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

 


Cyberbullying: education focus welcome, fishhooks remain

Cyberbullying proposals: education focus welcome, fishhooks remain, and workability must be paramount

Media release - 5 April 2013


InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) welcomes the focus on education and the role of the approved agency in the Government's recently-announced proposal for dealing with harmful digital communications. At the same time, however, the proposal potentially signals significant risks to Internet businesses and end-users.

A Cabinet paper published yesterday spells out a role for "Internet entities" in the proposed new scheme to crack down on electronic communications considered to be harmful.

“While the cyberbullying proposal takes a positive step in fostering good digital citizenship among New Zealanders, some implications for Internet businesses in the new scheme lack clarity, and there are things in the proposal that people won’t be aware of, but may find concerning," says InternetNZ spokesperson Susan Chalmers.

There are some serious concerns raised by some of the proposals in the Cabinet paper regarding which 'Internet entities' may be affected.

Do New Zealanders want web-based email services to be subject to take-down orders? Do people understand that such orders, as outlined in the Cabinet paper, could be based on lower legal standards than is the case today – and could be imposed on people without them being part of the Court’s proceedings?

On the question of intermediaries, generally speaking these companies facilitate transactions between third parties on the Internet. Your traditional ISP like Telecom or Vodafone is one type of Internet intermediary. Facebook is another. Search engines are yet another. They are quite different businesses, capable of different roles in the proposed scheme.

While the Cabinet paper reflects a general understanding that there are different types of ‘Internet entities’, it appears to assume that they're all capable of helping in the same way - of taking down content, when that is not the case.

It is important to clearly understand the detail of the Internet environment before legislating for it. For this legislation to be workable, it needs to be crystal clear on who, exactly, they want to involve in taking down harmful content and how they expect that to be done. Treating ‘Internet entities’ under law as all the same would not work.

These are just some of the fishhooks that need to be sorted out to make these proposals more workable. Law and policy should work with the architecture of the Internet, not against it. The proposal does not yet meet that standard – but it can be improved so that it does.

“Done right, New Zealand law in this area could become a model for other countries to follow," says Chalmers. “Done wrong, the problems it will create for society could grow to become just as concerning as the problem of harmful digital communications it is trying to solve.”

InternetNZ looks forward to working with officials, the Minister and the Select Committee to tackle these concerns and see New Zealand leading the world in making the Internet a safer place for all.

© 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