For a goverment which on its election made so much noise about making 'evidence-based' policy decisions (as opposed to the naked ideology of the previous mob, particularly in its declining years), Senator Conroy's decision to impose his 'cleanfeed' filter on the Australian Internet is a deeply disturbing sign. There's much that must - and will - be said about this pointless, futile, and undemocratic filter over the coming weeks and months, no doubt, and Catharine Lumby's piece in The Punch and Google Australia's statement today are a very good start.
Rather than adding my own expression of dismay and outrage at the sheer stupidity which Senator Conroy's decision represents, though, I'll simply point to the work of my colleagues in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. Authored by three of Australia's most eminent media and communication researchers, here's some actual evidence which provides a much better basis for policy-making than whatever misconceptions and flawed assumptions have led the Australian government to believe that Internet censorship should be a policy priority in a country whose communications policies have suffered more than a decade of complete neglect and incompetence under the previous government.
Please tweet, embed, bookmark, link, and otherwise share this document (available at Scribd) widely.