Parliament decides if filter is dead: Conroy

Parliament decides if filter is dead: Conroy

Summary: An undefeated Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has refused to declare the government's mandatory internet filter policy dead in the water.


An undefeated Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has refused to declare the government's mandatory internet filter policy dead in the water.

Stephen Conroy

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (Credit: Liam Tung/ZDNet Australia)

"Parliament decides that ultimately," Conroy told Triple J "Hack" reporter Kate O'Toole yesterday.

On the very same program two weeks ago, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed that the Coalition would not carry the policy if the party won government on 21 August and would vote against the legislation if it was entered into parliament under a re-elected Labor government.

Despite the Coalition and Greens opposition to the policy leading to many declaring the filtering legislation as dead, buried and cremated, Conroy has resisted calls for the policy to be scrapped, stating the legislation would still come before parliament under a re-elected Labor government.

"The parliament is a robust chamber, as you'd expect, and there are many different points of view and the debate that will be had will be a good thing. And if it loses, it loses; that's democracy."

Conroy said that the government had taken steps in response to concerns from the public regarding the policy, announcing a review of refused classification (RC) material by the classification board.

"If people want to argue that golden showers shouldn't be contained in RC, or that bestiality or pro-rape websites [shouldn't be included] ... I invite you to put in a submission to the independent process so that you can have your say."

In response to Treasurer Wayne Swan previously telling "Hack" that the filter policy could move in different directions, Conroy highlighted the voluntary child pornography filtering implemented by internet services providers Telstra, Optus and Primus on the date the RC review was announced.

Topics: Censorship, Government AU


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Gee what's wrong with Golden showers between consenting adults? Sure not for everyone, but illegal, yeah whatever!
  • Come back! Come back! It's only a flesh wound!
  • Address this if you dare, Senator Conroy

    You’ve copped a lot of flack over the filter proposal from the IT community, much of it justified in the eyes of those technically savvy parents and those who see this as an attempt at a “nanny state”. The enforcement of a mandatory filter at the ISP level is just the first step towards complete monitoring of the on-line lives of the Australian public.

    Look at what happened when the Government of the day tried to implement a “porn filter” many years ago – it was cracked IN LESS THAN 30 SECONDS by a 14 year old school kid in Victoria. $180,000,000 of our hard-earned taxation dollars WASTED.

    More child pornography (and let’s face it, this is the only thing that really NEEDS to be blocked) is exchanged daily via other channels such as Australia Post than is over the internet – and having been “on-line” since the early 1980′s (via CSIRO and BBS systems), I can honestly say that I have NEVER, in many many thousands of hours of online time, come across any “kiddie porn” accidentally (and I’ve never looked for it either, let me add !!)

    Parents need to be EDUCATED as to how to monitor / block their children from seeing undesirable content on the Internet, with the proposed filter being promoted as either;

    * OPT-IN for those who either do not understand how do do this or can’t be bothered learning


    * OPT-OUT for those technically astute parents who take their roles in this area seriously

    And both of these at the USER level, not the ISP

    There is no denying that some sort of filtering is needed, but do you not think that it is the responsibility of the parents to educate their children and monitor their internet activities until they are at an age where they can understand the risks ?
  • I find if funny that, that Moldor says he's never seen child porn, but thinks a filter might be a good idea. I've been online since the early 90's and I've never seen it either... if it never pops up on the screen to frighten us, then why do we we need a filter? we don't, it's that simple. Why spend thousands of dollars on something which is basically a sugar pill for "concerned parents" and "religious fundies"?

  • "Parliament decides that ultimately," we need to make sure we do not elect pro filter members!
  • This is the true colours of this filter coming out - it's nothing to do with the Child Porn red herring (and yes, same here - Ive been online for years & never seen any). It's everything to do with Puritanical politicians and their Church overlords wanting a return to victorian values.

    I'm sorry Conroy, but just because you don't admit to doing anything other than a quick 5 minute missionary position poke for the purposes of reproducing for the country, there are a lot of consenting adults doing LEGAL things behind closed doors and away from childrens prying eyes that we are more than happy to view ourselves.

    Those of us who are parents are capable of monitoring the kids computer use ourselves. Note that the risks of young people being lured to meetings by adults is NOT addressed at all. Kids will still use chat rooms and unless parents are educated to monitor this then that risk will still be there.

    The oft quoted filter in the UK btw is nothing like the proposed one here - it filters ONLY a black list of known child porn sites. nothing else. Why is this not being discussed if they really want to block these sites as a priority? because this is not their intention.

    Well as long as Conroy is happy to lose votes over this ( or at least all the $5 first preference money) then he should go ahead and take the consequences. If we get a Tony Abbot government I am blaming Conroy.
  • Conroy needs to go. Hopefully this member of the Labor forces will be dismissed without distinction. He's a tool! Yes, the NBN but the filter is rubbish.
  • Conroy isn't going anywhere. The NBN has become a big win for the government so Conroy's approval is high.

    The member of the Labor right-wing, Stephen Conroy, isn't going anywhere and you can bet that his conservative Catholic views will weigh in heavily on just how much will be censored.