Conroy Anti-Gouging, But Still Pro-Censorship

Conroy Anti-Gouging, But Still Pro-Censorship

Bugger. Just when Senator Stephen Conroy got back into our good books with the long-overdue inquiry into price gouging, he gets all gung-ho and says the internet filter censorship plan is still actively moving forward with new developments “soon”. Stephen, oh Stephen, when will you learn?

At a press briefing earlier today, Conroy was inevitably asked about both the pricing inquiry and the still-on-the-boil filtering issue. Here’s what he had to say about the inquiry, starting with the evident problem with different charges in different markets for digital goods and the effect of the rising Australian dollar:

It’s not like it’s got to be shipped here. There might have been a transport cost issue or a distribution cost issue if it was a book or it was a physical product. So it does become a live debate. I welcome Ed [Husic] leading the debate on this, I welcome his participation. I’ll be talking to the chair and to Ed over the next few days. I spoke to Ed yesterday and we agreed to catch up next week. We’re keen to try and get them out as soon as we can. This is about highlighting the fact — I think one company has already responded to the naming and shaming. These companies now have an opportunity to explain why there is this price differential. Maybe there is a legitimate reason. Now we have got a forum where we can ask the question as see what they’ve got to say — or is it just simple profiteering based on a business model when the dollar was at 75 cents rather than a dollar?

And here’s what he said about filtering, starting with the voluntary Interpol :

75% of Australian users are being voluntarily filtered with no impact on speed, almost no mention of it having impact. The Internet Industry Association has indicated that they have got a voluntary filter that they were looking to at introducing. I welcome that and I’m looking forward to some discussions with them. So I think we’re making good progress in the area We’ve got the recommendations from the Law Reform Commission, which I’ve said, and I stand by it, where they fall in terms of what’s in RC and what isn’t in RC, I don’t have a particular perspective . . . I’m very comfortable with what they’ve bought back. It fairly much aligns with the international list. I would hopefully be progressing that a little bit further soon. I would hope to be able to have some more conversations soon.

Gives with one hand, takes with the other.


  • Oh he’s just a typical pathetic little politician. He’s been at this stupid filter idea for so long that he’s invested political capital into it: he thinks that if IT fails, then HE does, so despite the fact that everyone knows it’s a waste of time, he won’t be able to let it go, ever.
    SO the only way to go will be to vote him out… and even then he’d probably STILL try and push for it in order to leave a “legacy”.

  • When are pollies going to realise that they cant control what they can control? Why is this Minister not concerning himself with better internet access rather than trying to shut down the bits he doesn’t like? What a waste of resources just ti fulfill one man’s deluded desire. May as well make Clive Palmer the Minister and then we could have daily doses of the ridiculous.

  • I am fine with a filter which is open and discloses what is blocked for what reasons. But for all the pain of adding this filter, then why don’t they just shut down the sites, If its child porn then remove it, if it is known malware sharing remove it. I am worried that it will become a slippery slope, SOPA like act where large companies/politicians can ask the government to remove sites. I am sure that Julia would like Andrew Bolt to be removed, and a ‘miscategorisation” is the perfect way to do so.

  • How can a government get it so right – NBN, the current review – and yet get it so wrong with the filter. But then the coalitio is not much better – they’ll kill the filter but also kill the NBN in the process.

    I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do at the next federal election.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!