Conroy fails to convince us, yet again.
Not that online polls mean much, but I think that there’s something interesting to be gleaned when 95% or more of respondents regularly vote against the government’s scheme. One point which someone tried to raise in the Radio National debate was that, if the filter will work so well, why not publish the list? If we can’t get to these sites since the filter is 100% effective, we can’t be in danger from the content at these sites which is so very scarring. Sure the URL is an address and not a book title, but won’t the government’s scheme block all roads to that address? I think that there’s some cognitive dissonance in Conroy’s position 🙂
Something else that wasn’t followed up on was a question on why the government killed the Liberal scheme for downloadable client-side filters. Conroy stated, accurately, that the scheme cost a heap of money and that very few people actually downloaded the software. What he wasn’t pressed on was the conclusions that can be drawn from that ie. that almost no-one wanted to filter their internet connection. Where, therefore, is the mandate for filtering at the ISP?
Conroy is playing dog-whistle politics, where the whistle is being wielded by a minority of christian and conservative moral fundamentalists who would like to see all “immoral” content removed from view. They will be pissed off when the scheme (if it gets into operation) doesn’t prevent non-illegal soft-core porn from being seen on Youtube or searched for via Google etc. and the government will face their displeasure for not taking us all back to a mythical time of conservative purity. Unfortunately for Conroy’s future as a minister he’s implicitly allowing people (who want to believe) to think that the scheme will do that.
Meanwhile, the displeasure of all those who don’t like censorship and don’t like money being wasted on technically stupid ideas when it could be spent on law enforcement is palpable.