In his first major TV appearance regarding the filter since Q&A and Insight in early 2009, Senator Conroy will head back to the tube Wednesday evening in an attempt to sell government’s mandatory net censorship plan to the masses on Channel 10’s The 7PM Project. A rare occurrence for a Minister we are used to seeing tight-lipped and mediaphobic after criticism of his plan. I guess it’s hard to avoid when the criticism is coming from the likes of Google.

In public submissions on ‘measures to increase accountability and transparency for Refused Classification material’ released today by the DBCDE, Google said moving to a mandatory ISP level filtering regime with a scope that goes well beyond child pornography is heavy handed and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information.

Our primary concern is that the scope of content to be filtered is too wide.

Yahoo! agreed:

Yahoo! are entirely supportive of any effort to make the Internet a safer place for children, however mandatory filtering of all RC material could block content with a strong social, political and/or educational value such as:

  • Safe injecting and other harm minimisation websites,

  • Euthanasia discussion forums,

  • A video on creating graffiti art,

  • Anti-abortion websites,

  • Gay and lesbian forums which discuss sexual experiences,

  • Explorations of the geo-political causes of terrorism where specific terrorist organisation, and propaganda is cited as reference material.

Read all of the submissions here and remember: If you’re in the mood, watch Senator Conroy on The 7Pm Project, Wednesday 24/03/10 at 7PM AEST, Channel 10. Just don’t expect anything new.