New Zealand Won’t Reconsider Web Disconnection


Prime VIP

The country’s Justice Minister Simon Power claimed that even though the report of the United Nations called access to the Internet a fundamental right, the government is quite satisfied with the new copyright legislation and isn’t going to reconsider the law.

The news is that the New Zealand government will not reconsider disconnecting people from the web, even after the UN report. Indeed, Justice Minister assured the citizens that he was satisfied with the copyright legislation as it currently stands.

Two months ago, to the dismay of many, the government enacted The Copyright Bill to fight online infringement. The law allows for penalties of up to $12,000, plus stipulates the suspension of Internet account for up to 6 months.

But a week ago the report was published by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression. The report in question concluded that disconnecting people from the web, regardless of the justification provided, is basically an infringement of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Shortly after the report publication Labor communications spokesperson claimed that it was time for a review of the New Zealand’s copyright legislation, thus agreeing with the UN’s conclusions that web disconnection violates international law. Meanwhile, the Green Party reacted to the announcement by calling the change of heart “a little rich,” while agreeing how important the connection to the worldwide web has become to people’s daily lives.

However, today Justice Minister has easily brushed aside all those concerns, saying that he was quite satisfied with the new copyright legislation as it was written. He specified that he wasn’t planning to reconsider the law that the government passed just a few weeks ago, because the latter was thoroughly consulted over 2 years. Justice Minister said he was confident that the draft of the law has been through every test and every forum to become what it is today. In addition, Simon Power admitted that he hadn’t really thought of whether or not web access is a basic right as the report of the United Nations claims. On the other hand, he believes that the agreement between Internet service providers and copyright owners was satisfactory. The only problem is that the agreement in question excludes the public.