Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sen. Conroy on Q&A

Sen. Conroy made a technological argument based on Moore's Law, to basically sidelines the technical issues of the debate. That technology would quickly advance to a level that made the proposal viable. Surely any such argument is flawed by the fact that the same principle would relate to circumvention. Indeed, circumvention techniques already exist for the proposed filter, and most material of the type claimed to be censored is not trafficked on websites.

Sen. Conroy also mentioned a number of websites, 2 so far, that were classified by the ACMA, but then mis-classified by the technology onto the ACMA.

Sen. Conroy referred to the now famous blacklisting of a Queensland dentist. He explained that this was the result of hacking by the Russian mob and posting explicit content on their url. He failed to mention that the Dentistry had no idea, since the blacklist is secret, and no right of appeal. He claims he's all for fighting the Russian Mob (!).

Sen. Conroy says that political content is not, and never has been, and never will be, banned. For a secret, unreviewable blacklist, how is this defensible?

Sen. Conroy is defending the secrecy of the list, in light of the wikileaks leaking of the blacklist. If the list is secret, how can anyone be confident about its integrity.

Video comment by jeffrey wang, compared the censorship proposal to the People's Republic of China, from which country he comes. He also had a guy fawkes' mask.

"Don't you realise 1984 was meant to be a warning not an instruction manual?" - Audience question.

Sen. Conroy continues to articulate that it's not about political speech. He claims the list has existed for 9 years [true, but it was never used for censorship. It was a toothless tiger of classification for internet sites].

Andrew Bolt is 'shocked' by the lack of moral seriousness. His first comment lost all sympathy from me though.

What about the anti-abortion site? Surely that, despite graphic imagery, is a political issue?

Andrew Bolt has just come off as a total moralist. Susan Carland is asking whether it wouldn't be more productive to leave the sites as is, and watch the sites and catch the perpetrators and the viewers? Shouldn't we catch child pornographers?

Sen. Conroy accepts that this won't deal with P2P traffic, but claims that other technical approaches will. He's affirming that it's part of a broad package, a 'raft of solutions'.

That's the end of the debate. I'm not sure Sen. Conroy has convinced anyone.

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