I like living in a country where we have a Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
I don’t like it when he announces that soon it will become mandatory for Internet Service Providers to provide filtered feeds, as reported by the ABC today- Conroy announces mandatory internet filters to protect children:
Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy says new measures are being put in place to provide greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites.
Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material.
First question to Mr Conroy: How will you do it – technically? What do you have that is unhackable that will only trap kiddie porn and violence and not other sites ? Who gets to decide what is filtered?
Second question to Mr Conroy: Where do I find more information about it? Given that it affects online communities and your job is to understand the digital economy- shouldn’t you make the information available online, not just rely on traditional media such as the Sunday Times (Onus on providers to clean up web content )?
On Monday 31st December at 3pm Western Australian time, there wasn’t a whisper of it on:
- The official Australian Government Home Page, not even the Latest Media releases page
- Stephen Conroy’s Myspace page
- Stephen Conroy’s official governmental home page
- The Australian Labor Party home page
UPDATE 1 January 2008: Just to clarify – although there is information available about mandatory filtering when it was ALP policy (as reported in my blog here and here ) , there is none about the “new measures being put in place”. The Minister was implying that it is moving beyond policy – but his online channels were silent about this bit.