Senate debates

Monday, 15 March 2010

Questions without Notice

Internet Content

2:52 pm

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

Once again, the material that has been supplied to Reporters Without Borders comes from Electronic Frontiers Australia, who have been challenged publicly on a number of occasions to produce a quote where I have ever said that. After six months, they have been unwilling to provide one quote. And I challenge you to produce a quote where I have suggested that because someone has a disagreement on this issue that they are a paedophile or a supporter of paedophiles. I challenge each and every one of you to come up with such a quote, because it does not exist. Electronic Frontiers Australia have run one of the most disgraceful misinformation campaigns and have misled Australians.

But if you want further evidence of why this is not getting debated in the mainstream, let me take you to the Hungry Beast ABC show, a show that advocates against our policy. It commissioned a survey of 1,000 Australians by a reputable company. What did it find? Eighty per cent of Australians support the government’s policy. (Time expired)


Collin Van Uden
Posted on 16 Mar 2010 11:48 am (Report this comment)

Here's your quote:

Senator Conroy (To Senator Ludlam) "Illegal material is illegal material. Child pornography is child pornography. I trust you are not suggesting that people should have access to child pornography."

When pointed out this infers a pro-pornagraphic stance from Ludlam:
"I am just wondering if I can put these questions to you without being accused of being pro child pornography"

Conroy did not contest, but came back with this. (Which is, actually, the wittiest thing I've seen from him)

"I was wondering if I could get the questions without being accused of being the Great Wall of China."


Collin Van Uden
Posted on 17 Mar 2010 6:08 am (Report this comment)

The EFA have responded to Conroy's accusation that they have in some way coached RWB, and supplied the two quotes requested here:

In which, to Conroy's statement: Electronic Frontiers Australia have run one of the most disgraceful misinformation campaigns and have misled Australians.

they reply:

We are aggressive in educating the public on the drawbacks of this and other policies that threaten our online freedoms, but take great pains to provide factual information and analysis to the Australian public. If we have erred in any particular instance, then we welcome a correction. That said, we have carefully considered the legalities and technical issues surrounding the policy and unreservedly stand by our assessment. It will achieve nothing for parents and police, it will cost enormous amounts of money, and presents a real threat to our freedom of speech. For the Governments part, we have heard many frightening statements about internet bestiality, but are still awaiting a solid defence of this policy that references any evidence, study, or reputable expert that demonstrates this filter will help Australian children. We challenge the Minister to produce such evidence.

For our part, EFA intends, as always, to stick to the facts. The many flaws of this policy require no exaggeration.

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