May 5, 2014

Who — and what country — is driving Brandis’ conservative shift?

The Attorney-General's chief of staff seems to have strong views on complying with US demands. And they may be having an influence on George Brandis.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

One of the most intriguing supporting actor performances of the Abbott government has been that of Attorney-General George Brandis. His first nine months in the job have been marked by two characteristics: a political tin ear responsible for his botching the proposed reforms to the Racial Discrimination Act, and his sudden, enthusiastic support for a crackdown on internet service providers at the behest of the copyright industry.

Today Fairfax reported that the government may be on the brink of forcing ISPs to monitor their customers’ internet usage and warn about filesharing, and perhaps censor access to well-known filesharing sites. Brandis has previously flagged his enthusiasm for forcing ISPs, via either a “voluntary” code or some regulatory system, to police filesharing, which would cost ISPs millions of dollars, raising internet access prices across the board (call it the Brandis Levy).

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


Leave a comment

54 thoughts on “Who — and what country — is driving Brandis’ conservative shift?

  1. aswann

    This guy is going to break the internet.

  2. Graeski

    @aswann: well if he breaks the internet we won’t miss the NBN, will we? Two birds with one brick.

  3. Yclept

    Yet I bet he wouldn’t be so keen about surveillance of political donations!

  4. Bill Hilliger

    They say its the US government and to a greater extent Rupert calling George …do something about the file-sharing issue, its bad for business and costing us too much. George says ‘consider it done my lords’.

  5. Jreff Broadbrent

    “will soon be revisited”
    didn’t they say before the election, when they tried to sneak through opt out filtering that they were opposed to mandatory filtering? yes, yes they did.

    “The Coalition has never supported mandatory internet filtering. Indeed, we have a long record of opposing it.”

    considering that promises are mere butterflies in the wind to the coalition i suppose mandatory filtering and data retention policies were to be expected.

  6. bushby jane

    Brandis and co are getting more and more scary.

  7. klewso

    Big Brother has a face?

  8. Mark Lewis

    “The more intelligence I read, the more conservative I become,” he told a Washington security think tank.

    Intelligence? Like that of children overboard? Iraq and the WMD’s that NEVER EXISTED?…hind-sight proves that was not very intelligent. Just ask the hundreds of thousands innocent men, women and children who were butchered because of false intelligence.

    It appears he accepts what ever the US Intelligence rams down his throat and that’s a HUGE PROBLEM.

  9. The Pav

    Could somebody please exlain to me why Brandis regards being deliberately untruthful is something that should be protected as free speech?

  10. AR

    This game is long over – we have mass surveillance and data retention at the moment, it’s just that it is illegal.
    Hands up those naifs we believe spooks and governments obey silly technical laws.

Leave a comment

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