Posts Tagged ‘Internet filtering’

Poor Conroy – it looks like someone convinced Xenophon that kiddie pr0n is great.

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I call upon Senator Conroy to denounce this rogue group.

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Nick Minchin’s piece in yesterday’s SMH should be commended. If you haven’t seen it, read the whole thing – it’s a clear and cogent summary of the arguments against Stephen Conroy’s foolish plan to exert control over the Internet. I’m not going to quote any of it, because the whole thing is spot on.

The good news is that, given the Opposition and Greens appear to view the plan as fundamentally flawed, Conroy has no hope of getting any legislation through the Senate. The bad news is that, until public pressure or his own Government forces him to drop this, he will continue to waste time and money tilting at what, for him, appears to be the only windmill in the land.

ELSEWHERE: Mark Newton of Internode has developed a form letter to help people who have communicated with MPs and received a Conroy-derived form letter as a response.

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My MSNBC podcasts have been broken since just before Christmas. At first I thought it was related to a more general problem I was having with podcast feeds, so I worked on trying to sort that out. I got it fixed this week, and MSNBC still wasn’t working, so I went in search of a solution. Different podcast software also failed. Downloading directly from the MSNBC web site also failed.

While searching, I managed to find this discussion. I’m not alone – it appears that plenty of people outside the United States no longer have access to the MSNBC podcast feeds. They appear to have implemented a regional restriction.

My question to MSNBC is, “What would you like me to do?” I have no way to take up a paid subscription to MSNBC – if I was to get pay TV, I’d have CNN, Sky and FOX on tap 24 hours a day, but still couldn’t get access to the shows I like from your network. I suspect that in most cases, by creating this restriction, you lose interested worldwide viewers who value your work and discuss it online (raising the profile of your shows), but you cannot gain a paying customer. So, why do it?

It also highlights one of the many flaws with the Steve Conroy Internet filtering plan. In that short discussion thread on the Apple forums, people have already identified and disseminated a solution – use a third-party app that will result in MSNBC thinking you are connecting from the USA. Any time one attempts to restrict content using a technical barrier, someone will develop a technical method to circumvent it.

UPDATE: I should take this opportunity to recommend the service I’m using now to get my podcasts. Because iTunes refused to download files it couldn’t play – meaning that I couldn’t use it to get the WMV video files my MP3 player likes – I have begun using Mediafly, a service that lets you manage your subscriptions online and then gives you a few options to play them. They have a web player on their site, apps for several devices (iPhone, Chumby, etc.) and a SyncClient that lets me download the podcasts to my PC and then automatically synchronises with my portable player. As soon as I have listened to an episode, the next sync will see it removed from the device.

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One more thought on the Conroy Internet Filter. Aside from its filtering proposal, Senator Conroy’s Department (DBCDE) has another major Internet-related initiative – the development of a high-speed national broadband network. If the personnel, time and money that are being injected into developing a flawed programme for regulating access to content were instead available for the latter objective, how much sooner would Australian homes and businesses have access to the benefits of an open-access fibre-based network?

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Good to see that GetUp! has launched a campaign against Conroy’s filter. Aside from the fact that it’s an initiative worthy of strong opposition, it seems to me that it might help to establish GetUp’s credibility as an independent movement among those conservatives who write it off as an ALP spinoff – this campaign takes aim at a policy that is 100% Labor and has no connection to the Howard era.

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It’s not just the Greens – Nick Minchin and the Libs like kiddie pr0n too.

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