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The Wild West or the mild west?

The Wild West or the mild west? Internet experts work through the challenges of the digital frontier

Wellington, 26 November 2012

The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Hon Amy Adams, today launched Netsafe’s 2012 'Our community: Our challenge' conference. Over 100 delegates from the digital safety and security community gathered to develop solutions for a range of challenges in the digital environment.

They have heard industry representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sophos, and the NZ Game Developers Association share their views on the future trends that will impact the community as well as preeminent Australian psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff and David Rutherford, Chief Human Rights Commissioner.

By far the highlight was the light hearted debate involving a panel of experts discussing the moot, ‘The Internet is still the Wild West’. Michael Carr-Greg compared the internet to the19th century American frontier with our young people battling the unknown in ‘Cyberia’ and their parents playing it safe in the mother country watching from a distance.

Stephen Knightly, Chair of the New Zealand Game Developers Association, took the opposing view and suggested the internet was in fact regulated by capitalism and that ‘draw partner’ had been replaced with the Draw Something app on your iPhone.

“There’s been plenty of discussion and interest from presenters and attendees about how we can work together to address the challenges presented in the online environment”, said Martin Cocker, NetSafe Executive Director. “The great thing about day one of the conference is the enthusiasm from the different representatives to work together to help solve the challenges faced by the community.”

Tomorrow conference participants will hear from international expert and keynote speaker Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Washington, DC based Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) as well as the Hon Judith Collins, Minister of Justice and experts from across the ditch.

You can follow live coverage on Twitter using the hashtag #netsafe2012. Outcomes from the conference will be published online.

- ENDS -

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