But how does it work in theory?

Last night on Radio National's Australia Talks, Paul Barclay hosted Clive Hamilton and Mark Pesce to discuss the Internet censorship proposal from Labor.

The host was pretty clearly pro-censorship, and allowed Hamilton's bogus claims about the effects of pornography to pass without challenge. Anti-censorship callers on this talkback programme seem to have spent the entire programme on hold. My favourite bit, however, is when he cuts off Mark Pesce's description of how the Chinese have admitted it's not technically possible to have effective, mandatory censorship.

Paul Barclay: I suppose we could debate all day whether or not, technologically, it's going to be possible to actually block these sites, but what I'm also interested in here...

Which reminds me of the classic quoted, attributed variously to an academic or French bureaucrat:

That's all very well in practice, but how does it work in theory?

Clearly the only way the pro-censorship guys can win this debate is by completely avoiding head-on debate. That certainly seems to be Conroy's approach!