own website.


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has had the phrase "ISP Filtering" censored from a tag cloud on his own website.

The "censorship" of his own site was first discovered by Whirlpool broadband forum user "Rupple" and later blogged by Pure Geekdom. The minister's website has a piece of JavaScript in it that prevents the phrase "ISP Filtering" from appearing in a tag cloud that shows popular search terms on the website.

Screenshot of source code Screenshot of source code
(Screenshot by Ben Grubb/

The above code snippet says that the term "ISP Filtering" be ignored when generating the tag cloud, effectively censoring it from the most popular search topics on the front page of the minister's site. To see a video demonstration, here is a YouTube video showing how the script works.

What's the deal, minister? Don't you want the public to know just how "popular" your ISP Filtering scheme is?

Topics: Censorship, Government AU

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  • Shakes head

    What a fucking tool Conroy is!
    BTW I didn't bother censoring the word preceeding tool
  • Bad

    Now that is just so frigg'in wrong...
  • Completely and utterly pathetic

    Completely and utterly pathetic
  • One Hit Wonder!

    This government will be a one-hit-wonder. What a joke they are, completely incompetent, and only know the true labor-way: Spend like no tomorrow!
  • lol

    *shakes head*
  • Typical...

    ...and no different to news providers' mediated comments sections that publish only about one in twenty negative comments. Inherently people don't like being challenged over things they do, irrespective of whether they're politicians, journalists or street sweepers.
  • It has begun...

    Conroy are testing the filtering codes on his website to make sure it DOES work before implementing it Australia wide.
  • Politics

    To give the politicians a taste of their own medicine, an electrician, water and gas man need to go down to conroys place and say "sorry, we limit your intake of what you rightfully pay for because someone else thinks it needs to be removed."
    see how long they last when they have what is important to them taken away from them.
    Just because they are old codgers who "studied really hard" and "never did anything bad in their whole entire lives" is no justification as to why they should be ruling us.
    How does the General know what is going on in the trenches until he has been there? Sure, i bet all these politicians started out where we are now.
    50 years ago.
    Back when Internet was something you catch fish with.
    How can an old codger decide what the majority of Internet users (2 generations away) wants?
    I bet they just got their first hotmail account last week.
    "OOh i have a new message!"
    "let me log in and see who it is..."
    "ohh its from"

    aaarrgghh these idiots make me furious!
  • AOL is finally arriving in Australia - Hooray!

    I think they only just realised that ideas happen on-line, just as they happen off-line.

    They just haven't discovered TV yet }:

    I am sick of all the murder shows (CSI.. et al) corpse ridden crap, quipping over corpses endlessly. I estimate that almost 80% of the time I sit down in front of TV I have to excuse myself because I personally can't give a hoot who murdered whom. Murder, murder Murdoch. Does that rhyme?

    Go visit and see if you can find ONE murder.

    One child is harmed by predators? Get them in the "REAL world" not in honey-trap chat rooms you perverts. Kids are harmed mostly by adults in close proximity. This delusion that we're doing ANY good by slowly strangling content (almost any content) online - LOOKS more and more like FAILED SOVIET style BULL-DUST.

    Censor the internet and I (WE) will turn off the government.
  • Censorship

    I supplied a list of awful words when placing a test comment here.

    Subsequently, the comment was banned and did not appear.

    I would like to know which WORD got caught in the ZDNET filter as to BAN my comment.

    Please let me know either here or by email to this respondant acct. I will probably consider blogging YOUR OWN censorship in regards this matter.

    Ben Grubb, is it OK when YOU (or your employer do it) or only BAD when big scary government does it?

    Is it just a big buzzy issue for you? Or do you believe it's real at all - or important?

    I will repost your comments - IF you have any.

    Thank you.
  • NDA Against Filter March 6th

    March 6th 2010 National Day of Action against Mandatory National Internet Filter Update:

    Stop the Filter Perth - No Internet Filter! Rally - Forrest Place 12 Noon
    Stop the Filter Melbourne Rally - State Library 12 Noon
    Block the Filter Adelaide - Cyber Safety Picnic - Victoria Sq (sth side) 12 Noon
    Block the Filter Sydney Cyber Safety Picnic - Parramatta Park 12 Noon
    Block the Filter Perth - Cyber Safety Picnic - Stirling Gardens 3pm

    Stay tuned for Brisbane details...coming soon
  • In all fairness

    There's a subtle difference between preventing insulting and profane words appearing on your site by a third party and what Conroy's doing.

    He's attempting to reducing the accessibility of public information on a publicly funded web site from the public.

    Whilst it's slightly differnt from how his filter will work, the sentiment is the same. This is a prime example of the information control that Conroy hopes to achieve with his filter. If anyone ever claims that the government would never take advantage of the filter to censor politial criticism, we now have a perfect example of them doing exactly that.
  • Our liberty depends on the freedom of expression which cannot be limited without being lost.

    This is exactly how Mr Hitler started. Burn the books and keep the masses ignorant. Once our freedom of expression goes there goes everything else.
  • Conboy revealed at last

    It seems that Conboy recognises that his filter is a dirty, obnoxious concept. After all, he has said he is going to ban any "indecent or inappropriate" content, so banning any reference to his ISP filtering is in line with that.

    Or is it just that Conboy is determined to ban anything that might reflect an opposing viewpoint?

    Either way, it's a very telling disclosure.
  • What have you been smoking?

    You know this site self-censors to avoid complaints from people who are potentially offended by seeing a naked ANKLE and who think that a BELLY-BUTTON is positively pornographic.

    So then you admit to entering a big list of "awful" (presumably how you define words that are generally considered profane) and now you wonder which word(s) got your post banned? Did it ever occur to you that it may have been banned simply because of the NUMBER of profanities entered? How very Mary Whitehouse of you!

    This site has adopted such a policy on profanities because it's less hassle than dealing with complaints from those busy-bodies who used to force themselves to suffer Channel Ten's "Sex|Life" just so they could compile lists of advertisers to whom they could also complain.

    There are other sites and fora where the "moderation" of language is much freer, but in these days of over-the-top political correctness people "responsible" for site content have to be over-watchful lest a completely innocent comment be interpreted by someone else as a racial/religious/sexual slur.

    It reminds of the School Girls who got permission to put on the play "The V****a Monologues", except that they weren't allowed to mention the V word!

    If CONroy gets his way, young people visiting sites devoted to sexual health, will find the information tarnished by the meticulous absence of certain words that begin with the letters P and V.

    Now, to relax, I'm off to watch The Goodies episode "How to Make Babies by Doing Dirty Things"!
  • Conroy doesn't believe his own rhetoric

    Conroy says that the majority of Australians support his plan to introduce a mandatory filter.

    If that were true, why would he specifically and deliberately hide references to it in his Ministerial site?

    It suggests that Conroy is fully aware that he is not acting at the behest of the Australian people, but is acting as a puppet of a few small lobby groups (who claim to control swing votes).

    He may be one of the Labor party heavies who got Rudd into the PM's chair and so got a Ministerial portfolio (and has passed on his largess when suggesting mates for NBN jobs), but he doesn't represent the Australian people.

    Between Conroy and Garrett, the Labor party stand to lose my vote, and the votes of about a dozen people in my neighbourhood (who meet when walking dogs).

    That may nor seem many votes, but there are thousands like us around the country who do NOT participate in political polls and rarely speak up who voted Labor last election and are thoroughly disillusioned with K Rudd and his 'first class' Ministers.

    I hope Labor gets a VERY rude shock at the next election.
  • Labor's Punishment

    It's a shame that Conroy just won't give up. Labor on the whole is (still) so much better than the coalition alternative, but Conroy and Garrett may just be enough to cause Labor to lose.

    On the other hand, I don't see any of the Liberal front-benchers* complaining about the filter, so keep that in mind when you vote for them.

    *back-benchers from both parties are now complaining.
  • Conroy you nugget!

    Welcome to Chinese internet!
    That is their model right?
  • YouTube Vid

    just tried your vid link and got this message:

    This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.

    ...its never ending
  • Re: Youtube Vid

    I uploaded a new one before the old one was removed. Youtube had no reason to remove the old one because I set it private. The request was that I edit the video, not remove it, so that's what I did. Youtube decided to delete a private video anyway.

    Here's the new one: