back to article Oz censorship debate censored on Comms minister's website

If you’re planning to censor free speech on the internet, what better approach to take than to, er, censor debate about how you’re planning to censor free speech on the internet? Brilliant. That, according to one sharp-eyed Register reader, is the game being played by Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, whose …


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  1. M Gale


    isn't the comparison operator case-sensitive in Javascript?

    If so, "isp filtering" != "ISP Filtering".

    But then, "internet censorship" != "ISP Filtering" too.

  2. NB

    a title may be required...

    All I can say to this continuing debacle is:


    1. jbenn


      At least we're fighting ours, UK already has internet censorship (IWF list), shame on you for letting it happen.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Conroy is a tosser

    I suggest getting other choice phrases to the top of the pile

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The anons already know about it..

      ..I've made sure of that.

      Anonymous for obvious reasons.

    2. John Lilburne
      Thumb Up

      I agree

      Conroy naked

      Conroy in sex romp


  4. Dave Murray Silver badge


    I wonder how many of us would need to search for the terms "wanker" and "bastard" for them to show up?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Try this...

        Searching for "dick head" produces 1 search result, so have at it!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's passed a few minutes of my time, anyway.....

      Your search - wanker - did not match any documents.

      No pages were found containing "wanker".


      * Make sure all words are spelled correctly.

      * Try different keywords.

      * Try more general keywords.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conroy will be known as a hero in 100 years

    The filter issue has been an ongoing source of embarrassment for the Australian government, the sensible thing to do would be to drop it and forget about it but they wont, their motives for the filter aren't about the children at all. The other thing is this filter is a big distraction too, people should be optimistic about the new NBN but no one really cares, it's like ordering an awesome steak only to find a bunch of disgusting hairs all over it. that's your filter, you'll eat those hairs and like it Australia. too dumb and stupid to vote any other way. congratulations you've just given other governments in the rest of the "free" world ideas on how they should censor the Internets... btw I'm finding it quite hilarious that this was discovered by a Whirlpool member, most censored forum on the internet complaining about internet censorship lol. Only in Australia, only in Australia.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie



      Pity there's no Evil Conroy icon.

  6. Jamie Kitson

    Strange Code

    Really odd looking code, the list of search terms is too regular to be human entered, but then why include "ISP Filtering" at all? We can count the entries ourselves, "ISP Filtering" occurs about 20 times, compared to about 30 for "Cyber-Safety" which is the biggest looking word.

    var a = 'NBN; Broadband; National Broadband Network; ABC; Broadcasting; National Broadcasters; SBS; Digital Switchover; Broadcasting; Digital Television; Youth Advisory Group; ISP Filtering; Cyber-Safety; Internet; Budget; ISP Filtering; Cyber-Safety; Internet; E-Health; ...

    The post was too long to continue.

    1. Mark 65


      As someone mentioned earlier these terms are created by successful matches having already occurred hence the term.

  7. Thomas Bottrill

    Two questions

    1) Why isn't "ISP filtering" just omitted from the variable "a"?

    2) Why is there a variable called "mullet"?

    Actually, this code should probably be on The Daily WTF. It looks like this "search cloud" is generated by counting the number of occurences of a string in the variable "a". Wonder which poor bastard has to keep that updated?

    1. Steven Knox

      One Answer

      Since the search terms are aggregated at the server, not at every client, I'm guessing you'll find something like the following* in the server-side code:

      var a='<?= $searchTermList ?>';

      Why they don't do the actual math on the server as well and simply output the HTML cloud is beyond me, but that little snippet would answer both of your techincal questions.

      As for "mullet", that word has been used to (disparagingly) describe tag clouds. My guess is that some tagtards** have (much like the archetypical US redneck) taken it upon themselves as a badge of honor (or honour, if you prefer.)

      * I'm assuming PHP and not, e.g, Java or .NET, for the backend due solely to its popularity among the Web 2.x crowd. And yes, I realize there'd be a bit more to the code to make it secure from JS injection; I've kept it simple for the sake of illustration.

      ** copyright, trademark and patent pending 2010. Don't even think of trying to use it without paying me a hefty royalty.

      1. Steve Roper

        Wouldn't that be

        var a = '<?echo $searchTermList;?>';

        if it was PHP? Just being pedantic of course, but then you have to be when writing code! ;)

        As to the main issue, if ever we needed concrete, empirical proof that Conroy intends to censor political commentary as well as RC content, you have it right there.

        Even if he takes it off now, he's shot himself in the foot properly this time.

        1. CD001


          <?= $searchTermList ?>

          Is, in fact, perfectly valid in PHP providing you've allowed "short tags" in the .ini file - <?= is just shorthand for <?php echo - it's basically identical to ASPs <%=

          So I take your pendant and raise you one web-geek-Über-pedant.

          1. Steve Roper

            Re: Actually

            I'll see your web-geek-Über-pedant and match it with my IT Manager directive: no short tags in my company's PHP .ini files because they encourage sloppily written and illegible code... Yes it may be valid PHP, but I would call any employee who used it on the carpet for doing so! ;)

            My team does call me a code Nazi when they think I can't hear them, because of my insistence on longhand code and correct spacing and indenting. But it's paid off more than once, when new team members have had to familiarise themselves with our codebase and its proper layout has greatly simplified their task!

    2. PJ H


      "Actually, this code should probably be on The Daily WTF"

      It made it to the message boards yesterday:

  8. Dennis

    Words, words, words

    Time to try a lot of other variants.

    Filtering, filter, cyber filtering, Internet filtering and so on. If this cloud is automated it must be possible to get some embarrassing words into the list before they're caught.

  9. A B 3

    filtered from youTube

    I've already been blocked from a youTube video. It's like someone deleted the good bits from a movie.

    People will start fuming when they can't access videos or 'undesirable' websites. I hope they take get vocal before the gov institutes more of it's NWO religious order.

  10. Me Meeson


    I agree.

    Everyone click on

    Lets get some true sentiment on that knob jockey's site.

  11. Steve Roper

    If you are blocked

    from watching a YouTube video, it's more likely because of YouTube's geolocation or if not, some other cause, because the Internet censorship hasn't been brought in yet. It hasn't even been passed into law yet, it's still before the Senate - much less actually implemented.

    If you want to get vocal, there's rallies (or "CyberSafety picnics") on this Saturday week on March 6th in the major capital cities:

    Adelaide: Victoria Square, southern end, 12 noon

    Brisbane: still working on a location

    Melbourne: State Library, 12 noon

    Sydney: Parramatta Park, 12 noon

    Perth: Forrest Place, 12 noon; Stirling Gardens, 3pm

    More information:

    Don't wear Guy Fawkes masks, and don't do anything stupid. See you there!

  12. Argus Tuft

    The search engine doesn't work

    - because a search for "Conroy is a fornicating idiot" didn't match any documents.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge

    Mr Conroy

    We know who you work for.

    We know what you stand for*

    And we know how to vote.

    See YOU at the polls.

    * The loony sky-wizard crowd.

  14. Andy Goss

    Someone must have noticed this conversation

    I just tried it and ISP filtering came back with 66 results.

  15. Kanhef
    Dead Vulture

    Code display

    Not preserving line breaks really messes up code, especially those //-to-end-of-line comments. It's also a pain for commenteers trying to post code snippets. Can't the Reg make some kind of pre-formatted text element so it displays properly?

  16. Rob Moss.
    Big Brother

    We should deport him

    He's a brit, born in Cambrigeshire. You can have him back guys, after we tar and feather him :)

  17. Tim Bates

    The Real WTF

    The Real WTF™ is that they assume the end consumer of the page has Javascript running... What about users running with JS off for security, or seach engines?

    Whoever mentioned it above is right... It belongs on Daily WTF.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that is quite possibly

    Some of the worst looking code i have ever seen, and i get to review code generated offshore in india.

    A comment in the middle of a for loop parameter set? seriously? I,also, really hope that the whole layout has been screwed by posting it and that it isn't like that at source.

    This is one of the cases where i'd have my coding standards document specially bound, in leather with the brass corners, especially to beat a developer with who submitted code to me looking like that!

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