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InternetNZ rejects centrally operated filtering for New Zealand

Media Release - 28 January 2010 - InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has today released a position paper that responds to the development by the Department of Internal Affairs of the "Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System".

The position paper rejects centralised filtering as an acceptable approach for New Zealand to take. It sets out the basis for this position, and calls on the Department to conduct a thorough study of the extent of access of child abuse material on the Internet and the best ways of addressing it.

"InternetNZ supports a safe environment for people online, and absolutely deplores the availability and use of child abuse material," says InternetNZ Policy Director Jordan Carter.

"However, a government filtering system, centrally operated, is not the answer. It risks leaving parents feeling that the Government is providing a safe environment, but it cannot deliver on that promise. The filter would only help at the margin, and child abuse material would still be available on the Internet.

"The filter would disrupt the end-to-end connectivity that has made the Internet the useful tool it is today. It creates some confidentiality concerns, and is not subject to all the usual lawful checks and balances that apply to all other parts of New Zealand's censorship regime.

"Besides studying the scale of the problem, the preferred approach New Zealand needs to take is a proactive one. People need to understand the risks of such material, and they need to be made aware of things that they can do to avoid it.

"Filtering solutions chosen by individuals and applied to their computers is a good option. A centralised, government scheme is not," concludes Carter.

InternetNZ Filtering Position Paper (PDF)

For more information contact:

Jordan Carter
Policy Director
021 442649

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