Stephen Conroy, "Internet Villain of the Year"

Australia on internet watchlist with Iran, North Korea


Socialism is all about total control:

Now Conroy wants Google to filter YouTube in Australia

Coming to rule and to regulate…YOU!

A top media rights watchdog has listed Australia along with Iran and North Korea in a report on countries that pose a threat of internet censorship.

Paris-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders on Thursday put Australia and South Korea on its list of countries “under surveillance” in its “Internet Enemies” report.

But its not all bad news:

Big move by Google: GOOGLE Inc. executives are “99.9 percent” sure they will pull the plug on their Chinese search engine after talks with Chinese officials over censorship concerns have broken down. More here>>

The ‘dirty’ excuses:

Australia was listed for the government’s plan to block access to websites featuring material such as rape, drug use, bestiality and child sex abuse.

Critics say the plan is a misguided measure that will harm civil liberties by blocking a broader range of content than just nasty material.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said he plans to introduce legislation by the end of next week that would require ISPs to block a blacklist of “refused classification” websites for all Australians.

It is not clear if the government will meet this deadline; a spokeswoman for Conroy said the legislation would be introduced “after it has been considered by caucus and cabinet”.

Today’s inclusion on “Internet Enemies” follows the naming of Conroy as the “internet villain of the year” last July at the Internet Service Providers’ Association annual awards in London.

The latest report was seized on by Peter Coroneos, the managing director of the Internet Industry Association, who said it showed the international reception to the proposed internet filter.

“This regrettably puts Australia on notice that, despite the Rudd government’s best intentions, any mandatory filtering policy is likely to be perceived internationally in ways that will not benefit our reputation as a free and open society,” he said.

“It will likely be used by less open societies as a vindication of their internet censorship regimes, despite any domestic attempts to draw distinctions. Mandatory filtering is mandatory filtering by whatever colour it is painted.”

Conroy’s spokeswoman defended the internet filtering policy, saying RC content is already prohibited in physical media distributed offline.

“Under Australia’s existing Classification regulations this material is not available in newsagencies, it is not on library shelves, you cannot watch it on a DVD or at the cinema and it is not shown on television,” she said.

Whether the internet filtering scheme gets up will most likely depend on the position of the Liberal Party, as the Greens have already pledged to oppose the legislation.

The opposition has yet to come to a final position on the matter but in a speech to the Grattan Institute last night shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said the policy was “likely to be unworkable in practice”. He expressed concerns that the scope of blocked sites could expand in future and said it was up to parents, not governments, to regulate their children’s internet use.

A spokeswoman for Hockey said today that the shadow treasurer’s comments should not be interpreted as confirmation that the opposition would oppose the filtering legislation, as a decision had not yet been made.

In South Korea, the RSF report added, “draconian laws are creating too many specific restrictions on web users by challenging their anonymity and promoting self-censorship”.

“These countries are worrying us because they have measures that could have repercussions for freedom of expression on the internet,” RSF secretary general Jean-Francois Julliard said at an internet rights award ceremony on Thursday.

Russia and Turkey were also added to the watchlist, which is a category below RSF’s top “Enemies of the internet”, the countries it considers the 12 worst web freedom violators.

These include Saudi Arabia, Burma, China, North Korea, Iran and Vietnam.

“The world’s largest netizen prison is in China, which is far ahead of other countries with 72 detainees, followed by Vietnam and then by Iran, which have all launched waves of brutal attacks on websites in recent months,” RSF’s report said.

A senior manager of US internet giant Google, David Drummond, said there was an “alarming trend” of government interference in online freedom, not only in countries that are judged to have poor human rights records.

He cited Australia’s plans as an example, saying that there “the wide scope of content prohibited could include socially and politically controversial material”.

The Australian case “is an example of where these benign intentions can result in the spectre of true censorship”, he added, speaking at Thursday’s ceremony.

“Here in Europe, even in France, at this very moment, some are tempted by this slippery path of network filtering.”

Last month, after Conroy called on YouTube to censor videos in accordance with his filtering scheme, the search giant’s head of policy in Australia, Iarla Flynn, said: “The scope of RC is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information. RC includes the grey realms of material instructing in any crime from [painting] graffiti to politically controversial crimes such as euthanasia, and exposing these topics to public debate is vital for democracy.”

6 thoughts on “Stephen Conroy, "Internet Villain of the Year"”

  1. Smith should keep his brown nose out of affairs which are beyond his comprehension. The sooner we see the back of Rudd and his gang of ignoramuses the better off we will be as a nation. I suppose Rudd is expecting his new electorate, the boat criminals to get him victory in the coming elections.

  2. From Neal Boortz

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.”

    Frederic Bastiat


    By Neal Boortz @ June 3, 2010

    There is a growing demand out there for the FCC to monitor “hate speech” on talk radio and cable news networks. Where is this demand coming from? Actually it seems to be stemming from Hispanic media coalitions and Latino organizations, and they are feeling particularly enraged in the wake of the passing of Arizona’s law. In a letter to the FCC, over 30 organizations claim that syndicated radio and cable television programs make it hard for the public to separate facts from “bigotry masquerading as news.” They also claim that talk radio and these news programs use hate as a profit model. Here’s a little excerpt from the letter to the FCC from the National Hispanic Media Coalition:

    “Groups” want FCC to police hate speech on talk radio, cable news networks

    NHMC’s Petition urges the Commission to examine the extent and effects of hate speech in media, including the likely link between hate speech and hate crimes, and to explore non-regulatory ways to counteract its negative impacts. As NHMC has awaited Commission action, hate, extremism and misinformation have been on the rise, and even more so in the past week as the media has focused on Arizona’s passage of one of the harshest pieces of anti-Latino legislation in this country’s history, SB 1070 …

    Then my favorite line is this … “Many communities and individuals do not have the information they want and need to intelligently engage in our democracy.” Is there such thing anymore, considering the information I just shared above about our Entertainment Tonight America?

    Remember what I told you yesterday. Hate speech is any utterance in opposition to progressive or liberal ideology. In the case of the NHMC “hate speech” would be defined as any reminder that “undocumented workers” are, in fact, illegal aliens and have committed a crime coming into this country, and continue to commit crimes by staying and working here.

  3. How far we have sunk!

    With a totally incompetent backstabbing Fabian Socialist hack (Jooliar Gillard) lying to the electorate and bribing 3 fake “independents” to gain power, the country goes down faster than the Titanic. And what happened to the grand inquisitor in chief, the despicable kapo, Soviet style apparatchik Conroy?

    Andrew Bolt:

    I remember the cheer at 19:30 from members of the Q&A audience when Communications Minister Senator Steve Conroy, on explaining his internet filter and secret black list, said this:

    STEPHEN CONROY: At the moment there is the classification board and people will sometimes say, “I agree with the decisions they’ve made,” or “I disagree with the decisions they’ve made.” But by and large there’s a public confidence that the board makes reasonable decisions. Not always ones that everyone agrees with. So I’m keen to make sure people have confidence that as we move to a new scenario that the classification board continues to have the paramount role, and I’m happy to make sure and discuss ideas about making sure that an ACMA official, who I don’t know the name of, just in case anyone’s worried I’m phoning them and saying, “Hey, put Andrew Bolt on the blacklist.”


    Conroy may be the ultimate village idiot, but he is dangerous.

    Our G-d given rights to free speech should never be surrendered to useful tools like him.

  4. Andrew Bolt regrets:

    And to think I defended Conroy

    I MUST apologise to the hooting audience of the ABC’s Q&A for not taking it seriously.

    Oh, the mob did try to warn me as I so stupidly sat there, two years ago, defending the Labor Government.

    To my right on the panel was Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, struggling to defend his plan for an internet filter to weed out porn sites.

    And here, ha ha, is what I said in his defence.

    “If it does indeed … stop people from looking at legitimate political sites, I’m sure I would bet my bottom dollar that Steve won’t approve it.”

    What a donkey.

    And the crazy thing is that the audience had done its worst to alert me. Roll the tape:

    Conroy: Just in case anyone’s worried I’m phoning (broadcasting officials) and saying, “Hey, put Andrew Bolt on the blacklist” …

    Audience: Yeah! (Applause, cheers.)

    Yes, the audience, typically stacked with Leftists, was hot for free speech about sex, but very cold on free speech for conservatives.

    And now look. It’s getting what it cheered, and leading the charge to silence or intimidate conservatives is … my old friend Conroy.

    Take last Thursday. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, owned by the News Ltd group of Rupert Murdoch, published a front-page story saying Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd was being urged to depose Prime Minister Julia Gillard before Christmas.

    Continue reading ‘Column – And to think I defended Conroy’

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