Australia to Conroy: stop using “but China does it” as an argument

Senator Conroy reckons that if Google was able to censor the internet for the Chinese, it can do it for him:

“What we’re saying is, well in Australia, these are our laws and we’d like you to apply our laws,” Conroy said. “Google at the moment filters an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Chinese government; they filter an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Thai government.”

You can do it for other repressive governments, why not us? Why won’t you help us make the internet like the Chinese or Thai internet?

Google says no:

Google Australia’s head of policy, Iarla Flynn, said the company had a bias in favour of freedom of expression in everything it did and Conroy’s comparisons between how Australia and China deal with access to information were not “helpful or relevant”.

You just made his list. Seriously, he has a list. And if you don’t do as you’re told, you’ll be on it.

If it takes banning Google to make Australia’s kiddies safe from the stuff that no filter would actually keep them safe from anyway, who could object?

UPDATE 14/2: Oh, look. Conroy went skiing in Colorado with Seven Network boss Kerry Stokes shortly before gifting the free to air networks $250 million of taxpayers’ money. The corruption, it burns.

34 responses to “Australia to Conroy: stop using “but China does it” as an argument

  1. There are no logical or rational arguments against a mandatory filter. Many have tried to make them, but alas they always fall short.

  2. Oops! Of course I mean for. I’m yet to see anyone provide any argument for the filter that holds water.

  3. You almost had me there, confessions! I thought you had lost the plot.

  4. LOL I’m trying to keep myself on my toes! I’ve spent the morning in another place arguing against the Fundie Filter – it’s tiring hearing the same old debunked and discredited arguments they use to defend the indefensible.

  5. And you thought Chairman Rudd was just a nickname? 🙂

  6. Oh and here’s the most absurd defence taken by pro filter people: youtube should comply with the OFL mob about RC material online. If not, then it is acceptable that youtube be banned in Australia.


  7. Hmm…a law almost universally condemmned by the citizens being passed by government anyway…some democracy.

  8. Damien: compulsory filter advocates are clutching at a poll from yesterday that apparently showed 80% of respondents support the introduction of a filter that blocks RC material (can’t remember the exact word of question). Whether people understand what that means is another matter however….

  9. Well, then let’s just hope the other polls which show 90+ opposing the filter were right… :S
    As for the interview, I think that was one of the biggest pieces of horseshit I’ve ever seen. But his devate with Senator Ludlum is way funnier but his smugness is more infuriating in that.

  10. I saw Stephen Conroy on Hungry Beast. It just re-enforced my view that he is one of the biggest right-wing tools going around in politics today. I sadly have to put him up there with Abbott.

    I can see the zealotry in his eyes. It doesn’t matter what you say to the neanderthal he is going to push this until the end.

  11. Harry the Hacker

    Conroy really is a moron.

  12. Conroy’s in the clutches of the fundies alright, no doubt about that. I say bring in the filter and let’s see the Murdoch minions in the tabloids do their worst. Can you imagine headline after headline at the Terrorgraph of a succession of 15yos cracking the filter and downloading stuff they shouldn’t? Mums and grandmothers “shocked” that their 6yo was exposed to something unspeakable when Conroy promised the filter was the panacea? It will last a week before being abandoned.

  13. “It will last a week before being abandoned.”

    No it won’t. Once it’s in, it’ll be too useful to Government – and their lobbyists like the copyright industry – to shut down.

    It’s not about protecting kids, it’s about the powerful exerting more control over the internet. That’s why they’re fighting this battle. The religious nuts are just a convenient group of patsies who will campaign for them.

  14. Yes, perhaps a bit wishful thinking. On reflection the Murdoch minions have thus far failed to report anything about the filter so why should they start once it’s introduced?

  15. “It’s not about protecting kids, it’s about the powerful exerting more control over the internet. That’s why they’re fighting this battle. The religious nuts are just a convenient group of patsies who will campaign for them.”

    That nailed it.

  16. Jules “That nailed it.”

    Bang. I agree.

  17. Jeremy: “It’s not about protecting kids, it’s about the powerful exerting more control over the internet. That’s why they’re fighting this battle. The religious nuts are just a convenient group of patsies who will campaign for them.”Absolutely nailed it. This statement is so manifestly true its got me agreeing with jules and EvShow.

  18. the recent world economic forum in davos is worth reading about, regarding the future of internet “reforms”

    they had some detailed plans for the net, such as a licensing system for users… you wouldnt be allowed access without permission….the ostensible reason is for preventing terrorism/crime… also they are wanting to create a supra national “World Health Organization for the Internet”, bringing control to one central organisation.

    also there was an idea to create two internets, ” One internet for secure operations and one internet for freedom.” i can see where that one would lead…

    most of this stuff would be pretty unpopular so generally i’d expect to see some “cyber terrorism” attacks in the future, to win over support from the public for these new arrangements

  19. Conroy, Atkinson & Rudd etc are all right wing idiots. If anyone thinks that the ALP has any left wingers with power then your heads in the sand.

  20. The filter is the single issue that would make me walk the streets protesting my arse off – sorry, don’t subscribe to most “protest” movements but this is a bridge too far.

    Conroy needs to get the arse from his electorate and out of our lives.

  21. BTW – what are the other parties poilicies on this? Liberal, Green etc????

    I would like to know the Libs policy especially..

  22. I’ve found a lot of people are all talk on actually taking to the streets on this issue. I read that ‘Anonymous’ called for a protest the same time their Denial of Service attacks were happening but this amounted to squat.

    I’ve had friends involved in some of the meetings to get a campaign on this issue and they’re depressed with the lack of political savvy people have. The wider community really doesn’t give a shit about this issue and if they do they’re generally in favour of the proposed laws.

    Opponents need to wake up to the fact that complaining and moaning amongst themselves won’t achieve a damn thing.

  23. Aussie Unionist most people are all talk when it comes to anything these days.

    The internet is too easy … everything is there in front of you, so you don’t have to get off your arse and do anything. You can click on a petition to do this, a box to send rice there or support any number of worthy causes without having to actually do anything.

    Try this – send conroy an email about the filter.

    How about 1000 of us do it?

    Bet othing happens and no one notices.

    But if all 1000 of us post him one snail mail message complaining about the filter in a 48 hour period that will have an effect.

    Apparently anyway. Supposedly there is a figure reflecting the way politicians interpret emails and snail mail, and snail mail has immense weight compared to an email, and not just literally.

    Anyone can type an email and press send, but buying an envelope and stamp and actually writing (or typing/printing) then signing a document shows a much greater level of commitment.

    The only source for that I can think of off the top of my head is in a Clay Shirky book. But there are bound to be other sources if you want to look. (Kind of ironic that to “save” the net, net based tech may be ineffective but there you go.)

    So who is up for it? Spam Conroy’s office with snail mail and he might take some notice.

  24. conroys off skiing with the power elite, he doesnt give a shit about your letters…

  25. Not mine on my own sure. But mine yours and a thousand other people might make a difference. (They might not too, but its one tactic, and there’s no need to get bogged down in it. Try it, maybe try it again, evaluate the results and if it seems to work then good if not oh well. Back to Tor and VPNs.)

    It would be particularly effective if it was timed to coincide with an “anonymous” DOS attack on the parliament. With enough publicity anon could figure out the appropriate time to launch their attack without having anything to do with the people organising the mail bombardment.

    (Open source resistence is the way of the future.)

    Of course if you think its hopeless you’re already beaten before you begin.

    Thats your choice karl.

  26. I would like to know the Libs policy especially..

    I wrote to my Lib MP before xmas and am yet to hear back from him indicating how he intends voting for the legislation. I wouldn’t be surprised if they support it quite frankly.

    And if News ltd were serious about GEtting Conroy why waste time and effort with silly stories about skiing when they could just start reporting accurately on the Fundie Filter?

  27. jules im just of the opinion that writing letters is a waste of time, i’m sure many others would disagree

  28. karl

    Yeah fair enough…

    I am a bit too. But lately I am wondering if thats more of an issue with my way of seeing the world, than actual reality. Also one letter on its own wouldn’t do much.

    Thousands might.

  29. Or alternatively get AM talkback radio and news ltd blogs to confect a besiegeing of callers angry about the filter and pass it off as an voter revolt the way they did with the CPRS.

  30. The CPRS is useless whichever way you look at it. Not even the Greens support it. Maybe they confected the outrage along with Alan Jones! You are going to need a doozy of a conspiracy theory to explain that alliance.

    Or you could just say that the public thought about the issues and a genuine grass roots outcry went up about being railroaded into a useless CPRS for no good reason other than the ego of the PM.

  31. yeah the CPRS probably deserves some serious scrutiny anyway…

    confessions thats actually a good idea, (the more ideas the merrier too.)

    This is a reasonable primer on fighting an information war (Tho its more of a job application using 5GW principles than a brilliant piece of analysis.)

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