Oh dear: Conroy’s “spams or scams in the portal”


At the launch of National Cyber Security Awareness Week Communications Minister Stephen Conroy plainly wasn’t having a good day.

“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,” he said.


Oh dear.


    • I watched this three or four times through, and couldn’t stop laughing every time. Having said that, Conroy was speaking on a topic which a lot of people don’t know much about, and he was clearly a bit nervous etc. You gotta feel at least a little bit sorry for the man.

  1. If you choose to speak on such a topic you should develop a good understanding of it, otherwise you just show it for the PR stunt that it is. Not necessary to be an expert – just competent at understanding the issues and talking about them.

    • Fair point. And this video does appear to reveal a fair degree of lack of understanding by Conroy of technology issues in general. Firstly, when was the last time you heard the word “portal” used in modern day technology conversation? Secondly, you would expect that the IT minister (or ‘digital economy, however you want to say it) would know enough about this to be able to speak competently at an event about digital security.

      What is revealed here is it’s not that Conroy is misspeaking — he genuinely appears not to quite understand what he is talking about.

  2. I feel very sorry for the man….mentally retarded people should not be put into jobs like this
    how long can this joke of a situation keep going? why is he still around and the filter going ahead?

    • He has quite a good degree of support within the Rudd government … and with relation to Ministers it is more what political support they have, rather than their actual personal skills, that normally wins them portfolios. But I guess even in 2010, Communications is not a massively important portfolio, otherwise you could expect to see a heavier hitter like Gillard or Lindsay Tanner in it. In the past it has been seen as a junior ministry … I guess its importance is a lot higher now, with the NBN.

  3. Conroy is fully expecting to come a cropper with this – so long as he remains loyal to Rudd, being the patsy for this enormous train-wreck will earn him brownie points for a longer future in the party, and thus for future governments.

    • I think it’s a combination of much of what Conroy spouts he actually believes (and some of it is true), but he certainly doesn’t have deep insight into the portfolio in the way someone like Kate Lundy or Scott Ludlam does. I think in many ways he is trying to do good (but often misguidedly) and the political angle … he is trying to keep his portfolio and get ahead etc.

  4. Honestly, this guy is such a numbnuts! I saw this at the time and just cringed. Yes, it’s a technical subject, but please put someone in who understands the matters at hand, especially when they are making proclamations on things they barely comprehend (Google, NBN, the great firewall of Australia, privacy, security etc etc).

  5. Guys this IS NOT FUNNY. Laughable, yes – but not funny. Conroy is running the digital economy in this country with such a poor grasp of the basics – that is more staggering than any number he can pull out of the air to bolster his scrambled thoughts.

    We should be relentlessly exposing this. You are way too kind Renai.

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