The Australian government does not support and will not participate in actions similar to the Egyptian government, which shut down Internet access to prevent protesters from communicating with others and the outside world, an Australian official has said.
Speaking at the launch of a new HP data center in Sydney, Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told journalists Australia’s government has neither the power nor the desire to pass a law that would make ISP services turn off web access “when we want them to,” according to Delimiter.
The minister said in “a pluralistic, open speech, free speech” society such as Australia, he did not think the kind of steps taken “by a whole range of governments in recent times” would be implemented.
“I mean, I understand China blocked access to the word Egypt, I read,” he said. “But those aren’t the sort of actions Australia supports or would participate in.”
Conroy also commented on the potential effects of the tropical cyclone Yasi and devastating floods in Queensland on the National Broadband Network. The network is currently under construction to build and operate a new “super fast” broadband network, built in partnership with private sector.
Although a report in the AustralianIT suggested that large parts of the Townsville early stage phase of the NBN rollout could face a reconstruction, Conroy said that particular launch was “almost completed.” Though the flood issue would need to be addressed, this was not unlike any other infrastructure “that gets hit by 30-year events,” he added, according to Delimiter.