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ISPs encouraged to self-regulate – NetSafe and InternetNZ

Media Release - 31 July 2008 - NetSafe, New Zealand’s cybersafety organisation, and InternetNZ have called on New Zealand telecommunications firms and Internet Service Providers to implement a full self-regulatory framework for the good of the Internet and its users.

This follows NetSafe’s 2008 Conference “Cybercitizens: Risks, Rights and Responsibilities for participation in the Information Age” in Queenstown, which included extensive discussion on cybersafety issues.

NetSafe Executive Director Martin Cocker issued a clear challenge to ISPs. "We would like to see self-regulation make progress to give the public confidence that ISPs are taking reasonable steps to improve the safety of the online environment for Internet users.

"If ISPs do not act, then there is a risk that regulation will be imposed as the community increasingly demands a safer internet. NetSafe recognises that ISPs are best placed to know what actions are required to create the safer environment we are seeking."

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson concurred. “We have been progressing self-regulatory models with ISPs for quite some time. An industry-led process will help providers become more consumer-friendly, and ensure they are taking sensible, pragmatic steps to protect their customers,” Davidson says.

“If progress towards self-regulation slows, we could see growing calls from government and organisations like NetSafe and others, who wish for stronger online enforcement determining legislative action that could hurt telcos, ISPs and the public at large. “InternetNZ has worked with ISPs to develop a draft Code of Practice that provides a framework for self-regulation.

It is important that ISPs consider this matter seriously.  A pragmatic, industry-led process can still achieve public buy-in and government support.”

Concluding, Davidson and Cocker said “We call on the ISPs in New Zealand to work with us, through ISPANZ, the TCF or directly, to prioritise the final work needed to put a framework in place.”

For further information contact:

Martin Cocker, Executive Director, NetSafe – 021 790 369

Keith Davidson, Executive Director, InternetNZ – 021 377 587
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