Australia’s Minister for Communications Chaos, Internet Censorship and Moral Panic rose in the Senate early this week to defend the Government’s ‘Clean Feed’ policy yesterday.
In recent days, Conroy has been taking hits from all quarters. The most recent thwack came from Young Labor in NSW.
Every time the Senate meets, he faces at least one uncomfortable question about his portfolio. Each time, the main issue is whether he’ll make a bigger mess of his answer than last time. Nobody expects a quality response from Conroy any more. Nobody is ever disappointed.
Conroy attacked the previous Coalition Government for what he claimed was an ineffective and costly scheme, whereby all households were provided with a self-install Internet filter on request. Generous sums were spent promoting the scheme.
Conroy’s point is that uptake of the voluntary ‘filter’ was very low. The Minister didn’t remember the exact figure, so why should I bother looking it up? In any event, it was low. 2% or so. ‘Nuff said.
One might reasonably infer from this that most Australians simply didn’t want to install a ‘filter’ on their Internet connection. That could be regarded as good news – a hint that the Government can concentrate on other important policy areas (and even make a modest saving scaling down the free voluntary web filter service).