I’m upset this morning. Really upset, almost in tears! All because I have come to conclusion that Stephen Conroy is ACTUALLY right about something. I made a post on Friday in regards to some comments he made on ABC Radio National Breakfast, in which he boldly announced that “you can’t regulate the internet”. Conroy and his department even defended his comments, as raised in my post, which made some headlines in the IT-based media on Friday:
|Conroy Can Still Regulate the Internet|
The funny part of their defense of the comments is that they proudly stated that his comments didn’t apply to his proposed internet filter, and that the comment “should be taken in the full context of the interview” (IPTV content regulation), is that he was actually right in saying “you can’t regulate the internet” – even in terms of his stupid filter! Why?
Well, just so you understand – the department have clarified that the transcript makes it clear that the minister was discussing Australian content levels and not internet regulation generally. Okay.
There is currently a secret meeting underway in Mexico in regards to the protection of copyrighted works on the internet, with the aim of producing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). A whole raft of countries/nation states/economic unions are involved – the United States, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Jordan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia. Yes, take note – Australia is a part of this. Read more about what ACTA is about here:
|World, Get Ready for the DMCA – ACTAs Internet Chapter Leaks|
It is interesting that the leaked draft of the section of the ACTA proposal relating to digital enforcement of works on the internet seems to make clear that governments cannot mandate internet filtering.
Hang on – Australia is a party to this proposed trade agreement, which seems to explicitly forbid internet filtering, yet Conroy still wants his internet filter implemented? It is becoming more and more apparent to me that not only Conroy is completely out of touch with even the general goings in the industry(s) covering the portfolio he is RESPONSIBLE for, but he also is unaware of other “secret” dealings the government he is a part of is participating in internationally, that broadly affect large swathes of his own policy agenda!
We should be demanding some kind of explanation here. This is not good enough. Not only does his proposed filter not work; not only is it not required; not only do huge numbers of people not want it – Australia is at the table negotiating a trade agreement that will apparently FORBID it! If he doesn’t understand just how people don’t want it, here’s the results of a Sky News Australia poll from December 20th 2009: