As Labour have done quite a bit of lately, they’re trying to get more sweeping changes through whilst everyone is looking away. This time, whilst the world is watching Copenhagen, Senator Conroy has suddenly decided that the Australian internet filter trial completed in September was a resounding success and will now become mandatory.
There’s an unending list of reasons why it won’t – or shouldn’t – work, but what concerns me more is the arrogant attitude with which Labour is approaching more and more legislation. They do not have the mandate of the public (nor those who are considered ‘professionals’ in the area) which voted them in not so long ago and should stop behaving as such. It only takes a quick search of Twitter to spot just how many people are baffled by what’s taking place. And once the Government takes control of website blacklisting (claims of an ‘independent board’ are dubious at best), it surely won’t be long before policy dissidents are quietly removed from public view.
So with this kind of attitude coming from those in power, it often feels as though people can’t make a change. And to be honest, it’s unclear whether Conroy will rethink his position. However, we can make as much noise as possible, to let the government know we not only have a voice, but are prepared to speak out against abuse of power. Using the internet against him, fill up Conroy’s inbox with sharp words at the excellent GetUp!, or get involved with those behind No Clean Feed. We may have to use our voices to keep them.
Update 18/12/2009: Bernard Keane has posted an article outlining the best way to ensure your letters to Conroy get noticed. Good advice that I’m betting will annoy a few public servants.