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Stephen Conroy Has Been Named Internet Villain of the Year

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Jul/13/2009
Stephen Conroy Internet Villain of the Year

Australia's Communications Director, Stephen Conroy, "Internet Villain of the Year" during the 11th annual Internet industry awards in the UK, and perhaps with good reason.

A little history is in order:

Conroy has faced severe criticism for his Internet censorship policies from Internet service providers, network administrators, some children's welfare groups, the Liberal party and the Greens. While initially promoted as a way to protect children from child pornography, the censorship policy has been extended to include a much broader range of material, including sites depicting drug use, crime, sex, cruelty, violence or "revolting and abhorrent phenomena" that "offend against the standards of morality".  It should be noted that even a dentist's website fell victim to the censorship list, yet to be enforced.

On 19 March 2009 it was reported that ACMA's blacklist of banned sites had been leaked online, and had been published by Wikileaks.  Conroy described the leak and publication of the blacklist as "grossly irresponsible" and that it undermined efforts to improve "cyber safety.

The Internet Villain category recognises individuals or organisations that have upset the Internet industry and hampered its development - those whom the industry loves to hate.

Commenting on the Sydney Morning Herald website, readers could not seem to agree more with the award:

"And it couldn't have gone to a more deserving person... bravo, Senator," wrote one reader.  "I guess the ‘vote for me or you support child pornography' campaign really paid off for him?"

Another had this to say:

"Conroy is a bigger threat to our individual freedom than the Chinese Ministry for State Security (the agency that just locked up the Rio executive). Don't be complacent Australia, Conroy can still make this censorship a law. Fight back!"

And yet another summed it all up like this:

"If anyone out there thinks this imbecile conroy cares about public opinion or the concerns of Internet users and IPS, please go and slam your head in a car door."

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Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com 

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