Conroy says filter still on under Gillard

Conroy says filter still on under Gillard

Summary: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has reiterated the government's support for its mandatory internet filter policy after the change in Prime Minister and has slammed proposed amendments by Senator Kate Lundy that would allow Australians to opt in or out of the technology.

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Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has reiterated the government's support for its mandatory internet filter policy after the change in Prime Minister and has slammed proposed amendments by Senator Kate Lundy that would allow Australians to opt in or out of the technology.

"We have got an election commitment to deliver," Conroy told journalists in a doorstop interview in Sydney this afternoon. "Just because [Greens Senator] Scott Ludlam says it's been shelved, doesn't mean it's true."

Conroy reiterated the election commitment statement when asked whether he had spoken to new Prime Minister Julia Gillard about Lundy's proposed amendments to the filter legislation. Asked about his personal views of the amendments, Conroy had a stronger statement.

"I'm not into opting in to child porn," he said.

The minister said consultation around the filter project had taken a little bit longer than the government had hoped, but it would still be introducing the filter legislation in the second half of 2010.

Asked whether the timing of the Federal Election could affect the passage of the legislation, Conroy said it would be up to Gillard to determine the timing of the vote.

Conroy was also asked whether he had participated in any negotiations regarding the controversial data retention regime being considered by the Attorney-General's Department, which could see internet service providers required to store records pertaining to Australians' email, telephone calls and web browsing habits.

"No, it's actually Rob McClelland's portfolio," he said, referring to the Federal Attorney-General.

Another topic of interest from the press was the status of the government's telecommunications reform legislation, which deals with the break-up of Telstra and other matters such as the introduction of stronger consumer safeguards into the telco sector.

Conroy said he was working with Senator Steve Fielding to win his support for the Bill, with the Family First parliamentarian to receive briefings from Telstra and NBN Co. Conroy said he hoped that Fielding would support the bill now that Telstra and NBN Co had come to an agreement about the terms under which Telstra would transfer its customers into the NBN and shut down its copper network.

"I spoke to him a couple of times last week. He wants to look at the overall package now, with the amendments, and make a decision," said Conroy. "We're providing all the information that we can."

Topics: Censorship, Broadband, Government AU, Privacy, Security, NBN

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30 comments
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  • "I'm not into opting in to child porn," he said.
    ...so logically, he want mandatory child porn for everyone? That's disgusting - this pervert needs to be investigated by the AFP!
    Pachanga-4184c
  • Ahhh I can't even read it anymore! If we have to keep him, can we at least lock him in a dark room and make him work in there? Information won't be an issue as he clearly doesn't get his information from the outside world anyway, and then nobody will have to see him!
    DamienJ
  • You have got to be kidding Conroy (I have no respect for you or your policies so I will NOT be calling you "Mr").

    Election promises?? I do not recall an Internet Filter was an election promise. I never voted for you or your party for which you stand for, and for the tired old statement "protection of the children", I agree sure protection for the children, but isnt that where the PARENTS come in to play here?? CERTAINLY NOT YOU!

    I am an adult, and I have not nor (with ALL the poll's I have come across regarding this policy of yours for mandatory internet filtering) 80% - 90% DO NOT WANT the BS you are shovelling down our collective throats.

    When I have children of my very own I (and my family) WILL be the ONLY ones that will have a say in what our children will watch and read etc etc on the net, until they are themselves become adults and then they have their own mind to make the choices they want to make (with guidence from their parents of course).

    Never will I nor my wife, let the government whom our own taxes pay your salaries choose what we and our children can think or say.
    zyberdez@...
  • Well Gillard will go down as the Prime Mister serving the shortest term as she has lost my vote already just by keeping this moron on. Continuely Conroy has been given the facts and he ignores all the expert advise yet he still pushes ahead with a flawed plan while spending billions in tax payer funds. This my friends is one dangerous individual. At the last election there was no mention of a mandatory filter yet according to Conroy we voted for it. Wrong, what we voted for was a change of government that was out of control and we needed to change that. Now we have a government that is even worse than the last while plunging us in to huge debt, stuffing up the NBN tendor process and then wants to know our most inner secrets of our web surfing habits. Well Conroy enjoy your last days in Government as you wont be getting a second term from me.
    gavo65
  • Well I hope not a single IT person will be voting Labor this election, and I hope they've inform their friends and family about the pure stupidity of this broken filter. As for Bypassing the filter. I've been testing VPN services from the US for the last day, and its very cheap or in some cases free, and takes only a few seconds to configure and connect. So I guess more money is going out of the country once this filter goes through.
    Anach
  • Conroy's logic is staggering. If you don't support the filter, you must be pro child porn. If you want to "opt in", you must therefore be opting in for child porn. The implication of course is that Kate Lundy must also be "opting in" for child porn, since that it her advocated approach. Have you lost sight of the fact that you are representing the people, Conroy, and that most people don't want this filter?
    Kevmeister
  • Does Conroy really think this filter will do anything to stop child porn?

    It is so trivial to bypass, that the only people who will be affected by this are law-abiding citizens attempting to view legal content that the Government doesn't want them to see.
    Mike_K-a5045
  • Oh for crying out loud Conroy you bloody imbecilic buffon. GO AWAY!!!
    davesquirrel
  • Conroy's inability to deal with reality is proven by his repeated dismissal of any negative argument whilst spouting some of the most pig ignorant rubbish I've ever heard.

    Getting rid of Rudd was just part of the solution. Locking Conroy away in a room with his own delusions is another.
    Scott W-ef9ad
  • Conboy's hero Kim Jong Il knows how to deal with dissidents, and it's about time Big Julia made Conboy an unperson and got him out of sight, like she did with Rudd.
    gnome-8be8a
  • We were ORIGINALLY told that you *could* opt-out of the filter. Does anyone remember that? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's what was said. Anyway there are 2 reasons this filter is going ahead: 1 is that they honestly think it's a good idea, (but are too stubborn to see sense), or 2: They have a hidden-agenda. Now take the following question, for example: Why would you put in place a filter that most people do not want? An apparent quote from the WW2 era:, "The state must declare the CHILD to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is PERCEIVED as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." Hitler once said (as far as I know): "How fortunate for governments that men do not think." (on the contrary, when somehting doesn't add-up [like Conroy's filter, for example], I do nothing BUT think!].
    thestudios
  • I also remember the filter being described as "Opt-out" initially.

    The fact that he keeps coming back with statements about child porn shows how deluded he really is. This filter is a secret list blocking whatever the government wants to block! Today it's Euthenasia sites, and drug education information. Tomorrow could be anything at all - alternate political views, bad news about foreign wars, even sites bad mouthing children of politicians! There is no control at all!!!!
    chumpion
  • "I'm not into opting in to child porn"

    Why does nobody ever seem to call him out on these comments? He makes some totally ridiculous statements but nobody seems to stop short and say, "hang on, if everybody opposed to the filter is pro-child porn, where does that put Google, Microsoft, iiNet, the U.S. State Department, The National Party, Senator Joe Hockey, the IIA, EFA, even Labor's own Senator Lundy and every body else who has publicly opposed the filter?"
    Dean Harding
  • Conroy: "I'm not into opting in to child porn"

    Me: "I'm not opting in to a N azi-era style censorship regime dreamt up by some short-sighted, self-serving politician either."

    [I even had to break up the N word so this post would make it through the ZDNet filter!]
    Scott W-ef9ad
  • I agree with you zyberdez. Internet monitoring is part of a parents responsibility. The government has a lot more pressing issues to worry about. Give the funds to the Australian Federal Police. They are doing a very good job of protecting children at the moment. Conroy you can't make everybody happy all the time. It just not work. Let the AFP do their job and let the government continues to provide sufficient funding for them.
    firefly55610
  • zyberdez.. It actually was a election promise weirdly enough. It was only visible to a small few though. Well really only people that found conroys myspace. He wrote a blog all about it 3 days before the election. He wrote why we apparently need it why Howard's filter was so wrong etc. There was a 5min tv interview before the election too.

    Anyway The filter idea is stupid and its how he explains it makes it even more stupider.
    penguincat
  • As you say, it was an election promise.. how come only a small handful rather than everyone.. What has the government to hide I wonder... ?? WOW how strange and weird that the government are so forthcoming (let alone any government) with their policies. (insert sarcasm)
    zyberdez@...
  • The internet filter policy is just the tip of the iceberg anyway. Law enforcement has a few more insidious ideas, such as a national recognition and recording system for all vehicle number plates using a multitude of cameras mounted all over the place, not just on main aterial roads. The use of photographs from licenses for facial recognition to be initially installed at all airports and seaports, but I'm sure there are many parties interested in getting access to private and public CCTV so that it can be applied there to track citizens movements.

    There are just a couple of things, I'm sure there are many others. They are always sold with the same kind of statements like, if you've got nothing to hide, then you've got nothing to fear. This kind of statement is made ridiculous when you realise that certain number plates or people don't appear on any of the tracking databases and in some cases don't even get captured. This to me indicates that the designers of these systems realise they will be compromised at some time so they are hiding things they don't want seen by whomever compromises the data.

    I'm all for transparency but for it to be effective the scrutiny has to be equally shared between all, not just the few who control the data.

    My 2c
    ID Fab
  • "We have got an election commitment to deliver," mr.Conroy,you are lying.there was no mention of a MANDATORY filter.keep the vatican cabal out of australian politics.
    thomas vesely
  • Too bad none of the so called 'journalists' have the presence of mind to question the legitimacy of his statements in a press conference.
    Scott W-ef9ad