May 29, 2010

The hitchhikers guide to net filtering

“Does it worry you that you don’t talk any kind of sense?” ~ Agda, the Restaurant at the end of the Universe Every couple of months we get the opportunity to hold a discussion directly, on the record, with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and the senior officials responsible for implementing the Government’s mandatory net filter scheme (#nocleanfeed, #openinternet). These opportunities come about as a result of the Senate Estimates Committee process which provides a valuable, if somewhat warped, window into the world of the Australian public service.

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Reviewed to death for a 10c piece

The Government has been strongly criticised this year for rolling out massive policy initiatives without properly thinking through the costing and institutional frameworks required to make them work. The $43 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) and the home insulation scheme are two examples of big picture budget items that proceeded at breakneck speed unhindered by the normal process of internal checks and balances. The tragic results are a matter of record in the case of home insulation; the jury is still on the fence with regards the NBN. But what happens when the reverse occurs – when a simple

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