Stephen Conroy trawls Whirlpool threads


blog Think your fevered rantings on Australia’s largest technology forum, Whirlpool, are private and just among mates? Think again. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has admitted he is addicted to trawling threads on the site for the latest posts about his pet project, the National Broadband Network. The Financial Review reports:

“Stephen Conroy is something of an information junkie … He “tragically” monitors a laundry list of online threads related to the $36 billion national broadband network on telecommunications forum Whirlpool”

Wow. Although I’ve always thought of him as something of a jock, the AFR’s profile makes it seem as Conroy is becoming more and more of a geek over the years. Certainly amongst parliamentarians his well-publicised enthusiasm for his iPhone and iPad makes him something of a rarity, but I didn’t realise he was geeky enough to be trawling Whirlpool threads. I do know for a fact that the Minister reads Delimiter, although he hasn’t ever posted a comment on our site, unlike his colleagues in the portfolio from other parties, the Liberals’ Malcolm Turnbull and Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

Perhaps Conroy’s first port of call at Whirlpool might be one of the forum’s longest-running and most hotly debated threads, entitled How can NBN fight the FUD and WIN? A daily read for yours truly, this thread often chronicles and debunks the exploits of the Murdoch press in trying to squash the NBN. And Conroy is known to be one of News Ltd’s biggest detractors. But then again, an even longer-running thread is devoted to another of Conroy’s projects — ISP-Level Content Filtering. I’m sure he keeps an eye on that one too ;) In the meantime, everyone at Whirlpool, wave at Conroy — you’re on the Ministerial iPad!

Image credit: kjd, Creative Commons


  1. What a load of bunkup, he has his staff do the trawling.

    How many Simon Hackett’s are there posting on whingepool? Apparently, the honour of posting as Simon is highly prized at the iinode helipad.

  2. If the report is true, Conroy will be the first responsible minister to have any interest – or even just a clue – about IT. We have a sad tradition beginning with Senator Luddite and it’s still a pity that Conroy wants to proceed with censorship and surveillance of the internet. If they applied the same principle to Australia Post, the voters would be up in arms at having their letters censored and read.

    • He may actually be one of the few people who know anything about their portfolio at all.
      In SA one of the politicians actually has experience in their portfolio, If I remember correctly it is the justice minister was a lawyer.

  3. If Senator Conroy was monitoring the ISP-Level Content Filtering. thread on Whirlpool he would have junked his filter years ago and not junked the Coalition “Clean Feed” program.

    I am amazed that someone who has fought so hard for the NBN and can see its potential benefits for Australia is so obstinately blind to the futility of a mandatory ISP based filter.

    • Unfortunately, in Conroy’s case, his religious faith seems to trump his technology passion when it comes to the filter. If the catholic blinkers were to come off, and he could look at things rationally, then the filter would not be an issue.

      Just imagine what a religious zealot who is also a genuine Luddite would do (ie Tony Abbott)… Oh, that’s right – there wouldn’t be any broadband to worry about, so no need to filter anything. After all, Dickie Alston taught Tony that broadband is only ever required for pr0n anyway.

  4. Hiya Stevo, hows it shakin’ in head kickin’, power brokin’, spam and scam portal land, dude? You should be aok with Big Red after shafting your old ACL tea drinkin’ after church mate Little Kev but just in case she gets a bit tetchy (as opposed to techy) and flicks you in the reshuffle here is a fine job opportunity for you (and maybe your buddies at Webshield and the like), it looks a real fun gig:

  5. if thats correct kudos to Conroy , maybe the pollies are starting to get a clue now if we could just get the CEO’s of telstra and ….

  6. Praising Conroy for something he “apparently” does… My impression of delimiter severly compromised. It’s a bit like saying TAbbott sparenly has an account on ocau. That’s great but it sounds like bs.

  7. Hmmm maybe Conroy will learn a few things. i know he has quoted at least one WP poster in parliament too :)

    It amuses me to question how much he learns about the NBN from WP vs how much he learns from NBNCo lol

  8. It really is hard to read that whirlpool thread and not become an expert on the NBN.

  9. If I am getting quoted in Hansard I want my kudos!….and cookies… me Steve…..

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