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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news