Australian Gov't Delays Vote On Latest Censorship Proposal

from the might-not-survive dept

It seems like nearly every year we have a story about Australian politicians pushing plans to censor the internet. And while the politicians pushing them always insist that there's widespread support, there are always huge protests, and the laws never seem to get passed. So it's interesting to note that the latest attempt to censor the internet may also be dead in the water. Apparently, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy -- the main supporter of the plan -- has admitted that the legislation has been moved to the backburner, and it is unlikely to be passed before the election. Given how many times these proposals have been made and failed, it makes you wonder why they keep trying.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    awd, May 3rd, 2010 @ 2:36am

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    ITrush, May 3rd, 2010 @ 4:21am

    Hmm, who else wants to try.. this is going to be an interesting topic.. keep us posted TD.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    papafox, May 3rd, 2010 @ 5:30am

    It's domestic politics

    The only reason that the Australian government is pursuing is domestic politics. They need the vote of Senator Steve Fielding (from the right-wing Family First party) to get their legislative program through the Senate. The government has promised the internet filter in return for his vote on most matters. This requires that they maintain a credible plan to introduce the filter. So they have run trials, held conferences and now have a implementation forum. However, do you notice how the implementation keeps on slipping? How it's now delayed until after the next election (due at the end of 2010).

    I'll let you into a political secret. Steve Fielding is up for re-election and his chances are zero, nada, nil. He was only ever elected in the first place because back-room operators for the two main parties - Labour and the Liberals (actually Conservatives) - got together to horse-trade and game the electoral system. Steve got elected by accident with only around 9000 primary votes. He was elected because he got both Labour and Liberal preferences and that's not going to happen again.

    So, expect the internet filter to die quietly after the election. It will die because there was never any serious political will to implement it, not because of the protests and outrage

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Big Al, May 3rd, 2010 @ 6:19am

    Re: It's domestic politics

    On the other hand, with this pushed back (but still very much alive) if Rudd gets re-elected he can claim a mandate for introducing it and claim once again that 'the opposition is trying to stifle everything we do' if it gets voted down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Big Al, May 3rd, 2010 @ 6:23am

    Re: It's domestic politics

    Hell, he could even use it as a double-dissolution trigger if he had the nerve - but since he won't even use 'the greatest moral challenge of our times' for that I don't see that coming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    grumpy (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 6:35am

    Why they try again?

    They only have to be lucky once, we have to be lucky every time...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Yeebok (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 7:03am

    Don't vote the idiot in next time. I'd rather waste my vote than vote labour. I've voted labour most of the last 21 years.. but never again.

    They also put smokes up 25%. !

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 7:22am

    What I did this weekend ...

    This weekend I took a look at an application that makes web filtering and blocking impossible. It is designed to allow people living in countries with oppresive internet laws to go anywhere and not be monitored. Its a combination of a router, a proxy server, and encryption. Basically its a distributed VPN system.

    While I dont think this is the app that will stop government monitoring, and free the net from censorship. I do believe that over the next couple years some simple to use and small application will be built that makes the governments want to monitor and censor the net impossible. It will be built in response to ever greater regulation of the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 8:34am

    Re: What I did this weekend ...

    you mean Tor?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Australia's unofficial motto:

    "Given how many times these proposals have been made and failed, it makes you wonder why they keep trying."

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

    You gotta give 'em credit for persistance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    TechNoFear (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 9:32pm

    Re: The ALP

    One would think after two decades you would know it is 'Labor' (not Labour).....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Chargone (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Australia's unofficial motto:

    'course, persistence can be caused by idiocy as easily as by the desire to improve...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Yeebok (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 2:18am

    Re: Re: The ALP

    Good thing I have you around to check my spelling, rather than contest any statements.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    censorship on Topix

    Who needs to go to Australia to write about censorship? Censorship is being practiced right here in the States - by Topix is practicing the most unethical form of internet censorship, shadow-banning, a means by which you see all the comments you post, no one else does. It can take a commentator months to find out they have been shadow-banned, months of written comments not published.

    Topix practices fraudulent censorship. If you speak out in support of public education, as I was, you are shadow-banned. If you speak against organized religion or its shady icons like Pat Robertson and Benny Hinn, you are shadow-banned. If you speak eloquently for healthcare for needy Americans and show how its benefits have made life more desirable in other societies of the world, your sanction by Topix is being shadow-banned. If you point out hateful racists who call the President of the United States or the Speaker of the House or the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor the vilest names and even threaten them with death or great bodily harm, your reward is to be shadow-banned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Pasadena, May 4th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    censorship on TOPIX

    I heard PSN might get rid of topic links to its site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, May 5th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    more on censorship on Topix

    Topix doesn't only shadow-ban liberal commentators, it puts them on moderating commenting.

    Once a commentator has been put under moderation (and I have been), a 3-5 minute delay is put on their comments before they are published. The trolls are then notified, thus given time to come up with a response and attach it to the comment.

    I ran a test on Topix, posting 28 comments after midnight, each time my comment was published 5 minutes after I had written it, with a troll comment already attached to it. I took screen shots of the entire process and documented the times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, May 6th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    more on censorship on Topix

    Along with shadow-banning and moderated commenting, Topix is practicing censorship in another manner, by the employment of bully trolls who bully real person commentators off of threads.

    I have documented this practice for 5 months, took screen shots of the abuses, and found many instances of trolls actively bullying off and scaring away real person commentators. This is not only censorship, this is harassment.

    Why is Tech Dirt looking at Australia? when we have censorship happening right here, on, the largest internet forums connected to newspapers in America.

    When does Tech Dirt plan to report on this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, May 7th, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    yet more on censorship on Topix

    Topix practices censorship also, by assigning designated troll automatons to liberal commentators who follow them around on threads, to attack and harass them, often immediately following their comment.

    The quickness of the troll comment's posting, so close to the moment the liberal's comment is, implies the automaton must be alerted ahead of time, I have documented this.

    This, Tech Dirt, is the dirtiest of dirt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, May 8th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    new shadow-banning practice on Topix

    Yesterday I learned of a new form of censorship Topix practics, a form of Topix shadow-banning I did not know existed.

    Yesterday morning I decided to change my user pic. My user pic so threatened - they shadow-banned it! I documented the whole thing. They de-shadow-banned it later that afternoon, after being informed their practice had been twittered to the world:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, May 17th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Bully-trolling on Topix

    Topix practices censorship by encouraging, supporting and refusing to ban, bully-trolls.

    Bully-trolls are on Topix threads to bully away commentators.

    I saw one blogger for example, an honest one, who wrote after being bullied: "I am leaving and never visiting these threads again" - how many times is that happening daily across the Nation?

    I saw another blogger, have his wife and family attacked by trolls, over and over again. He stuck it out, one of the very, very few who do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, May 22nd, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Well, I'll say one thing for you TechDirt, you published my comments, unlike TechCrunch, Wired or Local Media Watch (who published 3 before censoring me). Yet more American censorship for TechDirt to report on. Why is everyone protecting Topix? they admit to being the "bathroom wall of the internet", they admit to seeking their money "in the muck", they admit to wanting to "kill" off newspapers!

    I have confronted Chris Tolles, CEO of, on 3 of his own threads:

    How about less bad behavior on Topix Chris Tolles? a whole lot less!

    The bad guys lose! calling out Chris Tolles of

    Chris Tolles calls in the trolls, on his post supporting anonymous blogging

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    WEL, Jun 1st, 2010 @ 7:07am


    Note the above name
    Yor will never see it on
    I have been banned for telling the varafible TRUTH

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Virginia Hoge, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 10:59pm

    thats what happens on Topix, WEL, you do get banned for telling the truth, I have been banned 3 times. You have to be very resourceful and come in again with a new profile.

    I have learned, Tech Dirt, that commentators are receiving death threats on Topix, I wrote it up:

    Death threats ignored on

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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