Stephen Conroy

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Person.png Stephen Conroy  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, deep state operative)
Born18 January 1963
Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom.
Alma materAustralian National University
Member ofAIJAC/Rambam Programs/2004, AIJAC/Rambam Programs/2010, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, University of Sydney/United States Studies Centre
Introduced internet censorship as Australian Minister of Communications. Later on the board of Australian Strategic Policy Institute and lobbyist for the gambling industry.

Employment.png Senator for Victoria

In office
30 April 1996 - 30 September 2016

Stephen Michael Conroy is an Australian former politician who was an Australian Labor Party member of the Senate from 1996 to 2016, representing the state of Victoria.[1] He was a minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy in the 2007-2013, where he distinguished himself as a dogged proponent of internet censorship despite massive opposition.[2]

After politics he works as a lobbyist and sits on the board of the deep state propaganda mill Australian Strategic Policy Institute.


After university, Conroy worked as an advisor to Ros Kelly and Barry Jones. He moved to Melbourne to pursue a political career where he met Robert Ray, and served for a time as Superannuation Officer with the Transport Workers Union and as a City of Footscray councillor. He was appointed to the Senate in 1996 when Gareth Evans resigned to contest a seat in the Lower House.

Early life

Conroy was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom. His parents worked at an air force base, where his mother Jean monitored radar and his father Bill was a sergeant. In December 1973 the Conroys moved to Canberra, Australia, where he attended Daramalan College. He obtained a Bachelor of Economics at the Australian National University in Canberra. His involvement in student politics was minimal, although he helped organise a rally against student fees.[1][3]

Conroy is a leading member of the Labor Right political faction[4] and was criticised in early 2006 by members of the Labor Left and Simon Crean for working for the replacement of several long-serving MPs with new members including Bill Shorten, Richard Marles, Mark Dreyfus, Nathan Murphy and Matt Carrick. After Simon Crean's win in the Hotham pre-selection, where Conroy supported Martin Pakula for the position, Crean attacked Conroy repeatedly, calling on him to resign his position as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.[5]


Conroy was Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in the First Rudd, First Gillard and Second Gillard Ministries. The NBN roll out was dogged with delay and cost blowouts in his time as minister. In that role, he was responsible for internet censorship,[6] the National Broadband Network, and the proposed switch to digital television as a complete replacement for analogue.[3][7] In May 2010 he was appointed as a founding member to a new United Nations commission, the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.[8]

Internet censorship

Conroy faced severe criticism over his Internet censorship policies from various groups. While initially promoted as a way to block child pornography, the censorship policy has been extended to include legal material traditionally refused classification by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (now known as the Australian Classification Board), including sites depicting drug use, crime, sex, cruelty, violence or "revolting and abhorrent phenomena" that "offend against the standards of morality".[9] On 19 March 2009 it was reported that ACMA's blacklist of banned sites had been leaked online, and had been published by WikiLeaks. About half of the list was child-porn related; the remainder included sites dealing with legal porn, online gambling, euthanasia, Christianity and fringe religions; sites belonging to a tour operator, dentist and animal carers were also listed.[10] Conroy described the leak and publication of the blacklist as "grossly irresponsible" and that it undermined efforts to improve "cyber safety".[11] In June 2009 he was named "Internet villain of the year" at the 11th annual Internet industry awards in the UK, for "individuals or organisations that have upset the Internet industry and hampered its development – those whom the industry loves to hate."[12]

In December 2009 "Internet pranksters" registered the domain name[13] which was swiftly removed by auDA[14] raising concerns[15] about auDA's political neutrality and the further potential for suppression of political speech after the proposed mandatory Internet filter is legislated.

In May 2010, Conroy was accused of deliberately misrepresenting iiNet's position with regards to the new internet filter.[16] His department could also not say where he obtained other figures from, such as how he believes that 85% of ISPs support the new filter.[17]

In September 2012 Conroy stated:

"The regulation of telecommunications powers in Australia is exclusively federal. That means I am in charge of spectrum auctions, and if I say to everyone in this room 'if you want to bid in our spectrum auction you'd better wear red underpants on your head', I've got some news for you. You'll be wearing them on your head ... I have unfettered legal power."[18]

Career after politics

In December 2016 it was announced that Conroy would be head of a new industry lobby for the gambling industry, Responsible Wagering Australia, paid for by the bookmakers CrownBet, Sportsbet, Betfair, Unibet and Bet365.[19] In 2017, he joined Sky News Australia as a political commentator.[20]

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  1. a b
  3. a b Minister for the Future,, 12 December 2008; accessed 18 September 2014.
  6. Conroy announces mandatory internet filters to protect childrenABC News, 31 December 2007
  7. National Broadband Network Archived 21 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Dentist, tuckshop cited on web blacklist,; accessed 18 September 2014.
  12. Conroy named Internet Villain of the Year,; accessed 18 September 2014.
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