Govt to upgrade filter to new SOPA version


fake news The Federal Government today confirmed plans to upgrade its controversial mandatory Internet filtering scheme with the new Stop Online Piracy Act module released in the United States this week, with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy confirming the new functionality would be ready ahead of the next Federal Election.

The Internet filtering technology only stops Australians from being able to access content which has been refused classification locally — such as child pornography or detailed instruction in crime. However, version 2.0 of the system, released in the US this week to great interest from the technology sector, also allows the Government to automatically block materials which infringe copyright, a feature long requested by the film, television and music industries.

In a statement this afternoon, Conroy noted the agreement for Australia to license the module had been one of the key items on the agenda in talks between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Barack Obama, during the US President’s whirlwind visit to Australia this week. Conroy noted the implementation of the SOPA module would unify the systems of the two nations.

“There’s a staggering number of Australians being in having their computers infected at the moment, up to 20,000 … can regularly be getting infected by these spams or scams, that come through the portal,” Conroy said. “They have exactly the same problem in the US with the series of tubes.”

“Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet?” asked Conroy. “I just the other day got … an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.”

“They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.”

In the statement, Conroy noted the SOPA module would cost slightly more in Australia than it did in the US, despite it being the exact same technology used in both countries.

The Motion Picture Association of America, which manufactures the SOPA module and sells it on a software as a service basis, stressed that it wasn’t responsible for setting local prices for the technology. In Australia, the SOPA module will be distributed through local reseller the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft.

“While the MPAA provides guidance on recommended retail pricing, the company itself does not set the final ‘to-the-customer’ price,” the company said. “The market, in the form of its channel and value-added partners who deliver those products to customers, ultimately determines retail pricing.”

However, Conroy’s announcement has already met with criticism from some sections of the industry and the Opposition.

Internode managing director Simon Hackett described the SOPA module’s pricing model as “insane” for small internet service providers, warning that none would survive their walk through the “valley of death” transition from the current Internet filter system to the SOPA upgrade which the Federal Government is seeking to introduce. “At 10,000 customers, it’s insane to connect to this module, as a national provider,” he said. “I just gave you insane.”

Optus chief executive Paul O’Sullivan said the SOPA module didn’t go far enough, arguing it needed to deal with other areas of content available on the Internet.

O’Sullivan noted that companies like Google and eBay had over the past decade achieved a “winner take all” dominance over the internet. He suggested that the SOPA module could be extended so that “hyperlinks” could be placed on the websites of companies like Google and eBay, linking to competitors – or even that the traffic for such sites could be auctioned to provide access for “others who might bid to hold that auction, or for providing that search at a better price”.

His chief political opponent, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement slamming Conroy’s plan as not taking advantage of current technologies such as China’s Internet firewall system. Use of China’s system was growing much faster than the SOPA module, the former Liberal leader said. “Everyone who has had even a cursory look at the business case has acknowledged this threat,” said Turnbull. “Perhaps now Senator Conroy can also acknowledge this threat rather than simply accusing every rational telco analyst of not understanding the laws of physics.”

The last word came from maverick Exetel CEO John Linton.

“I have never heard of this proposal,” said Linton in an emailed statement this afternoon. “My personal view is that it is an insanely difficult and expensive process to implement that serves exactly no purpose whatsoever — in other words a nanny state gone totally insane one more time by the current government.”

Note: The above is satire written to keep the author entertained in an extremely slow news week, upon urging from some mischievous readers.

Image credit: Kim Davies, Creative Commons


  1. Obviously this is link bait, but it’s so brilliant that I think you deserve the activity spike.

    The frightening thing is that your fake Conroy quotes looked perfectly reasonable until I got to the ‘series of tubes’ bit.

    • Hehe cheers!

      Actually all the quotes (with the exception of some small modifications and additions) in this article are real. I just took them out of context. I shit you not — if you think I’m joking, search for them in Google :)

      • That’s the part I found the funniest. Especially like Simon Hackett’s quotes, taken from the NBN debate and incorporated into fake feedback about SOPA :-D

  2. “In the statement, Conroy noted the SOPA module would cost slightly more in Australia than it did in the US, despite it being the exact same technology used in both countries.”

    ““While the MPAA provides guidance on recommended retail pricing, the company itself does not set the final ‘to-the-customer’ price,” the company said. “The market, in the form of its channel and value-added partners who deliver those products to customers, ultimately determines retail pricing.””


  3. Well done. I’m glad I read your tweets leading up to this post otherwise I might have had a stroke!

    You know what’s really scary is how easy it is to use quotes out of context and make it sound believable.

  4. Now we just wait for another news station to run the article almost word for word as fact without any verification. Any bets who will be first?!?

  5. Well done Renai you have managed to cover the typical comments that have been made by all these people to filtering, the NBN and anything else to do with the Internet.

  6. All that’s missing is an attack on the “facts” contained in this article by Alan Jones, yelling his tits off on 2GB, and you’ll be the most successful journalism troll of all time :)

  7. This kind of irresponsible rubbish is exactly why discussions about regulations and ethics applicable in traditional media being recognized in the online world are so relevant.
    Seriously, how can trade as a credible journalist at the same time as undermining the integrity of news, actively hoping that other outlets pick this up?
    I believe the on-trend descriptor might be: Douche.

    • Renai never said he wanted other outlets to pick this up. That was someone else. And of course Renai would be amused if other media picked up this fake article.

      Also it clearly states at the start ‘fake news’

      There really is no issue with this article at all. If he hadn’t stated ‘fake news’ then there might of been an issue, but yeah

      • To quote Mr Lemay himself: “Oh man, if that happened I would crack open the champagne :).”

        • Yeah for sure, he’d be happy/amused etc. But he hasn’t written this article to dupe people into believing it’s real

          • To be honest, if people did believe this was real, those are the kind of readers I don’t want on Delimiter anyway. Broadly, Delimiter readers are well-educated, technical people who are able to discuss things intelligently. I would prefer clueless n00bs who don’t know the issues well to get their news from somewhere else … perhaps from the AustralianIT.

            Ideally, the average Delimiter reader should a handsome, erudite, sophisticated, intelligent nerd with a bevy of technical qualifications and recovering from a World of Warcraft addiction by watching Korean StarCraft II videos.

          • I am not sure how to take that. With someyngguy calling everyone nerd geek virgins who play WOW all day. I did think being a nerd was a good thing and hadn’t heard it used in a derogatory fashion for many years. Anyway, I have never played WOW, and don’t watch SC2 vids so I am same. I just watch SC2 live streams, much more exciting :)

    • I believe you have no sense of humour, Mr Collins, but I still respect you for your seminal hit ‘I can’t dance’, which remains in my music library.

  8. You know the gov doesn’t need reminding of these things lol.
    Rather sometimes ignorance is bliss.
    But thanks Renai F$#@&*^%$&*^%!!@#)( for making my BP jump :)
    Very bleeping funny..

  9. “IINET does this ISP I have eaten up and used the skin to make a pair of pants make me look fat?”.

  10. Thanks for the article Renai, clever and well intended.

    On a side note I now have confirmation that my blood pressure monitor alarm functions as advertised. :D


  11. wowo for a second there i really thought this is off the rails
    then i put my glasses on
    know what this would have been great if it was april fools day!
    sigh you now have to top this on that day boy nice one
    fell for it hook line and sinker.
    all you do now is reel me in and bot this baby!

Comments are closed.