• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • News - Written by on Friday, July 9, 2010 10:05 - 11 Comments

    Govt doesn’t trust “internet companies”, says Conroy

    The Federal Government doesn’t trust large internet companies — which he said were solely interested in profit — to regulate their own sector, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday in response to questions about the Government’s mandatory internet filter policy.

    At a press event at the headquarters of the National Broadband Network headquarters in Sydney, Conroy was asked whether the classification system for online content should be different from that for other mediums such as newspapers or television.

    “It’s a communications system. It’s not magic. I know there are people who like to give it magical properties, net utopians think that it should be completely unregulated,” Conroy said. “This government and many other governments around the world don’t accept that argument.”

    “We’re not prepared to trust big internet companies whose sole basis of operation is profit motive, it’s not a model that has ever worked long term on a range of issues … take the privacy debate, where some companies say trust us. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to have worked out too well.”

    Conroy has been involved in several high-profile stoushes with internet companies in Australia. For example, earlier this year the Minister described Google’s inadvertent collection of Wi-Fi payload data by its Street View cars as “possibly the largest privacy breach in history across Western democracies”.

    And in March 2009 Conroy attacked broadband provider iiNet’s defence in its Federal Court case against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft as something which “belongs in a Yes, Minister episode”, spurring claims he had potentially prejudiced the case — which iiNet eventually won.

    Yesterday Conroy said of the filter that fundamentally the Government didn’t believe that material which is refused classification under Australian law — “that you can’t see on TV, that you can’t see in the newspaper, that you can’t watch it at the movies” should available online, and that was the basis of the Government’s filter policy.

    The event yesterday was held to announce new rollout locations around Australia for the National Broadband Network. But Conroy has also scheduled another press event this morning at 10AM to “make an announcement” regarding the Government’s Cyber-Safety policy — which includes the filter policy.

    The news comes as both the Opposition and the Greens have stepped up their attacks on the controversial filter policy, with the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety kicking off yesterday in Federal Parliament.

    Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam said yesterday that new Prime Minister Julia Gillard should not have backed the filter policy publicly as she did this week without hearing the evidence from those presenting before the committee.

    ” “The friendless net filter proposal is one policy that the ALP will probably regret taking into the 2010 election. There is still time to work with industry, online advocacy groups, child protection groups and other political parties to adopt a truly evidence based approach,” he said.

    And Liberal MP Alex Hawke described Labor’s pursuit of the filter policy as “bloody minded”.

    The gentleman to the left of Conroy in the video is NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley. Video taken by Jenna Pitcher.

    submit to reddit

    11 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Sim
      Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink |

      What on earth was going on with the image on the projector screen behind Mike Quigley?

      • Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink |

        Apparently they had a number of errors with it — the powerpoint presentation or whatever it was. We’re planning to publish a bloopers reel later on. For more detail you can ask @nanopunk about it on Twitter — she was there.

      • Jenna Pitcher
        Posted 09/07/2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink |

        The lady who was controlling the presentation had a bad day. Power point had crashed at the start of the press event and it went downhill from there. The presentation was eventually shown but then she had a hard time turning the computer and projector off. At one stage Quigley looked like Dr Manhattan.

        Quigley didn’t even bat an eyelid while bright light was streaming into his eyes. Impressive.

        I have a lot of respect for Quigley.

    2. Sean
      Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink |

      We don’t trust you either Conroy. Please regulate yourself with the rest of the spams and scams in the portal.

      • Myke
        Posted 09/07/2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink |

        +1

    3. Tezz
      Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink |

      What is the so called range of issues that the industry has failed on? This sounds way too much like a technophobe on a personal vendetta.

      • Jenna Pitcher
        Posted 09/07/2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink |

        I agree.

        I had a boss an age ago who hated tech ever since the day he found out that his then wife was making raunchy vid cam footage for a website.

    4. None
      Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink |

      Whilst I do not agree with the filter, we should all be fearing the large internet companies such as Google and Facebook.

      The companies hold too much data on us and feel as though they can do with this as they please.

      • PointZeroOne
        Posted 09/07/2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink |

        well you gave them the data in the first place…..

        • Jenna Pitcher
          Posted 09/07/2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink |

          Smack down!

    5. Posted 09/07/2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink |

      I for one implicitly trust my Google and iiNet overlords. More than St Conroy of Filter.




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT


    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications


    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry


    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights