Conroy's tag cloud protested by creator

Conroy's tag cloud protested by creator

Summary: A software developer who claims to have written the code behind the controversial tag cloud widget on the website of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's website has cried foul over what he sees as misuse of his tool.

TOPICS: Cloud, Government AU

A software developer who claims to have written the code behind the controversial tag cloud widget on the website of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's website has cried foul over what he sees as misuse of his tool.

Conroy at AusCERT

Stephen Conroy at AusCERT
(Credit: Liam Tung & Ed Tran/

Conroy's tag cloud uses a variable font size to display the most popular topics on his site. But it was revealed last week that the phrase "ISP filtering" had been removed from the possible topics. The removal is significant because of the controversial nature of the Federal Government's mandatory ISP-based filtering plans, which Conroy is spearheading.

In a blog post, Aleks Bochniak, who appears to be based in the UK but was previously employed by a range of Australian organisations such as Griffith University, said he resented what appeared to be the removal of credits from Conroy's code and wanted the whole thing removed from the site.

"Dear Minister Conroy," he wrote on his blog, "I would appreciate it if you could remove my JavaScript tag cloud from your website. I do not want in any way to be associated with yourself, your office or your policies. Removal of my code from your website is the only way to achieve this." has reported that the credits were removed from the code, along with the name of the person who changed it — although it noted that one name was removed at the request of family members for personal reasons.

"Appropriate credit should have been left in place," wrote Bochniak. "I don't want to take credit from what they've done, far from it. But this is one usage of my code which I would have appreciated them asking my permission, because if I had known the final outcome I would not have let them."

The news comes as debate around the internet filtering project continues to be heard around the nation, with the legislation to introduce the scheme scheduled to be introduced into parliament shortly.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam on Sunday predicted the legislation would have to wait until after the next federal election, due to what he said was a "constipated" Senate, with, he claimed, the Opposition determined to "block everything" passing through the upper house.

And on Friday Prime Minister Kevin Rudd threw more wood on the fiery debate, saying the government wouldn't apologise for pushing ahead with the initiative.

Topics: Cloud, Government AU

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  • hypocrisy

    conroy has been huffing and puffy about copyright and fraud and he turns around and doesnt even acknowledge the use of a 3rd party's code. keep up the good work, Conroy.
  • filter

    This government must go. Conroy has done nothing but lie and manipulate . I cry for our country . I feel ashamed , scared and hurt by what this man is able to do , and with the consent and approval of our prime minister.
    Where are the audits, how can we have this happen without a vote , and how is he able to do this to our country ?

    Conroy is a fraud.

    What else did anybody expect? He is pushing for censorship. This is where his passion lies. Conroy would be laughing at this article.

    If people don't know this about Conroy by now then they need to get with the program.

    The man avoided state surrogacy laws by going to another state.

    Join the Anti-Censorship revolution and rid these mongrels from destroying our great country further!!

    Kevin Rudd hit list of websites to be banned with this filter are; Facebook pages, YouTube links, News sites, Political sites, Medical Sites, Poker sites and much much more!

    In a debate, Rudd has announced they WILL push ahead with the national
    internet filter scheme regardless of what people are saying. The scary
    thing about the whole thing is that the opposition didn't seem too
    against it and did not make it a focus of the debate but instead
    focused on other Rudd screw ups like the insulatio...n debacle. This is a
    clear indication that both Liberals and Labour are pushing for this.

    When yo are making your complaints be sure to make them to ACMA as
    well. They are in cahoots with Rudd and his lackeys (Stephen Conroy).
    It's been leaked that there is a lot of "You do this for us, we'll do
    that for you" favours.

    Next election tell Kevin Rudd and Libs to go F*** themselves! Give them nothing!

    If anyone vote Democrats, Greens or Sex Party. All stand for positive social changes which reflect our current social needs. Open mindedness, peace, love, equal rights, freedom of choice, no internet filter......need I say more?

    We need to embrace real individual human needs in this country, not stifle them! Out with the ancient, restrictive, authoritarian regimes.

    Above all........Get informed!!!