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A open letter to Stephen Conroy October 31, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in industry news, philosophy, politics, social media, technology, web 2.0, work/life.

Many international readers will not be familiar with the goings on of the Australian political landscape. Back in January I wrote about some unfortunate measures Australia’s recently-elected Government was planning to introduce, suffice to say our elected officials are engaged in a well-meaning but ill-informed program of censoring the access Australians have to the Internet. While looking in to the issue I’ve come to learn I reside in what is by law the most heavily censored Westernised nation, something I find rather ironic considering Sex & The City ran free-to-air here while it was confined to cable State-side.

Regardless, I have written an open letter to Stephen Conroy, the honourable member behind the intiative. Let it be known his intentions are good, but in practice his methodology is flawed, and imposing unnecessary (not to mention ineffective) rules upon the lives of ordinary Australians will achieve few, if any, of the aims of the program.

To read my letter to Mr. Conroy, please head on over to Marketing Magazine. If you feel as strongly as I do, please also visit Keep Your Filter Off Our Internet to learn how you can get involved.

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1. curly - October 31, 2008

I have just read about this and am outraged! If Australia goes down this path, the precedent will be set for other western liberal democracies to follow suit.
I would fear even more for freedoms in “Big Brother” Britain, and elsewhere.

2. Stan Lee - November 1, 2008

Never has the term “member” been more appropriate.

3. Daniel Oyston - November 3, 2008

I made this comment on the same topic at http://www.servantofchaos.com

I have a mate who works at the Broadband Dept and he reckons, last Thursday, they have had about 2000 letters arrive. He anticipates they’ll get double that and that’s just hard copy letters.

He sees the letters and reckons one actually signed off by saying “oh Yeah Conroy, while you are at it … drop dead.” (Round of applause I reckon).

This whole filter idea is a complete joke. We already have terrible broadband speeds in Australia … we don’t need something that slows it down more.

I agree with the comments about spending the money on an education program. But then again, it’s juts like everything else that people complain about – they never take responsibility (case in point: ban junk food ads because a grown adult’s will is no match for a 6yo demanding Maccas … gimme a break).

Oh here is an idea … maybe full, unfiltered, fast broadband should be means tested. You know, only smart, responsible people should have access to it rather than dead beats who get it because their kid says “all the other kids have it” but then don’t monitor their own kids use and then complain because of the content!

4. David Gillespie - November 6, 2008

Curly, you’re right to be outraged. If there is any saving grace, it’s that Australia’s flawed Internet policies and infrastructure are unlikely to influence other Western nations who will hopefully see it for the flawed setup that it is.

Stan, that comment is gold =]

Daniel, I’m interested to hear more of your friend’s experiences, perhaps you can blog about some of what is happening internally there?

5. Daniel Oyston - November 6, 2008

@ David – yeah ok. I play Touch Footy with him but he couldn’t play tonight so will start a conversation at training next week.

Anybody got any questions they want me to ask him?

6. Adam - November 6, 2008

Hey DG,

Loved the letter, very eloquent summation of what I’m sure a lot of us are feeling. Technicalities of access speed aside it’s the concept and the political implications of what they are planning that gets me upset.

7. David Gillespie - November 9, 2008

Thanks Adam. I think as with most things when it is politics for politics’ sake, the move winds up simply being embarrassing for everyone involved. Unfortunately that also includes us.

8. Stephen Conroy boxes glacier, loses « Creative Is Not A Department - November 14, 2008

[…] Scott Ludlam, Stephen Conroy trackback See the below clip for Stephen Conroy being questioned on his Internet filter by Green’s Senator Scott Ludlam from Western […]

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