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

 


Harmful Digital Communications Bill

Harmful Digital Communications Bill

The Human Rights Commission welcomes the introduction of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill which aims to address cyberbullying and providing victims with forms of redress.

In the Commission’s submission to the Justice and Electoral Committee, Chief Commissioner David Rutherford says the right to be free from bullying is fundamental to the realisation of basic human rights.

“Everyone, particularly children, have a right to personal security,” he says.

“There is no difference between the harm caused by bullying in the real or digital worlds. It’s not OK to threaten anyone. Bullying – including cyberbullying - is a major human rights issue in New Zealand because it threatens the very right to life.”

For some years now the Human Rights Commission has been involved in the issue of bullying and its effects.

David Rutherford says the Commission recognises that although some opponents of the Bill may argue it infringes the right to freedom of expression the Commission considers that restriction justified in order to protect vulnerable people and children in particular.

“The Bill strikes the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to prevent or reduce harm to others” David Rutherford says.

The Commission is also troubled about the extent of cyberbullying, noting with concern that Vodafone New Zealand’s black list of text bullying has received 130,000 complaints.

The Bill will create a new civil enforcement regime that will resolve complaints in a number of ways including mediation and the District Court declaring the breach of Communication Principles.

One of the principles, Communication Principle 10, states that a digital communication should not denigrate someone because of some of the grounds that are unlawful under the Human Rights Act. The grounds are colour, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

The Commission, in its submission, questioned why the principle does not extend to the other grounds of the Act such as beneficiary status which is part of employment status. Beneficiaries who are hounded or criticised for living off the State, for example, may be equally upset by unpleasant online comment but unable to complain under the Bill.

“The Commission finds it hard to understand why some of the grounds have been included and not others.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news