Now the Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is quite welcome to consider me lacking in grey matter, but I am still puzzled by his announcement of federal government internet censorship at ISP level.
Senator Stephen Conroy talked of a mandatory system but also mentioned an opt-out clause.
"Conroy said Internet users would be able to access uncensored material by opting out of the service".
This censorship regime appears to begin on 20 January this year and I cannot for the life of me find any mention in relevant documents of a blanket opt-out provision for those not wishing to participate in this brave new world.
To ensure this super net nanny did not obstruct totally innocent sites, limit search engine results or slow down a home PC, it seems that an individual would have to approach (in writing or electronic form) every ISP, proxy or mirror site he/she uses, in order to obtain a content exemption by request and provision of hardcopy proof of age or other required document.
What is all the more galling for my one computer, one person, child-free household is the fact that Senator Conroy is merely acting as the former Howard Government's barrow boy in this matter.
The ACMA began to look at mandatory Australia-wide internet censorship before the November 2007 federal election.
So, if the senator has an explanation it's time to air it.
The Australian article on the nanny-state:
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA):
Restricted Access System Declaration:
RAS Explanatory Statement: