Conroy publishes filter submissions


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has published community and industry submissions into improved transparency and accountability measures surrounding the Federal Government’s internet filtering plans.

The Department of Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy received 174 submissions into the filter after the minister kicked off a public consultation into the controversial initiative in December last year, after the results of trials of the technology were made public.

Of the 174, 36 requested that their submissions not be published, and one was a product endorsement — and therefore outside the guidelines for the process.

Submissions were received from industry titans like Telstra, Google, Optus, Microsoft and Yahoo, as well as lobby groups like Electronic Frontiers Australia and the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and representative organisations like the Internet Industry Association and the Internet Society of Australia.

However, the vast bulk of the submissions appeared to be from individuals such as outspoken Internode engineer Mark Newton. There were also a number of strangely named submissions from people who gave themselves names like “Franz Kafka” after the famous author. One gentleman described himself as “Terry, a citizen of a rational and civilized state”.

“A range of views have been expressed in the submissions and I would like to thank everyone who contributed their comments and valuable ideas to the public consultation process,” Conroy said in a statement.

“The department will now work with other government agencies to consider the submissions and examine whether the ideas can be used to enhance the proposed accountability and transparency measures.”

Conroy’s statement said the submissions would feed into the development of the legislative framework for the filter while the department continued to consult ISPs on its implementation. “Once these processes are complete the legislation will be introduced into Parliament,” it said.

Image credit: Vangelis Thomaidis, royalty free