The Conroy Rule

Australia is gripped in debate over it’s government’s push to introduce Mandatory ISP Level Filtering. Yes and the policy is about as well thought out as it is acronymed.

Out of that debate Jon Seymour has come up with ‘The Conroy Rule‘, named after Stephen Conroy, the senator spearheading this ‘initiative’.

Simply put, it’s related to “The Hitler Rule”and “Godwin’s Law” and is formulated thusly.

The first person to equate free speech with an unrestricted right to access child pornography, loses.

This rule has become necessary because the government seems to be using the ‘Are you still beating your wife?‘approach to anyone who questions the policy. Essentially, if you are against the filter, you must be for child pornography – we are trying to protect children from child pornography.

The proposed ‘clean feed‘is easily bypassed by a VPN (which comes for free with Windows and Apple computers) which not only masks someone’s true IP address, it also adds an extra bonus layer of encryption.

I’d argue that its easier to catch criminals when they don’t use a VPN to mask their actual IP address and encrypt their traffic. Just seems like common sense to me.

At best its going to make the incompetent pedophiles harder to catch because they will be forced to learn how to use a VPN to get what they want.

I’d also imagine that many police leads come from the inexperienced ones who get caught, and this allows police to infiltrate their social sphere. I’d like to know if anyone has any statistics, information or evidence either way that shows that a lack of encryption by one member has ever allowed the police to break up a pedophile ring.

It’s arguable that this will force them further underground and make them harder to detect, which will in effect mean that this ‘initiative’will make the Internet safer for incompetent pedophiles.

I’d suggest the Clean Feed should have the following tag-line. ‘The Clean Feed ‘ Forcing pedophiles to use stronger encryption‘. Because in the end, that’s going to be the effect. There has been no evidence presented of children ‘stumbling onto child porn’. I would argue that the clean feed would make this less likely as it would become much harder to find – so one part of their argument at least stacks up. Shame about all the collateral damage.

About James McParlane

CTO Massive Interactive. Ex Computer Whiz Kid - Now Grumpy Old Guru.
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