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Experts gather to reduce internet harm


Auckland, 23 November 2012

Experts gather to reduce internet harm

NetSafe, New Zealand's dedicated internet safety organisation, is determined to reduce the harm people are suffering online.

“The truly international nature of the internet will always remain as a jurisdictional challenge, but there are definitely areas where New Zealand can make improvements” says NetSafe Executive Director, Martin Cocker. “We can improve regulation, strengthen enforcement capability, and develop better education programmes.”

To do this, NetSafe is holding a conference in Wellington next week entitled 'Our community: Our challenge'.

The aim of this two day event is to find ways to create better solutions: to strengthen the controls individuals have over their personal information; to give scam victims a greater chance of recovering lost money; and to give internet users new options to stop harassment and abuse online.

“The truth is that some New Zealanders are being harmed when they don’t need to be,” says Cocker.

“We as a community need to work together to develop solutions that change this situation – empowering internet users and improving responses when challenges arise.”

Over 100 delegates representing the digital safety and security community will gather at the Wellington Town hall to discuss a range of issues from technology addiction to cyber security awareness.

“The Government has an important role to play in promoting solutions, but it is unrealistic to expect them to fix everything” says Cocker. “The resolutions to these issues require commitment and contributions from a range of private and public entities. Those entitles are represented at this conference.”

The NetSafe Conference will be opened by Hon Amy Adams, the Minister for Communications and Information Technology on Monday 26 November.

The Minister of Justice, Hon Judith Collins, will also address the conference on Tuesday 27 November.

A diverse series of workshops over two days will feature a line up of international and local experts discussing issues including technology and pre-schoolers, cyberbullying, online privacy, and human rights.

International experts Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Washington, DC based Family Online Safety Institute, and renowned Australian psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg will cover key global trends. Local contributors include Marie Shroff, Privacy Commissioner, and David Rutherford, Chief Human Rights Commissioner.

Industry representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sophos, and the NZ Game Developers Association will take part in discussions along with government agencies including the Ministry of Education, the National Cyber Security Centre, New Zealand Police and Department of Internal Affairs.

Outcomes from the conference will be published online and NetSafe staff will offer live coverage of the event on Twitter using the hashtag #netsafe2012.

- ENDS -

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