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Cross-party support for Internet seminar series


Cross-party support for Internet seminar series

Media release - 19 March 2013

Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum will this week convene for the first of a series of seminars exploring the twists and turns of the global Internet landscape.

Organised by InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc), the Parliamentary Internet Forum seminar on Wednesday will focus on ‘who controls the Internet’ with former ICANN Chair Peter Dengate-Thrush taking the reins as guest speaker.

Dengate-Thrush is a world expert on Internet governance, having chaired InternetNZ, the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association and the board of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). He will address the assembled politicians on the governance of the underlying resources of the Internet, primarily the domain name system and the IP Address allocation system.

InternetNZ Policy Lead Susan Chalmers says that the Parliamentary Internet Forum aims to involve Parliamentarians in thinking more about the sheer breadth of Internet issues now facing society.

“As the Internet grows in both reach and importance, it is crucial for New Zealand's digital future that our politicians are across new and challenging Internet policy issues.”

National Party MP Simon O’Connor describes the Parliamentary Internet Forum as “an opportunity for Members of Parliament to learn more about what has become one of the most profound means of human interaction”. The role of legislators can only be enhanced by understanding both the structure and potential of the Internet, he says.

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes agrees, saying it is great that MPs can work together across party lines to help all of Parliament get up to speed on Internet issues.

Labour Party MP Clare Curran says that politicians from all parties will find to their cost that ignorance of the power dynamics on the internet affects the ability to make good laws. “Access to the internet, access to information and the role of nation states in controlling their own future economies rely on understanding who controls the internet. That's why it's so important we have this forum,” she says.

InternetNZ and the National, Labour and Green parties cordially invite all Members of Parliament to this first Parliamentary Internet Forum, and strongly encourage them to come together with their peers to learn more about the Internet.
ends

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