Full disclosure

Apparently Senator Conroy is not the Internet killing free speech hating barbarian the Internet community claims.

I’ve been having a lengthy email conversation with the guy who called me a Greens Party Stooge (which still hurts) and he pointed me to this article and these quotes:

Conroy also reiterated that the Government has made clear which content is to be filtered and how.

It will attack RC [refused classification] content, he said, by the same rationale ACMA already classifies content under the existing Broadcasting Services Act for television, radio and print publications.

“There is no political content banned in the existing Broadcasting Services Act,” he said.

“We are not building the Great Wall of China. We are going after the filth – like child pornography. Its been done around the world and it can be done here.”

How it is done “will be guided by the outcome of the trials.”

Most of the assertions otherwise are “patently a scare campaign [against] a policy objective we think is fair and reasonable,” he said.

I have no doubt there is good intention behind this plan. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like child pornography or other illegal stuff being on the internet – including piracy.

But while I think this “policy objective” is fair and reasonable the policy being promoted to achieve it is not. If this is the case – why the secrecy? If this is the case why are there two trials – one of the ACMA blacklist, and one of a smaller list of illegal sites? And why is Whirlpool facing fines for providing a link to the leaked ACMA blacklist – which demonstrated the lack of vetting of content added to the list (eg a dentist’s site).

So, Conroy wants us to “show good faith” – how bout showing the people of Australia some good faith by making the blacklist process as open and transparent as the classification process? The argument that the blacklist based filter will be “opt in” doesn’t hold water if those who don’t opt in don’t know what’s on it.

Personally, given the choice, I’ll sign up to the filtered version. But that should be my decision – and we should know what we can’t access when signing up.