luv how "they" are a friken bureaucrat... like it's any of their business what is and is not debated and discussed in democracy.
have spent many years in commonwealth and state bureaucracies and have never heard anyone even entertain the idea that silencing debate (although in my view that is often the point) would be used as the publicly stated reason for censoring or denying an FOI.
The last thing I expected when I moved to Australia was to be behind the "Great Barrier Firewall".
Not sure if many reading this realize that there is an election coming up in the coming weeks, the current government probably does not want to give ammunition to the opposition about this whole sordid affair.
Stephen Conroys office has spent an obscene amount on why he thinks the Australian filter is a good thing. Any kind of back-down or debate on the issue would just go against the current regime.
My only hope is that if the party goes back into power after August that this firewall business will die a slow death.
Even Tor's been taken down.
Btw, I used to live in Clontarf for quite a while..
Catch me on twitter @beilabs
Add to that a dash of stubbornness (he refuses to back down, even though he's been shown better solutions) and probably just a hint of corruption (the whole channel 7 broadcasting fee debacle) and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.
And to distract anyone from finding out about their affairs, dodgy real estate deals and child abuse.
"There’s a staggering number of Australians being in
having their computers infected at the moment, up to
20,000, uh, can regularly be getting infected by these
spams, or scams, that come through, the portal"
Another car crash video is of Senator Conroy trying to explain how the "Russian mob ... hacked" a dentist's website  as an explanation for it ending up on the leaked "Internet Blacklist" from the filtering trial .
I don't underestimate the complexity of concepts in the information technology space, especially for those outside the industry. And I particularly don't envy the people whose job it is to explain to the general public the issues and come out with (and sell) realistic public policies.
However, you'd hope the man who has ultimate responsibility for these policies would have a basic grasp and be able to communicate it more effectively. More importantly he sorely needs advisers that both understand the issues and are able to properly brief him.
 I won't link to the leaked black list directly but you can find it by searching for australian government ACMA blacklist site:wikileaks.org in Google.
Essentially, the nature of a modern state is the governing body has monopoly of force over a geographical area. By extension, this allows certain advantages, namely extraction (which from a one dimensional or conventional perspective can be viewed as taxation or army conscription) or coercion which again, from a one dimensional perspective means the ability to force a society to act in a certain way. For instance, one could view the inquisition to be coercing (by means of force) the population to a particular religious doctrine. Or from a modern perspective
Now, the space of the internet in it's current form can be interpreted as anarchic - a power vacuum of sorts. The nature of a politician is to expand into all power vacuums in a given area - it's what they do. The vehicle is legislation. As the internet grows and becomes more a part of our society than ever, the need to control this vacuum is more important than ever. China has been especially proactive in this regard, but more states are following suit (consider the US is also looking into a RealID programs).
But the thing that is so bad for us Australians is that our political culture is very ambitious. For decades our society has been screaming out to appear as a major player on the world stage. The politicians, understandably are more fundamental on this issue - as all people in a position of power will be.
This has changed our political policy to a form of 'any means necessary' legislative agenda to modernise and to expand Australia's power and thus influence AND importantly to appear to the world as an example of modern proactive state making. This is paramount - our leaders perception of ourselves on a world stage. They crave world recognition.
A more obvious example will be the former prime minister Kevin Rudd's ambition to increase Australia's population to 60 million - an almost threefold increase on a land whose space and water is already on the brink. A detriment to society is ignored in favor of this increase in power.
The current internet legislation is essentially a conglomeration of these factors. And due to a series of conservative rule (and by extension the right-leaning attitude of the two popular governing parties), this new approach to modern state making has often come in the form of very conservative legislation.
Again, I am sorry for this essay. However, I prefer to view this problem from a structural standpoint, instead of any ideological agenda. Though I think this still may be a factor, IMO the system is more to blame.
Let's hope movements like Election Wire http://www.youtube.com/youthscape will change things.
Seems like a positive way make dent on the incumbent censor-happy morons.
Good luck Australia!
However what happens if the Labor party loses. Is the opposition going to support this as well?
We love to call politicians stupid, but they're not that dumb. It's been pointed out ad-nauseum that the filter wont achieve the stated purpose (eradication of online child porn). The rationale has moved to making sure kiddies don't 'stumble' upon the internet nasties.
More sensible legislation would be to mandate that ISPs offer filtered & unfiltered connections. Individual households could then make their own choices.
the real question is who has their ear, for internet censorship i would say it's the christian lobby, for this logging crap would say both state and commonwealth law enforcement agencies (chiefly AFP???).
the latter certainly have form (e.g. http://www.theage.com.au/national/investigations/private-spi...)
Yeah, that statement may sound over-hyped today, but come talk to me a year after that thing gets signed into law.
Aussies have gone soft, in the balls (they were already soft in the head -- which was the only good thing keeping democracy alive in Australia until now).
edit: an attempt at preventing godwin's law invocation and a visit from the anti-defamation league. ;-)
edited to add:
Beware, for history repeats itself. Just because heinous crimes were documented in the past is no guarantee that they will not be repeated by spineless authoritarians.
Just because an analogy has been made does not make it a good one.