Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stephen Conroy is not Satan

That statement is probably getting two types of reactions.

a) Who is Stephen Conroy? Well if you live in Australia then all your internets belong to him. But otherwise you may as well stop reading.

b) He is too! Okay you're the ones I want to talk to. You're wrong and you're wasting your time getting upset about Internet censorship.

Let me lay out the facts as I see them (read: opinion and opinion cannot be wrong no matter how much you disagree).

He's not evil he's just stupid
There's nothing really wrong with that. Lots of politicians are stupid. Some of the best have been morons! I'm very fond of the saying "Never assume malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" so I'm applying it here. He thinks he's doing a great service to Australia. Finally we'll be protected from all that nasty stuff that we were not supposed to be seeing anyway. Finally the internet has reached maturity where such things are possible. Or at least that's his thinking. But there's no point making personal attacks while the other side are no better.

The plan is doomed anyway
So you may as well let it play out. If it gets implemented several things will happen:
  1. Telstra will increase charges by $2 a month
  2. Important people will find their favourite porn site blocked
  3. Some insignificant but controversial (euthanasia? people smuggling?) site will be blocked and cause an uproar in the papers
  4. Polling will show great disapproval with the plan (now that the public knows what it really means to them)
All this may happen within days of the filter being put in place. And like other things the government of the day will pull out the system before the opposition can make it a policy and win some votes.

So don't worry about it. It'll all fall apart like every other attempt to "control" the internet. Australian governments don't have the conviction of China or Iran.