back to article Your internet policy sucks, US tells Aussies

Critics of the Australia’s proposed internet filtering scheme just keep on coming. This week, it's the turn of one of Australia’s biggest and most formidable allies, the United States, to put the boot into a scheme that would turn Australia into the free world’s strictest regulator of internet content. This follows objections …


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  1. nigel 15

    DMCA hypocrisy

    can anyone else see a contradiction between America throwing the DMCA around all over the internet including in countries with completely different copyright laws from them such as Sweden. Effectively censoring the internet in other countries....

    ...whilst complaining about australia and china censoring the internet in just their own countries???

    It strikes me that America can't see that some countries aren't america and don't care what it thinks.

    that having been said i still think the aussie firewall both sucks and blows.

    1. Quxy
      Big Brother

      LTI parsing problem?

      No contradiction at all. You just failed to translate the Merkin lingua tertii imperii into English. That should read:

      US State Department spokesman, Michael Tran, said: "Our main concern is that big American companies continue to make as much money as possible from the global internet. Other than that we don't care what you do."

    2. Fred Bauer 1

      Not the same thing

      While the DCMA as the effect of making certain activities using the internet possibly illegal, it doesn't actively stop you from doing them. What Australia is doing is preventing those activities proactively, rather than just punishing those who commit crimes.

    3. Eduard Coli
      Thumb Up

      DMCA is hypocritical

      Sweden will or does have it's own DMCA like laws or will at least have ACTA.

      All your copyright belong to us...

      The problem is Peoples Republic of Rudd, formally Australia, and the PRC seem to have a lot in common in that they talk out of both sides of their mouths. Both countries claim moral grounds for censorship but have already been caught using these systems to censor political criticism.

      There is so such country as America, they call it The United States, though they are rarely united on anything.

      The only purpose for these kinds of systems is surveillance. The kiddies will always find a way around them if they think it's fun and the pervs. will too.

      1. elderlybloke

        Eduard Coli

        You are being pedantic, even the citizens of the USA refer to themselves as " Americans".

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Yeah, but who cares what the USians call themselves? Yankee scum always trying to steal things that belong to someone else.They've no right to the term "American." There are plenty of other countries here with an equal claim to that word.

          *dusts self off*

          Better countries.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "the free world’s strictest regulator of internet content"

    At some point, don't you lose your membership in 'the free world' if you keep this stuff up?

  3. waldoPepp

    This should concern us all

    If other Western governments see Australia getting away with this, they're more likely to follow suit themselves.

    All in the name of protecting children, and foiling terrorists, naturally...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Pot to kettle, pot to kettle

    You are entirely opaque.

  5. envmod


    australia's gone totally bonkers. it's not just the internet - lewis hamilton got done for "spinning his wheels" at a road junction which apparently constitues "putting lives at risk" and will now face a court appearance i believe.

    australia seems like it has developed severe case of paranoia. it is terrified of, and sees menace in everything. EVERYTHING.

    i just heard that i am in fact, now banned in australia. as is this post.

    and you for reading it.

    1. Paul RND*1000

      Nanny State

      I'm so very disappointed with Australia. Honestly I thought it would be just about the *last* developed nation to turn fully into a nanny state, but no, it's leading the bloody charge!

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Technology has become an enabler

        It's often a feature of "young" nations to have their politics coloured with a certain degree of xenophobia and conservatism (usually this is called "patriotism").

        What has happened now though is that it is possible for someone in power to prevent access to anything they find distasteful or immoral or politically embarrassing with very little effort, this could not have been done with physical media without a very large number of people patrolling the border and checking everything that goes in and out of the country.

        Essentially the same process is going on all over the place to different degrees: New Zealand appear to be following Oz (but with less media coverage), China is already well entrenched (but that is already starting to change as they become more reliant on trade with other countries and the hard line leaders begin to die off).

        I expect Russia to start rattling its sword a bit more in the future now it's getting used to life without the extremes of communism it used to live under.

        The UK is still getting used to life without an empire (or rather, the people in power are).

        The US is starting to show signs of growing up, but still has some way to go.

        Anyway, you probably get the picture.

    2. J 3
      IT Angle


      Off topic, but what I read in the Brazilian news was that he was doing "donuts" and "spins", not just spinning wheels. Now I wonder which is the case: everyone else was exaggerating; or the British media was protecting their darling. Hm...

    3. Neoc

      I don't know who Lewis Hamilton is...

      ...but I *have* read TORUM recently (I was bored, it was there, I read it... section on bicycle is stupid). That's the Australian Federal Road Rules, BTW.

      There is a section in there about being in control of your vehicle. "Spinning your wheels" implies you do not have traction with your main driving wheels. Add this to the "Hoon" laws (excessive noise, smoke from tyres, etc) and Mr Hamilton was simply begging to be booked.

      A side point - first time would involve a fine and an entry in your record. Second time involves higher fines and the confiscation of your vehicle.

    4. I Like Heckling

      Not quite accurate

      Lewis Hamilton was in fact stopped for doing what is usually described as a 'power slide' which whilst some would argue that given his abilities and choice of job... is nothing to worry about.

      However, he did this on a public road when he should be acting more responsibly... add to that he's pissed of the Aussies last year by lying to the race steward and this year acted like an idiot by trying to play head games with Mark Webber, insinuating he would retire this year... You don't go to the Aus GP and take a pop at the only Aus driver on the grid.

      LH seems to be growing more and more immature as he gets older, and I don't think being totally outclassed by the team mate who every was writing of just a few weeks ago is helping.

      As for the great Oz firewall... I think some there has forgotten the date and seems to think this is puritanical times... Does anyone have a time machine handy so these muppets can be sent back to a time they obviously wish the lived in.

      1. Quxy


        But surely the Puritans all went to North America in the 17th century. Australia was colonised a century later by immigrants of quite a different stripe (!). If the Rudd government is attempting to turn back the clock, it's to a time that never actually existed in Oz.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Wheelspin / TORUM

        Hang on a minute. Surely if you stick an effing great V8* through a live axle on something with no weight over the rear wheels, wheelspin is practically guaranteed?

        Is this supposed to be a way of screwing additional tax^H^H^Hfines out of Ute drivers?

        *Ideally one with more litres than can be easily carried by a large german bird at the Oktoberfest.

      3. Jimmy Floyd
        Big Brother

        Brooom brooom!

        Ignoring the rights and wrongs of Lewis' wheelspin, it's worth pointing out that despite a bit of mind-gaming with Mark Webber and (admittedly later) shunting the poor bloke out of his home Grand Prix, it was the Australian who stuck up for Hamilton.

        In particular, Webber described his home country as turning into a nanny-state with a number of petty rules and regulations. I think he was talking more about parking than Internet freedom but he's clearly got an impression of the way things are going.

        In short: the convicts are clearly going soft and turning into bloody Poms! What could be worse...?

  6. A B 3

    Censoring the internet

    Censoring the internet = bad

    Secret blacklist = bad

    Xrated movies being illegal to sell or distribute = bad

    I could believe the world is a happy place where bunnies frolick and god fearing christians have pet lions... Unfortunately I'm surrounded by twits who believe the government should nanny every aspect of your life.

    What a sign of a civilization no crime, no slipping over on puddles, dull spoons instead of nasty knives...

    1. Paul RND*1000

      Removing fun from everything

      DO NOT: toss another shrimp on the barbie. Tossing of food items can lead to injury and is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and possibly jail time depending on the severity of the offence.

      You must *carefully* lower it on using the approved heat-resistant cookware of no less than 1 metre in length, while wearing approved safety glasses and protective apron. Only licensed grill operators may approach within 10 metres of a grill, and then only if a licensed fire-extinguisher operator is on-site and wearing appropriate fireproof gear.

      All grills, fire extinguishers and other mandatory safety equipment listed in the "Grilling Code" section 2a paragraph 42 (2010 edition) are subject to 6-monthly inspection by appointed government inspectors. All violations are subject to criminal action.

      Blah blah blah and so on.

      1. Goat Jam

        Oh, you've been to Australia then?

        So, how was the weather?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'd laugh but ...

          · When I went for a holiday I had to have a letter from my doctor proving I was legitimately taking asthma inhalers and not importing them, or trying to flog them onto someone else;

          · Was told that in Australia I would never have qualified to dive because I am asthmatic "and this could trigger an attack" even though I dive quite comfortably in fucking freezing cold (4-10°C) British waters and diving in the northern part of Oz is in waters which are like those in a bath (21-30°C);

          · That my mask & snorkel had to be clean and dry, because for some insane reason this is supposed to guarantee there's nothing awful on it (such as really enormous bacteria).


      2. Michael Xion

        Not a joke...

        ...I'm a Workplace Health and Safety officer and rarely sleep well at night becasue this is almost the truth.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Re: DMCA hypocrisy

    Please America, Please America, protect us, protect us... As the world power you are responsible for protecting us all from those that would do us harm... BUT, how dare you have an opinion and use your power to influence us as independent countries...

    Hypocrisy indeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      feeding time

      give fish to troll

      walk to bridge

      1. NB
        Thumb Up

        could it be...

        a Monkey Island reference I see before me? If so, then well played AC, well played.

  8. David 45


    And here in the free-thinking new state of Draconia we now have a new law forbidding anyone under the age of 110 walking on the cracks in the pavement.

  9. Mostly Harmless

    ...It's money that matters in the USA...

    The real questions put to Australia by State Dopt officials..."So, this isn't going to effect the ability of companies here (Amazon, MS, Google, etc.) from making gobs of money off you guys is it?"

    And in true Chicago (White) House style "...if yous guys start having problems wid this firewall stuff, jus' let me know. I know dis guy. He can fix it like nobody's business. He owes me, so it'll be no problem..."

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Double standard?

    US bans online poker.

    Aussies bans kiddie pr0n.

    US removes fair use rights on content (DMCA).

    Aussies allow fair use (eg remove DRM from an e-book so a blind person can use their voice sync to read it).

    And for that matter:

    Google Ireland pays no corporate taxes in Aus.

    I pay Australian Taxes.

    Those in glass houses etc...

  11. Efros
    Thumb Down

    Where oh where

    are all those aussie christian thunder- mentalists (or should that be chunder-mentalists) going to get their sex education now that the Aussie web will be filtered of such content by the Great Barrier Firewall, one presumes that all wrist flexing material has been safely removed from school sex-ed programs which now consist of not doing anything until you are safely ensconced in a marital state.

    Celibacy is best boys

    Celibacy is best... Shag a Wallaby.... erm don't quite work.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    What's that, Skippy?

    Australian freedom of speech has fallen down the mine shaft?

  13. J 3
    Big Brother


    "Our main message of course is that we remain committed to advancing the free flow of information which we view as vital to economic prosperity and preserving open societies globally."

    Interesting, the first thing the guy says is "vital to economic prosperity". Then "preserving open societies globally", which could mean many things, but let's be generous and assume democratic was the meaning of open (an not just commercially open, like China, say).

    What, so free speech is not described as a fundamental right anymore in the US? They do keep saying it all the time, so I thought it still was... Apparently the official line is more corporate friendly than citizen oriented, quelle surprise.

  14. Graham Marsden

    Psst, USA...

    ... have you taken a look at the UK's internet policy recently...?

  15. Infobludger

    Aussie government more determined than ever...

    In this radio programme on Monday night:

    the relevant Aussie minister (Stephen Conroy) appeared, along with an EFF chap. Conroy was unrepentant. "There are 355 child porn websites on the internet," he assured us. "Are we to be the government which said we wouldn't do anything about them?" (I paraphrase slightly.)

    Apparently, the filtering trials were "100% effective" (the minister's own unequivocal words).

    Listen to the programme here:

    1. Michael Xion

      Ha ha... does he know - did he count them himself?

    2. Anonymous Cowardess


      Does the German goverment know this? They keep telling us there's millions of those sites and that they're making billions of dollars.

  16. ceebee

    Australins detest the propsed 'net censorship...

    The Age and Sydney Morning Herald (both newspapers are owned by the Fairfax media group) have a poll running on their sites at the moment (as part of an article on Se. Conrtoy's attack on Google)

    Some 45,000 people have voted of which 96% oppose the proposed filtering of the internet.

    The same article has attracted nearly 800 comments, by far the largest number of comments on any item I have ever seen and with almost all vehemently opposing the government's position.

    If you wish to read the article or comments:

    Clearly the minister and Labor government are out of touch with the Australian public over this issue.

  17. Goat Jam

    Last night

    On the way home from work, I was listening to a couple of left wing middle class politically correct numpties (, discussing this.

    I couldn't believe the shite that was spewing from their mouths.

    They truly believe that it is all about "protecting the children" and simply cannot understand why anybody would be against that. The monumental naiveté shown by these cretins was staggering. But not suprrising however, we are talking about the ABC here.

    Bruce Guthrie: I don't believe that the majority of Australians are against the filter, but everywhere I go I meet lots of people who are vehemently against it. I don't understand it.

  18. BonezOz

    96% of Australians oppose the filter

    I've been seriously involved in a discussion on the Syndey Morning Herald website in regards to this. It absolutely disgusts me that this one senator is leading the charge on trying to take away a basic freedom. Have a read of the almost 800 comments posted at:

  19. Neoc

    Lewis Hamilton.

    Just read the news report:

    "The English McLaren driver did a burnout and a fishtail in a silver Mercedes along Lakeside Drive in front of a Victoria Police divisional van, that pulled him over, the Herald Sun reports.

    He will be charged on summons with improper use of a vehicle. The sports car was towed to a police yard in Raglan Street in Preston, where it will be held for 48 hours under anti-hoon laws (reckless driving laws)."

    Let's see: Burnout (anti-hoon law), Fishtail (TORUM: not in control of vehicle, + anti-hoon law), in front of police vehicle (complete moron).

    I don't care who he is - doing what he did IN FRONT OF A VAN FULL OF COPS means he deserves all he got.

    1. Stephen 10

      Lewis Hamilton

      Yes, because the Herald Sun is a bastion of truth and fastidious reporting. Andrew Bolt told you so and Uncle Rupert would never allow one of HIS papers to tell anything but the unvarnished truth ...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    politicians; is there anyone more arrogant?

    not just in australia, but the obvious arrogance of conroy shows here with a 96% against vote from the public, its clear that the majority he is supposed to be working for dont want it, but he'll force it down our throats anyway, and insult anyone who gets in the way - i'm surprised he hasnt called anyone against it a paedophile yet.

    it seems a lot of politicians go down this route, claiming a moral crusade as reason enough to ignore the public. what worries me is its only getting worse, and noone is offering a solution. whatever happened to accepting peoples feedback and doing what your employers what you to do? I cant ever imagine we'll be in a position to allow the public to vote on policy en-mass via this new technology the internet as a way of spot checking the crap coming up in parliment, not because of technical inadequacies - i suspect an electronic secure voting system would be cheaper than an internet filter for example, but because politicians dont want to hear what the people have to say. we arent full of lobby money, essentially.

    honestly the people need to get in control of the government, but they dont leave us with many options. The legal ways are costly and take a great deal of time to achieve, in the mean time things just get from bad to worse. It really only leaves the worse possible methods, but those who'd go off the deep end would be tied back to terrorism or so such and be used to push forward the governments agenda. no, i dont think even an assassination would help steer these politicians toward listening to the people, which makes you think what do you actually have to do to get them to start working for us again.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    seems this filter is inevitable and once the US and UK see how well it works I'm sure they'll introduce it too, I guess the good thing about it is it'll finally stop the wowsers from whining about all the "evils" on the internet all the time... oh wait no it wont, carry on mr clownroy.

  22. Ronny Cook
    Big Brother

    Conroy MUST be a plant by the Libs...

    There's no other explanation for the consistency with which he seems determined to oppose the wishes of the Australian public.

    Surveys consistently show that most Australians do not want the firewall. Sadly it seems Conroy is immune to such niceties. Perhaps he's one of those pollies who thinks that the public should shut up between elections.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Catching extremists

    The US puts up fake Islamic extremists/terrorists sites so that they can monitor who visits, reads, posts and from where. Aussie gov. starts firewalling Aussie net. Whole boatload of nutters no longer seen or surveilled.

  24. Tony Paulazzo
    Big Brother

    letter writing

    Online polls, emails, blogs, all worse than useless, all can be censored, blocked, electronically deleted in the blink of an eye.

    I have no proof here, but many people wrote physical letters to MPs and Euro MPs about Phorm over here (UK) - I myself wrote to my local and Euro MPs with pen and paper and stamp. It finally got stopped because the Privacy Pirates wouldn't shut up.

    A letter writing campaign, even with form letters, urging people to write, pen to paper, denouncing Conroy as a freedom hating dictator wannabe. Mind you, it'll probably get you put on a list if it doesn't work, but, as they say, 'better to die on your feet than live on your knee's'.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    This is normal for Australia - why are people surprised?

    No one should be surprised by Australia - its film censorship is often even more stringent than the UK's, and unlike the UK, the body that censors its films also has control over books.

  26. Winkypop Silver badge

    It's all god's fault

    At least that's what drives insane god-botherers like Conroy and Rudd!

    Come the election we have the following to vote for on the other side:



    Ye gods*

    * if he existed

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recent History

    What the Australian government have got is a case of hubris.

    I don't suppose any of you spotty nerds remember the British government trying to ban Peter Wright's memoirs 'Spycatcher'?

    For five points can anyone tell me how successful these attempts were in the long run?

    I predict the Australian governments policies will be just as successful.

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