Federal

Nov 9, 2012

Net filter backdown shows power in the hands of the smart

Stephen Conroy has abandoned plans to erect a filter around the internet. He learned moral outrage wasn't going to win the day. His bureaucratic colleagues need to do the same.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster

Stilgherrian

Technology writer and broadcaster

It’s appropriate that the lingering but inevitable death of Labor’s mandatory internet censorship policy finally happened this week, because it’s a third fine victory for the connected and data-aware over dumb dinosaurs.

The other two are pollster Nate Silver’s precision data-driven prediction of the US election result, and the comprehensive ridicule of TV chef Pete Evans’ belief in the nutty nutritional pseudo-sciences of “alkalised water” and “activated almonds”.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

24 comments

Leave a comment

24 thoughts on “Net filter backdown shows power in the hands of the smart

  1. floorer

    I wish when the ABC interviewed Conroy or Turnbull that the interviewer had a good working knowledge of the topic so could refute fud.

  2. Machina Sapiens

    While I agree with the general tenor of the article, I think the main point to be drawn from this change Is that Labor doesn’t need to pander to the idiot Fielding anymore, so Conroy could stop pretending to be an idiot too, and let it drop (after a decent interval so he can reasonably pretend that that’s not what was happening)

  3. Harry Rogers

    The relevancy of the technical knowledge behind the filters I consider is a minor and to some extent irrelevant issue. It is like saying lets spy on everyone with fancy cameras but nobody knows how to operate the cameras.

    Surely the whole issue is the matter of spying on your own people? Note Roxons jabbering regarding intended new ISP laws. Once you get to the point of starting to examine matters of technicality then you have gone way past the point of actually debating the proposal itself.! It almost assumes that the law is OK.

  4. Benji

    Interesting article. It always reminds me how much I don’t fully comprehend about the internet and related IT techonology. I know I am inviting derision if I don’t word any of the following correctly but surely I am not the only one out there wondering about my inadvertent cyber presence.

    Viewing and commenting on this site leaves a cyber footprint which would tell someone something valuable about me. For example the recent US election was a case of Big Data tunnelling down to the individual voter, key information was known about likely voting and social preferences. God knows how much Google, Apple and Facebook know about me and to what level. There are probably other third party aggregators out there who can do I don’t know what. But I am sure if there is a buck to be made, then it is already happening.
    Can anyone please direct me to a straight forward explanation of what I should and more importantly, shouldn’t be worried about as a private citizen. Perhaps the author of this comment is suitably qualified to pen a warts and all article for the moderately cyber literate about appropriate net behaviour. For example – should people stop using torrents? I am already contemplating deleting my google and facebook accounts, but it is probably too late to make much difference and would it matter anyway?

  5. CML

    What a superior, insufferable, know-it-all “expert” you are, Stilgherrian. Which, of course, makes me “ancient, poor and stupid” I suppose. You write articles for the IT literate and don’t care about anyone else. Well if your kind is who will rule the world in the not too distant future, heaven help us!
    While I acknowledge the usefullness of this present and future technology, the mere fact that there is no way of controlling it, tells me that there will be abuse of the system which will hurt the vulnerable, especially children. But apparently that’s okay with you lot, so long as it doesn’t interfere with what you want to do! What a selfish and dangerous attitude you all display.

  6. drmick

    This is not new knowledge. Confucius and the early Greeks knew that it was pointless to argue with an idiot. Their societies also knew the danger of a little knowledge being a bad thing. They had scholars then.

  7. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    CML, go back to the ACL.

    WONT SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

  8. CML

    Pi+s off!, GH – I am an atheist of LONG standing!! My opinion has nothing to do with the ACL or any similar religous abomination. Just simple standards of humanity.
    It is very clear to me that none of you who agree with the author of this load of rubbish have ever had to deal with victims and their families/friends. I have. The internet (uncontrolled) just increases the odds that there will be more of them. Stup+d git!!

  9. CML

    I give up!!!!! What the hell is going on at Crikey?????

  10. Thteribl

    Understanding the internet age means that there are now innumerable ways of accessing information, the most important of which is the internet which has innumerable ways of delivering information to you in innumerable formats. You want poxrn ? you want stock market analysis ? You want to know how to make a boxmb ? You want to bring down the govexrnment ? How many different ways would you like ? If you are cenxsored, just go on satellite like they do in China and Iran … Net filter = fairyland . Good analysis, Crikey !

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...