Internet Body Seeks Ways Of Solving Disputes
Internet Governing Body Seeks Alternative Ways Of Solving Disputes
The Internet Society of New Zealand (ISOCNZ) is embracing Alternative Dispute Resolution as a way to avoid and overcome conflicts surrounding use of the internet.
As the internet becomes more and more a mainstream tool of business and the wider community, questions have arisen about the best means for ensuring that it remains open for all to use, and that it is not captured by vested interest groups.
This has led to differences of opinion among Society members as to the best way of ensuring that the internet is protected in the interests of all parties.
ISOCNZ chair Peter Dengate Thrush says at times differences of opinion have become acrimonious and this has gone as far as the chief executive of the Society's 100-percent owned domain name management company Domainz taking defamation action against a member of ISOCNZ.
The Domainz Board which runs the registry for all domain name holders using .nz is supporting its chief executive, Patrick O'Brien, in the action taken against internet service provider Alan Brown.
Mr Dengate Thrush says that at its recent meeting the Society acknowledged the Domainz Board's position but more importantly, passed a resolution recommending that an attempt at Alternative Dispute Resolution be undertaken.
"The ISOCNZ Council expressed its wish to see the current action resolved in the interests of the common good in order to set standards for the internet."
Mr Dengate Thrush says the internet and its management represents a changing world where protocols and procedures need to be worked through and it is inevitable that from time to time strongly held opposing views will surface.
But he says the internet, since its inception, has well established and accepted standards of behaviour and a paramount one is that there should not be so-called `ad hominum' attacks, or attacks on the individual over the net.
This is at the centre of the current action.
Mr Dengate Thrush says that in recommending ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Council members pointed out that standards of conduct are critical to the function of the Internet and that certain types of conduct including personal abuse are not acceptable.
"The Council went further than just recommending ADR to see if a solution can be found to the current dispute, by determining to work with the broader internet community to put in place an Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism to resolve such disputes in the future."
Mr Dengate Thrush says the move to embrace ADR is an acknowledgement that the courts may not necessarily be the best place to sort out some internet issues, and New Zealand moves in this direction are also likely to be watched closely by the world wide internet community.