Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Cyber-bullying: education and narrow focus critical

Cyber-bullying: education and narrow focus critical

Media Release – 27 November 2012

This release is available online at http://tinyurl.com/c8cyp5u

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) is calling for education and a narrow focus on cyber-bullying as Government considers the Law Commission’s recent Ministerial Briefing, ‘Harmful Digital Communications: The adequacy of the current sanctions and remedies’.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says the organisation wrote to the Minister of Justice Judith Collins last week (available at http://bit.ly/S8NBW9) and has also published a position paper (available at http://bit.ly/TglcM9). The views expressed broadly represent those of over 60 people who attended the public workshops organised by InternetNZ in Auckland and Wellington in September 2012, as well as those of InternetNZ itself.

Kumar says, “Bullying is a result of human behaviour, not technology, and predates the Internet. The Internet however makes bullying worse and is causing real harms that need to be addressed. We therefore support the Government’s intention to introduce measures to tackle cyber-bullying as a priority, subject to some caveats.”

“The Government’s stated intention is to focus on cyber-bullying. The Law Commission has gone significantly wider in its paper, covering all types of harmful digital communications. In our opinion, this wider scope has introduced serious risks to the open Internet and Internet intermediaries. It also does not contain sufficient safeguards for due process and freedom of expression. We therefore recommend that the Government fast-track only those measures that address the intended focus on cyber-bullying. This narrower response is likely to be far more effective; minimise many of the potential negative impacts raised in the Ministerial Briefing Paper; and garner more community support.”

“The findings of independent research commissioned by the Law Commission show that New Zealanders have low awareness of laws, rules or standards that apply to harmful speech on the Internet; online safeguards and reporting tools; and where to go for help. We therefore recommend that tackling awareness in these areas needs to be a key part of the Government’s comprehensive response.”

“We understand that physical bullying is far more prevalent than cyber-bullying and that cyber-bullying peaks in Years 9 and 10. It is clear to us that cyber-bullying cannot be addressed without simultaneously addressing bullying as a whole in schools.”

“While generally supportive of the legislative measures proposed by the Communications (New Media) Bill, InternetNZ has put forward 10 recommendations to address the policy issues it raises. In particular, InternetNZ recommends that the Communications Principles should be used for guidance and education only. Further, given a lack of evidence that a Tribunal is really required, those provisions should be removed from any new legislation developed. A review should be held after two years to determine whether a Tribunal is in fact really needed.”

“InternetNZ supports positive action to develop digital citizenship. We have a strategic partnership with NetSafe and have provided them part of their funding for several years now. InternetNZ is also a sponsor of the NetSafe Conference 2012 currently on in Wellington.”

“Overall, InternetNZ supports the Government’s efforts to tackle cyber-bullying with a comprehensive and focussed response. Legislation and enforcement changes alone will be insufficient. Addressing the wide span of harmful digital communications poses real risks and threats to free speech and unintended consequences.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news