Monday, May 17, 2010

Stephen Conroy is an idiot

Stephen Conroy, Minister for broadband communications and the digital economy, is an idiot.

Don't take my word for it, he proves my point pretty well in this video:

Conroy claims that the national filter will be used to block content like Child Pornography and the likes. When one opposes the national filter, it seems like the issue is twisted around to the Child Pornography issue in every video and article I have ever read.

The problem is, I've been using the internet since 1997 (at the age of 11 or 12). Over the last 13 years, I'd estimate I have spent somewhere around 20,000+ hours on the internet. This may even be a conservative estimate.
I have NEVER stumbled across child pornography, not once in my entire life.

I remember when I was very young, I went LOOKING for pornography, and I couldn't even find a set of boobs!!! I was using search engines like altavista and yahoo, etc. I wasn't able to find anything!

Today, search engines like Google enable SafeSearch by default, and restricts (fairly well I might add) results to those which I would consider safe for children. While this is not a means of blocking all pornography on the internet, it's certainly not bad!

In today's world, if Child Pornography is found on the internet, it is removed VERY quickly by the appropriate law enforcement agency/ISP. No first world country permits the distribution or viewing of child pornography! One might even go so far as to say that there is NO easily accessible child pornography on what every day citizens call "the web".

I am not saying that Child Pornography doesn't exist, I am certain that it does otherwise we wouldn't be debating it. I am also NOT condoning child pornography in ANY way at all!
However, the people who are filming, distributing, and viewing child pornography are NOT using usual channels to do so. They're using gateways, anonymous proxies, and vpns to encrypt and hide their activities. They're using technologies like TOR and private P2P networks.

In the same way that 25 years ago, dirty old men met in dark alley ways and private areas to exchange illegal goods, so too today are people using the darkest corners of the internet to exchange dirty and despicable content! But they don't go to Google and search for "Child Porn"!

Senator Conroy, I challenge you to use Google or any MAJOR search engine, to find Child Pornography on the web. I challenge you to PROVE that such content is stumbled upon by children, or indeed ANYBODY in this country, during the course of normal web usage. I challenge you to answer the questions being asked of you in the YouTube video I linked above.

During the Howard Government, there were internet filtering products like SafeEyes and the likes that worked very well for families with children. When these products were easily available to families, I deployed to a few families and was very happy with the results. As an experienced internet user, I was unable to reasonably bypass or disable the product, or easily find content that I would consider inappropriate for children.

When the Rudd government came to power, they swiftly disabled access to services like SafeEyes, and now all we have is a bunch of propaganda from Conroy about implementing a national broadband filter.

Please explain to me how removing FREE access to filtering products for the average australian family, and replacing it with a bunch of speech, has done ANYTHING positive for the country! Anything at all!?!?

Rudd, bring back the voluntary filtering products introduced by the Howard Government.

Rudd, get rid of Conroy. The louder he screams, the lower your approval rating goes. Surely you've noticed this?

Rudd, Get your act together and bring back the voluntary, pc-based products that Howard implemented! They worked well, and I would even go so far as to suggest they work BETTER than filtering a static list of websites that Conroy seems to hell bent on filtering.

Conroy, stop being an idiot! If you can.

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