Aug 26
The internet election
Posted by Colin in Uncategorized on 08 26th, 2010| | 1 Comment »

This election, online issues finally got the attention they deserve. And the situation is here to stay.

I’m not talking about which party had the most Facebook followers or made the most gaffes on Twitter. (Julia Gillard and Family First, respectively). Serious issues around internet governance and our internet future came into play, and by all accounts will continue to be significant as the situation plays out this week.

The first issue that affected the election Labor’s mandatory internet censorship policy, which is 3 years old and counting. Throughout that time, I believe the accepted wisdom amongst the scheme’s proponents – the most notable being of course Senator Conroy – was that it would be unpopular with a handful of geeks but would appeal to the wider audience of mums and dads in the electorate.

If this was indeed the strategy, I think it backfired. Although it’s based on mainly anecdotal evidence, I believe many internet users had their political consciousness awoken by this attempt to slap censorship on the country’s net connections. When this issue was important to people, it didn’t just put them slightly off-side, but made them hopping mad if not lifelong skeptics of the ALP. Over time I have spoken to MPs and parliamentary staffers of all stripes, and I’m pleased to report that many people did indeed contact their elected representatives and let the opinions be known. For some MPs, this amounted to a veritable flood, and the issue was absolutely on their radar…

Keep reading over at EFA

Aug 17
Pick a team and play
Posted by Colin in Opinion, Politics, Writing on 08 17th, 2010| | 1 Comment »

Today I had an op-ed in the National Times (Fairfax) about grassroots participation in party politics. It’s been a long time since politics was a genuine mass movement. That’s not good for the country. Here I do my bit to encourage people to think about giving it a go.

Take a look here.

Aug 12
Sticking up for the NBN
Posted by Colin in Media on 08 12th, 2010| | Comments Off

Today I had a short spot on The 7PM Project discussing the Government’s plans for a National Broadband Network and contrasting it with the Liberal plan.  The NBN is a massive undertaking, at $43 billion, and given the cost we’d expect to see a pretty solid cost-benefit analysis, yet none has been forthcoming. It’s therefore hard to know quite how enthusiastically to support the NBN.

I do have a soft spot for a bold, forward thinking and long term project like this one, and I appreciate as well as anybody what this might mean in terms of future educational and business opportunities for the country. The need for connectivity will not go away, so I think the Commonwealth’s asset, in NBN Co, will have real value. I want this for myself and my business. It’s slightly concerning that it requires a leap of faith, but there you have it.

Aug 6
Doom for the filter?
Posted by Colin in Internet, Politics on 08 6th, 2010| | 4 Comments »

The biggest news for the filter in a while with Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey choosing JJJ’s Hack program to announce that the Coalition will not back the Conroy Curtain whether or not they win government. Due to the makeup of the Senate (both before and in all probability after the election) this might mean the policy is effectively dead. If you’re not up to speed, here I explain why:

Also on the dreaded filter, my video about “Five ways to get around the filter in 2 minutes” was chosen to be Crikey’s video of the day.