Newton smacks down Conroy, ACL on SBS Insight
Tuesday March 31st 2009, 11:14 pm

SBS Insight covered Rudd’s proposed internet filter tonight. Mark Newton, as usual, nutted the whole thing in a paragraph:

Mark Newton: If Senator Conroy took the word ‘mandatory’ out of the proposal, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it. No-one seriously argues that there should be an unfettered right for everyone to access child pornography. What we are arguing about is whether there should be government control imposed on this medium that we use for human to human communication in 2009 and onwards. If the government took away that ‘mandatory’ word, we could all pack up, go home and the whole issue would be over. (boldfacing mine. -weez)

The sparks REALLY flew in the (far too) fast-paced online chat after the show, where Lyle Whassisfuck from the Australian Christians out in the Lobby got his arse handed to him repeatedly. In the end, even Lyle agreed that an optional filtering system, where households without children could opt out of the filter, was preferred.

Hard to imagine that Rudd would give away Labor’s control of government over one word- but that’s what it’s worth.


Conroy: Do what I say, not what I do
Saturday March 28th 2009, 11:59 am

you the man now, dog

Labor’s blog-watch plan hits Whirlpool of dissent

* Josh Gordon
* March 22, 2009

THE Government will begin trawling blog sites as part of a new media monitoring strategy, with documents singling out a website critical of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy for special mention.

Soon after Senator Conroy praised Singapore’s Government for reducing monitoring of blogs, tender documents issued by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy reveal it is looking for a “comprehensive digital monitoring service for print and electronic media”.

The department later attached a clarification confirming the term “electronic media” included “blogs such as Whirlpool”.

Whirlpool, the only blog site mentioned, has criticised Senator Conroy’s plans to filter internet content and his handling of the Government’s $15 billion national broadband network. It is a community-run internet forum devoted to discussing broadband internet access.

Senator Conroy this month told a conference in Germany that it was a “really positive sign” that the Singaporean Government had given up monitoring blogs.

But the documents suggest the Australian Government is just about to start. Senator Conroy’s spokesman said it was “only natural” that the tender include services for monitoring relevant blogs. […]

Um, you know, they could always subscribe to an RSS feed, or heaven forbid, use Google to see when a blog has been updated.

pssssst- Senator- Whirlpool’s not a blog.

These people are fully clueless… I should put in a tender to monitor Whirlpool and charge a fortune.


Conroy: Waffle, dodge, weave & evade
Saturday March 28th 2009, 7:34 am

image: MsFitsABC’s Q&A with Conroy was a supreme disappointment. Tony Jones let him skirt and misrepresent every issue of contention. Shame, Tony! Worse, the panelists were very poorly chosen. Where was Mark Newton and Burnthenette McPanickin? (FYI, Mark Newton will appear on SBS’s Insight program, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 at 7.30pm AEDT.)

While Conroy was handed his arse on a platter several times (except when Andrew Bolt was busy burying his tongue in said arse; talk about strange bedfellows), despite ABC receiving over 2000 submitted queries, Senator Conjob still wasn’t forced to answer the truly key questions regarding this completely and utterly ill-conceived scheme. TJ let him go off on some silly tangent about the bloody Russian mob, with no challenge.

When the good Senator admitted that the proposed filter can’t deal with encrypted peer-to-peer traffic, Conjob amazingly claimed to have ‘cracked peer to peer’ in Brisbane, which frankly would be no more complex than manually noting the IP addresses of peers shown in any P2P sharing application. Even so, it’s completely possible to fake an IP or use a P2P proxy to avoid identification.

Had I been in the Q&A audience, I’d have asked:

* Do we really have a problem to address? Child porn, the (first) given reason for the filter, comprises a minuscule part of internet traffic. Spam and phishing are statistically much more prevalent (as noted by all panelists), but the government haven’t managed to make even a tiny dent in those, which cost Australia millions yearly.

* Why does the filter have to be mandatory? Can’t Australians be trusted to choose their reading materials? Are we dumber or less capable than Americans or all the other nations with no internet censorship?

* Why must the blacklist remain secret? If the filter works, it won’t matter if it’s public or not. Banned sites will be blocked anyway. Keeping the list secret is an admission that the filter won’t work.

*If the banlist is secret, not subject to FOI, how will mislistings be known of and removed in a timely manner?

*Why must filtering be accomplished at the ISP instead of at the PC in homes with children or folks with delicate sensibilities? A home PC has lots of spare capacity to process comparisons to a blacklist; ISP servers don’t.

* Why should internet users with no children be penalised because a few bad parents won’t take the responsibility to supervise their own children? Is the Australian Government a good parent?

*Will the Government criminalise evasion of the filter? The Great Firewall of China (partially) works because it is enforced with the barrel of a gun. The more savvy Chinese web users still get around the filter, though.

It’s hugely significant that and were hacked just before Conroy went to air on Q&A. It’s the first shot over the Government’s bow in the looming war to eliminate all government censorship in Australia, not just from the proposed filter, but from the OFLC and ACMA as well. Conjob & KRudd should most definitely be paying attention… and I strongly suspect they are not.

Some filtering Kool-Aid drinkers commenting on Whirlpool noted that there are not thousands of people on the street protesting the filter. Well, duh- isn’t the net the ultimate communications tool? If you can’t get a message out to internet users about internet censorship, you probably couldn’t organise a pissup in a pub. There’s nearly 100,000 signatures on GetUp’s anti-censorship petition, which exceeds the numbers claimed as Labor Party members.

This stoush is farrrrrrr from over. If KRudd & Conjob don’t back down on this one, it is undoubtedly going to go to the ballot box. It would be among the greatest disappointments in my life to have to see the Lieberals back in power after finally dispensing with them after some 11.5 years of HoWARd, but this issue is a major vote loser for Labor. Numerous users say this single issue will change their vote.

The same online mechanisms that were exploited to elect KRudd/Labor will assuredly be used to unseat them.



Conroy binge drinking game
Thursday March 26th 2009, 8:48 am

After months of avoiding questions about Labor’s proposed mandatory internet filtering scam, Senator Conjob will be appearing tonight on ABC’s Q&A.

Get some of your favourite coldies on ice and play the Conjob Binge Drinking Game!

When Conjob accuses censorship opponents of:
* supporting access to kiddie porn, take a drink.
* being irresponsible by leaking the ACMA banlist (we’re all supposed to play along) take two drinks.

When Conjob claims he’ll prosecute leakers of what he claims wasn’t the ACMA banlist, take three drinks.

When Conjob says that the filter will halt ‘illegal’ content without mentioning that the ACMA banlist (which will form the basis for the proposed mandatory filter) already contains non-illegal content, take four drinks.

When Conjob insists that he can bypass the Senate to implement his filter, take five drinks.

If you’re not plowed under the table by the end of the program, it’s because the good Senator spat the dummy and stormed offstage in tears, cursing the ABC for biasing the audience against him.


Wednesday March 25th 2009, 2:28 pm

From the ACMA banlist: LOLcats.

From wild on the OCAU forums:


Brilliant. 😆


FEAR THIS: cannabinoid hyperuresis!
Tuesday March 24th 2009, 5:14 am

image: are compiling mounting evidence that heavy cannabis users are being afflicted by a new syndrome known as ‘cannabinoid hyperuresis.’

This is the condition where anyone with any passing familiarity with cannabis use proceeds to piss themselves laughing when uncritical media on a slow news day are fooled by anti-cannabis wowsers into printing some scary yet prima facie ridiculous nonsense about cannabis, with added hyperbole.

“Grown men screaming in pain, vomiting”

Pardon me while I go change into some dry knickers.


Wikileaks: Go after our ACMA list source, Conroy- we go after YOU
Sunday March 22nd 2009, 6:39 am

From El Reg:

Wikileaks tells Aus censorship minister to rack off
Muddled Conroy threatens lawyers

By John Oates

20th March 2009

Wikileaks has told the Australian Chief Censor communications minister, Stephen Conroy, to reel his neck in after the gaffe-prone politician threatened a police investigation to find out who leaked his secret blacklist of sites banned in Australia.

Conroy claimed the list published yesterday of sites banned in Australia was not the full Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) list. But he also threatened a police investigation and possible legal action against the leaker.

So which was it? A fake list or a leaked list?

[…] the publisher of Wikileaks, Sunshine Press, and its legal adviser Jay Lim said:

Under the Swedish Constitution’s Press Freedom Act, the right of a confidential press source to anonymity is protected, and criminal penalties apply to anyone acting to breach that right. Wikileaks source documents are received in Sweden and published from Sweden so as to derive maximum benefit from this legal protection.

Should the Senator or anyone else attempt to discover our source we will refer the matter to the Constitutional Police for prosecution, and, if necessary, ask that the Senator and anyone else involved be extradited to face justice for breaching fundamental rights.

While it’s improbable that Conroy could be held accountable under the laws of Sweden, where Wikileaks is hosted, it’s equally improbable that Conroy will either find the (presumably Australian) list leaker nor will be able to touch Wikileaks.


Conroy’s filter? No! RUDD’S filter!
Saturday March 21st 2009, 5:23 am

Chinese Democracy, brought to you by KRuddCo

While he is the driver du jour, let’s not forget that this stupid plan to mandatorily censor residential internet feeds is not Senator Conjob’s idea- it’s Kevin Bloody Rudd’s. For all the good that KRudd’s done since returning Labor from the political wilderness, it’s all fully undone with this draconian and authoritarian bullshit.

The next Federal elections are not really that far down the track, folks. It’s (again) KRudd’s election to lose. Pity to lose it on a single issue, but that’s where this trainwreck is headed.

Civil disobedience takes on a whole new meaning when you wrap a few internets around it.


Can’t have it both ways, Senator
Thursday March 19th 2009, 6:22 pm

Leaked blacklist irresponsible, inaccurate: Conroy

By News Online’s Nic MacBean

Broadband and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says a list claiming to be the communication regulator’s blacklist for a proposed internet filtering system is not the real blacklist.

He has condemned Wikileaks, the website that published the list, as “grossly irresponsible”.


“The leak and publication of prohibited URLs is grossly irresponsible. It undermines efforts to improve cyber-safety and create a safe online environment for children,” Senator Conroy said.


“I am aware of reports that a list of URLs has been placed on a website. This is not the ACMA blacklist.”


“ACMA is investigating this matter and is considering a range of possible actions it may take including referral to the Australian Federal Police. Any Australian involved in making this content publicly available would be at serious risk of criminal prosecution.”

The good Senator damns the publication of ‘prohibited URLs’ (prohibited by whom, sir?), threatens criminal prosecution (fat chance, bro), but in the same breath says “This is not the ACMA blacklist.”

If the list on Wikileaks is not the ACMA banlist as claimed, Senator Conjob won’t be prosecuting anyone.

The spray of threats indicates nothing but a man in deep fear of EPIC FAIL.

Rotsaruck, Senator.


Secret ACMA blacklist – secret no more
Thursday March 19th 2009, 2:41 pm

Anti-censorship advocates predicted it would be leaked- and here ya go.

Australian government secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist, 6 Aug 2008

Payback for ACMA threatening Whirlpool? One can’t be sure, can one? 😉