Stephen Conroy and the Apple Iphone

UPDATE: You can now listen to this speech here.

Senator Conroy is worried about the iPhone.

In his speech last night at a Sydney Institute talk on the topic of Broadband and the Digital Economy, Conroy expressed concern about the new fangled phone, noting that because of it the need for mandatory filtering was now even more essential.

Bob Bain was in attendance and reported back on the event to the No-Censorship mailing list. Here’s Conroy’s reasoning:

As the IPhone is going 3G and will be in Australia soon arguments that you can protect children by taking the computer out of their bedroom and supervising their use of the Internet at home is futile on account of the fact that children will have iPhones and be able to take them almost anywhere – out of the range of adult supervision.

It is therefore essential that mandatory filtering be put into effect. It sounded as though child porn wasn’t the only target (and indeed there are some things other than child porn that should no doubt be prohibited from being published).

You’d think Mr Conroy would realise that phones in Australia are already capable of accessing the world wide web. My Dopod 810 for instance functions much like a normal PC (although viewing pornography on the small screen may really turn you blind).

Sure the iPhone will appeal to a younger generation, but isn’t this once again an issue of parental responsibility and education? Mandatory filtering will after all only block a minuscule amount of pornography.

Conroy also spoke about ISP regulation. Here’s Bob’s summary:

In answering a question as to whether ISPs are going to be regulated into a more reasonable approach to Internet safety the response was that although the ISPs have (so far) been staunchly against mandatory Internet filtering and while they may appear to still adopt this position in public in private Senator Conroy is finding them becoming more flexible towards his arguments and taking a more reasoned approach in discussions with them.

BigPond? Optus? The family-friendly ISPs who already filter? Care to give names Mr Conroy? Who knows who he’s getting flexible with, but there’s still many ISPs opposed.