The cyber bullying law

May 28th, 2014 at 6:48 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Cyber bullies could be jailed for up to two years for sending messages or posting material that causes harm, following recommendations from a parliamentary committee.

Internet providers will also be forced to reveal the identity of an offending anonymous poster, under order from the District Court.

School principals will also be permitted to ask a court to take down malicious or nasty content on behalf of a student.

The Government introduced a bill last year to tackle online abuse. Parliament’s justice and electoral select committee has now reported back with a raft of amendments to toughen up the legislation – which Justice Minister Judith Collins has accepted.

The committee wants the higher maximum penalty for the new offence of “causing harm by posting a digital communication” to be raised from three months in jail, or a $2000 fine, to two years in jail. This would bring the sentence in line with other harassment offences.

I have mixed feelings on the law. It will provide relief to some victims of cyber bullying, and that is a good thing. There is some nasty stuff happening on line.

But I am concerned that the definition of harm, based on 10 principles, is too wide and it may be used to try and stifle free speech and merely robust opinion. Already one NZ First MP on Twitter has been threatening journalists with complaints under the new law.

MPs also believe the author of material subject to a complaint be given 48 hours to respond.

There is one good aspect to the new law, and it is giving a fair degree of protection to content hosts like Kiwiblog. I’ll explain how it will work.

If someone complains that something I have personally written is causing an individual harm, then I’ll consider the complaint and either delete or amend what I have said – or reject the complaint and it may go through to the Approved Agency and then District Court for a decision.

But what if there is a complaint about what a commenter has written? I don’t want to be liable for that. The law as drafted proposed that hosts like myself be immune from liability so long as we remove the comment written by someone else upon receiving a complaint. The trouble with that is it means that I have to make a decision on what might not be a clear cut case, and that I’ll be incentivised to remove comments upon receiving complaints just to be safe.

The revised law allows me to avoid getting dragged in. If a complaint is received, then I need to pass it onto the author (commenter) within 48 hours and they have a further 48 hours to respond. If they wish their comments to remain, and are happy to accept liability for them – then the case will become a dispute between the complainant and the author/commenter – and generally leave me out of it. That is a very good thing – and may also apply to other areas such as defamation.

The 48 hours timeframe is too tight though, and I think it should be say three working days. I’m often out of touch for 48 hours or more.

So some good and some not so good in the bill.

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63 Responses to “The cyber bullying law”

  1. NK (1,066 comments) says:

    What does the Mana-Internet-Bunch-Of-Losers party say about this? It should be right up the fat mans alley.

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  2. duggledog (1,337 comments) says:

    ‘Jailed for up to two years’ Ha! Like every other penalty in New Zealand law, it’s hardly a deterrent.

    This country really needs to decide whether we are going to impose heavy fines and tough imprisonment conditions or just continue with namby pamby stuff like this.

    Look at the alleged murderer of that poor woman in Auckland – known to Police, and guess what? He was under ‘supervision’.
    Wasn’t very good supervision was it?

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    So some good and some not so good in the bill.

    Do you support or oppose it in its present form?

    [DPF: If I was an Independent MP, I'd vote against it]

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  4. redqueen (452 comments) says:

    @NK

    Be careful. The fat man could make a complaint now! =P

    This might just be going a bit too far…next we’ll have a law that people can’t say nasty things, as someone might feel hurt.

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  5. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    Good to see the loyal legal eagle G. Edgeler jump to the defense of Kim DotCom, his honest master and boss.

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  6. NK (1,066 comments) says:

    I like what Idiot/Savant has written on this. I/S is want for extreme hyperbole, but he makes some valid points on this one. The Bill seems completely unnecessary to be honest.

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  7. NK (1,066 comments) says:

    Manolo, no he hasn’t.

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  8. prosper (130 comments) says:

    This law is deeply worrying. It is far to easy to offend a large number of people who are just waiting to be offended. We already have laws defining slander these should be more than adequate. NZers are getting a little precious over cyber bullying and having their feelings hurt. What happened to sticks and stones will break my bones etc etc. I pity the first person who inadvertently offends some poor sensitive soul and has to through the cost and drama of defending himself in court. Another unnecessary law.

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  9. rg (197 comments) says:

    I can’t wait until some unpopular person like the Beast of Blenheim or someone like that is targetd by a whole lot of people who start a facebook page and then one of them has to go to jail for 2 years for cyber bullying.

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  10. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to readers to know what the ten harm principles are.
    Seeing how fragile Judith is they might be ott
    Im concerned people will get a conviction for just getting slightly heated

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  11. jackinabox (555 comments) says:

    Two years jail for telling the truth in self defence?

    http://bcops.wordpress.com/

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  12. radvad (661 comments) says:

    Another namby pamby law designed solely to scratch an itch and which will likely have serious unintended consequences.

    Taking offence to something is a personal choice. I long ago decided to never again be offended by anything and it makes for a simpler, more peaceful life. If anyone is “offended” by speech it is because they choose to be and that is where the matter should end.

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  13. gravedodger (1,509 comments) says:

    Every device I own and all the obsolete machines from the past have an off switch.

    How hard is it and what is the cost of changing a number.

    Recently purchased a smart phone and it took a bit of persuading to get the Sales rep to block the number a function we have on our landline as well.

    My cyber life has attracted, in some cases probably deserved, occasional undesirable content and having an email on my shared blogsite at “No Minister” has some positives and the occasional negative but there are ways to escape abusive behavior.
    On balance I have had some very uplifting and helpful contacts while most of the abusive retards just dont bother me.
    That said, it is different for swmbo , hence the blocked id connectivity on shared devices and her personal and private numbers and adresses

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  14. Linda Reid (396 comments) says:

    Two years jail for saying something online? Really? I think this law is completely unnecessary. Like radvad says – choose not to be upset or offended. Makes life very simple.

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  15. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    This is complete and utter bullshit and I am disgusted with Judith Collins for being sucked in and endorsing it.

    If you want to know why this is just the worst kind of totalitarian scam, then you only need to look at the overarching dishonesty that underpins it, and the most stark example of this is the constant use of the word “bullying”.

    Everyone objects to bullying, but the essence is that the victim is trapped. Someone gets bullied at school for example, because he/ she has to go to school and can’t escape.

    So called on line bullying is something the so called victim can easily escape from by simply switching off twitter or facebook or whatever, or blocking the so called bully.

    Its just nonsense. There’s no such thing as on line bullying and this law is a scam made by people who just want to control.

    Judith Collins needs her arse kicked for going along with this disgraceful and intrusive legislation.

    Its just old soviet style PC garbage and another reason to despair at the lack of difference between Labour and National when there should so clearly be a difference.

    There is no way the Nats if they lived up to their founding principles should be endorsing this farcical anti free speech communist garbage.

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  16. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Whats her mate Whaleoil going to make of it

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  17. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    Slater is a Progressive.

    He’ll go along with it like David Farrar.

    He’ll just be “concerned by certain aspects”.

    Tut tut and all that.

    But they will support it because its National.

    The fact that National constantly betrays everything it once stood for, and that made National different to Labour, is something they willfully ignore.

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  18. NK (1,066 comments) says:

    Good to have you around Redbaiter on issues like this. You’ve said it better than I could.

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  19. deadrightkev (273 comments) says:

    I agree with you Redbaiter. It gets lonely kicking National for this crap but it is well deserved.

    It makes me cringe how the WO and KB lot call themselves centre right when they get out the cheerleading pom poms everytime Key smiles and waves.

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  20. Harriet (4,499 comments) says:

    National goes left but doesn’t know where to stop – on social issues where money is concerned it is good that the left now have some brains over there in Key and English as it will save money[you can't end welfare overnight] – but on matters like this they should remain hard right. But this now gives the Conservatives more room on National’s right.

    I support the Conservatives and they can gain more nat voters from the likes of this stupid move by opposing it. It can be overturned after the election. I then hope National make more stupid moves like this.

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  21. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Is there a specific exemption for Labour party members ?

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  22. Rich Prick (1,538 comments) says:

    “School principals will also be permitted to ask a court to take down malicious or nasty content on behalf of a student.”

    I would have thought that schools and the courts have better things to do than adjudicate over on-line bitching. I can just see it now, one Monday morning:

    “Sir, like you know, on Saturday night Brittney said on Facebook that I’m fat and ugly and I put out but no one wants it. You have to apply to the court to have that taken down for me.”

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  23. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Labour were onto it – just shut down facebook in NZ – They might have tried to make us think it was because FB isn’t paying tax in NZ but really – Nanny knows what’s best !

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  24. kowtow (7,584 comments) says:

    I oppose legislating against bad manners. Very dangerous.

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  25. Nostalgia-NZ (4,898 comments) says:

    I’m all for it, will help bring the 10 foot cowboys down to earth. The internet won’t be a lesser place for stopping teens inducing others to suicide or idiots threatening others or their families with firearms. It also continues the obvious responsibilities of publishers which some users abuse. That it already exists in Law is a secondary point because this proposal is more specific for the dim witted. Thanks to Kent Parker and his friends for their ‘contribution’ to this.

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  26. tom hunter (4,369 comments) says:

    One of the many pathetic aspects of this law is the way that National simply bought into the assumptions at the beginning – the key assumption being that another societal “problem” had been revealed that led to the standard NZ line: What’s gummint’ goin’ to do about it?

    The debate was framed up for National and they never questioned it, merely focusing on the details of the law. If I was a Left-winger I’d be chuckling every day I dealt with this government.

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  27. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    kowtow (6,980 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 9:13 am
    I oppose legislating against bad manners. Very dangerous.

    Cyber bullying is more than just bad manners. Whilst I agree we should not need a law like this, I wonder how, given today’s social climate, you would propose to stop cyber bullying?

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  28. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    ” One of the many pathetic aspects of this law is the way that National simply bought into the assumptions at the beginning ”

    Exactly right, but National are always doing this. And these assumptions are always generated by the left.

    Where are National’s own assumptions? Why aren’t they generating legislation that protects free speech from unprincipled left wing predators?

    The left are always doing stuff flike this. National should be introducing legislation to stop it, to preserve freedom of expression. Instead here they are buying into this left wing garbage like a bunch of wet weak cowards.

    Not only on this issue but on so many other similar issues. They accept the premise of some issue when that premise is often completely false. They’re just hopeless.

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  29. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    @ duggledog (1,191 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 6:54 am

    He was under ‘supervision’.
    Wasn’t very good supervision was it?

    So what would you propose then? Perhaps you’d like supervising probation officers to sleep with their clients to ensure they don’t reoffend, or do you think perhaps that the sentence given by the Courts of supervision may actually have been wrong, and he should have undergone a psychiatric assessment to determine his obvious risk of reoffending? Either way – it was not the level of supervision that was at fault – but rather a system that repeatedly fails to adequately determine the risk some offenders pose.

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  30. Elaycee (4,297 comments) says:

    To those who think this proposal is over the top, I have two words: Charlotte Dawson.

    Now, she may have been a troubled soul, but I doubt anyone could argue some of the comments made to her were anything short of appalling and reports suggest they factored in her personal battles.

    Yes, I acknowledge there is an ‘off’ switch that could have / should have been used. But anonymous, gutless morons inciting someone vulnerable to ‘go hang’ themselves, deserve to be identified and, if warranted – locked up.

    The devil, as always will be in the detail.

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  31. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    @ Manolo (12,862 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Good to see that we haven’t got it wrong, and that people like you are prepared to bully a person for being gainfully employed in a viable profession. I suppose you’d rather someone be unemployed and on the dole?

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  32. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    To those who think this proposal is over the top, I have two words: Charlotte Dawson.

    Right, so somebody who put herself into the public spotlight and din’t like the heat justifies Nanny over-reaching into everyone’s lives…. F-Off

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  33. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee (4,165 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I agree with you.

    The internet has provided the opportunity for people to communicate without the norms of verbal and written communication. It allows seemingly anonymous and instantaneous communication and therefore is easy for a person to sound off without being visually or audibly aware of their consequences of their actions.

    In short, it provides a place for the weak minded to act without any restrictions – to bully simply because they can, and because they feel no one will ever know who they are. Simply knowing that their actions can be revealed, and they can be exposed, will stop many from doing it. Most of them would never bully anyone face to face – it is the nature of the internet that allows them to do and say what they do.

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  34. Elaycee (4,297 comments) says:

    @burt: Regardless of whether Dawson looked for the social spotlight or not, she didn’t deserve to be singled out by some wanker who urged her to kill herself.

    But in your eyes it’s OK?

    Got that.

    Pffttt….

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  35. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    burt (7,272 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Right, so somebody who put herself into the public spotlight and din’t like the heat justifies Nanny over-reaching into everyone’s lives…. F-Off

    On this very blog we have a thread or a couple of threads where people are complaining bitterly about the fact that the Prime Minister had a group of protesters on the street outside his house.

    Would you give that same advice to him? Tell those that didn’t like it it to ‘F-Off’ because after all, he put himself in the public spotlight, and now, apparently doesn’t like the heat?

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  36. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    I didn’t say what that guy did was OK – just that Dawson hunted the spotlight, made a pretty tidy living from her fame and didn’t cope with the pressure that came with it – is that justification for the government stepping into every online bicker or taunt to see if they should protect people from the spotlight they put themselves into ?

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  37. jcuk (577 comments) says:

    Just as the United States is questioning its record as having the most incarcerated so New Zealand hurtles along the imprisonment path with another excuse to lock somebody up.

    We should be doing more to help those who need to trip the off switch to do just that.

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  38. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    Two words – Vulnerable children … lets worry about them before we use these two words – Insecure celebrity – to justify a law change.

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  39. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    “To those who think this proposal is over the top, I have two words: Charlotte Dawson.”

    ..and I have a concept for you, and it is a concept that has underpinned the growth of the civilised world.

    FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

    Shouldn’t be weakened because of some sad story of a fading “celebrity” suffering mental problems and upset at impending obscurity and bankruptcy.

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  40. kowtow (7,584 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    Charlot Dawson?

    The issue there was personality disorder,not “bullying”.

    If we were to legislate against all the perceived causes of suicide ,the law books would be even fatter and the courts even more over worked than they are now.

    One of the biggest and least talked about types of suicide in NZ is middle aged men ,estranged from their families and homes by divorce………..let’s get parliament to sort that out.

    Another is farmers going broke……..how does parliament propose to prevent those suicides?

    Parliament has turned itself into a knee jerk “We have to be seen to be doing something” social work agency.

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  41. Elaycee (4,297 comments) says:

    @burt: As I said, the devil will be in the detail. But there is a massive distinction between calling someone a moron on the internet and inciting them to commit suicide.

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  42. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (6,671 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Shouldn’t be weakened because of some sad story of a fading “celebrity” suffering mental problems and upset at impending obscurity and bankruptcy.

    And what about the young teenagers, at least three that I know of, that have committed suicide due to cyber bullying – did they deserve to die? And before you blame their parents, they didn’t know – did you tell your parents everything that was going on in your life, when you were a teenager?

    It is not just people like Charlotte, although being so well known, she is the most obvious example. There are young people, and even a 71 year old, that attempted suicide because of their inability to emotionally cope with the effects of cyber bullying.

    The shame involved in being the target of bullies, prevents many from getting help, because people like to blame the victim, for being faulty – rather than blaming the bully for being an arsehole.

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  43. Rich Prick (1,538 comments) says:

    Judith, section 179 of the Crimes Act already deals with that. The fact that it might be committed over the internet is irrelevant and a special law is unnecessary. The internet is simply a means to an end that is already legislated for.

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  44. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    Judith- Go away, you disgust me. You statist morons are always coming up with wet weak manufactured reasons to destroy our traditional rights.

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  45. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    @ Redbaiter (6,672 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 10:11 am

    If you see bullying as a traditional right, then no wonder we need such a law.

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  46. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    @ Rich Prick (1,412 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 10:09 am

    The fact it is over the internet makes it a very different environment with very different applications. Identity for a start is not easy to determine and requires special permission in some cases to discover. Then there are the mass dissemination of the information, that is unique to the internet. Not to mention the actual types of bullying, including imagery, which are also relatively unique to the internet, or at least easier to propagate on the internet, compared to physically in the community. (e.g. photos of victims). Due to the very nature of the internet the current law does not adequately address the specifics it needs to.

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  47. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    You see how dishonest you criminals are?

    You lie and cheat to destroy our freedom.

    Try to destroy rights that have existed for centuries.

    It is not bullying.

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  48. radvad (661 comments) says:

    The law can be the biggest bully of all.

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  49. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    @ Redbaiter (6,672 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Further to above. That you see young people, or anyone committing suicide as ‘wet and weak’ and manufactured, says a hell of a lot about the type of person you are. If reality is too difficult for you to accept. If you find the thought of young people slashing their wrists, hanging themselves in their parents garages, or in one case consuming an entire packed of rat poison – a little to difficult – then don’t blame me sunshine – the fault clearly rests with the receiver in this case – when you can’t find anything but condemnation for the victims of bullies, and see the people who speak out for them as the ‘evil’, then you truly have a warped mind.

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  50. Rich Prick (1,538 comments) says:

    Judith, that’s just silly. What next, a special law for inciting suicide on a sports field? How about a special one for rudeness at the pub? Statists always on the lookout for a new law, never quite understand that it is substance not form. And as I said section 179 of the Crimes Act deals with the substance already, the form is irrelevant.

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  51. OneTrack (2,577 comments) says:

    “Is there a specific exemption for Labour party members ?”

    That just goes without saying.

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  52. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    @ Rich Prick (1,413 comments) says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    The current law deals with the examples you give, but it does not deal with the specific requirements of the internet. For example, identification. Not all victims can identify their bully – they don’t know what they look like, their name or address or any of that information. To find their identity in some cases requires approaching ISP – and then even that is not always successful because if it belongs to a school, for example, it does not identify the person. The current law does not sufficiently address such issues, and does not provide a clear path for investigators to be able to source the information required. This is just one aspect that is unique to cyber bullying that the new law will address. As technology changes, the old laws do not always address the new opportunities for crimes to be committed. Often the very nature of the offending behaving is not even technically a ‘crime’ and that has to be defined and so on.

    The primary part to your suggestion that 179 covers it, is of course, what about bullying that doesn’t incite suicide, but other harmful behaviours? How is that to be addressed?

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  53. Jack5 (4,569 comments) says:

    Present defamation laws are sufficient, but perhaps too tight (compare with America). The new law is anti-democratic.

    Let’s hope the internet allows subversives to move on to overseas hosts that make enforcement of the new laws impossible. If the legal authorities then use the GSCB to persecute internet critics, the GSCB will soon be history.

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  54. OneTrack (2,577 comments) says:

    “The devil, as always will be in the detail.” And the unintended consequences.

    More stifling of free speech. Condition normal when lefties are in charge.

    What happens when Metiria complains that her feelings have been hurt and she is “being bullied”(tm) and it’s “racist” (of course it is Metiria, of course it is), by comment #123 on Kiwiblog? And she complains at 5pm on a Friday evening. Does DPF, or the commenter, get a $2000 dollar fine just because Metiria’s feelings are hurt and DPF hasn’t taken down the comment by 5pm Sunday. And as DPF said, his default action will have to be to take something down, “just in case” (just in case he ends up with a left-wing activist judge).

    1984, it’s getting closer. Rust never sleeps.

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  55. Jack5 (4,569 comments) says:

    Does this planned repression come from National MPs rubbing shoulders too often with Red Chinese mates? They know how to crack down on the net.

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  56. Fentex (857 comments) says:

    DPF: If I was an Independent MP, I’d vote against it

    Does DPF mean to say that if not an Independent MP but (presumably a plausible example) a list MP for National, he’d vote for it on instruction by Nationals whip?

    That is something I could not do, subsume my principles in a teams conflicting decision. And this law is about serious principles of free expression.

    It is exactly the same kind of horrid, oppressive nonsense, that is becoming popular in Europe that in (I will presume honest intentions though I have suspicions they are not) an effort to promote civil discourse and suppress aggression laws are being written that outlaw disagreement entirely and suppress opinion by elevating anyone’s proclaimed hurt feelings above the rights to disagree and to have an unpopular opinion.

    As NK mentioned above No Right Turns indelicate response is correct and illustrates precisely why this law is horrid and destructive.

    Anyone who votes for it will be revealing, I think, a strong authoritarian streak.

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  57. Jack5 (4,569 comments) says:

    The No Right Turns link Fentex gives in an 11.10 post is well worth a look.

    This law will give the Dotcom-Mana crew a boost in the election run-up.

    It’s no surprise anti-internet hysteria is whipped up by the MSM, whose subscriber/viewer base is being eroded by the internet.

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  58. Fletch (6,004 comments) says:

    I can see pluses and minuses in this.

    I do understand that some people (including teens) can be cyber-bullied. For instance, a kid who gets beaten up or otherwise humiliated at the hands of a bully at school, which is then filmed by the all-pervasive cellphones and posted to the internet for all to see. Back in my day, you could escape bullying, or otherwise unpleasant people, when you went home from school. Nowadays your life is online 24/7 and that online kind of bullying can’t be escaped. The victim can be taunted on line when he gets home.

    The problem is – is that this legislation will be misused or abused by those with an agenda. Someone writes online that they disagree with gay marriage, or that gay sexual acts are immoral, and some activist will make a complaint. The idea is to bring everyone in line with the liberal agenda; to, for example, genuflect at the alter of gay marriage.

    Remember that old quote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” by Evelyn Beatrice Hall in her biography of Voltaire (wrongly attributed to Voltaire himself). That doesn’t hold these days – for some. These days, some people do not want you to express your opinion. They don’t want to hear it. They will bring a charge to shut you up. If that doesn’t work, they will take to Twitter to try to boycott you or get you fired. They certainly will not “defend to the death” your right to say it.

    One of the reasons is that it pricks their conscience. makes them aware of the thing they are doing. And makes society aware as well. And that can’t happen.

    I’m afraid that’s what some of the consequence of an anti cyber bullying law would be.

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  59. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    @burt: As I said, the devil will be in the detail. But there is a massive distinction between calling someone a moron on the internet and inciting them to commit suicide.

    Yes, random people telling me I should commit suicide would give me no choice but to do so…….. Here was me thinking suicide was something people had a choice in – I never knew that if somebody told you you should that you were required to follow their instructions.

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  60. Fentex (857 comments) says:

    But there is a massive distinction between calling someone a moron on the internet and inciting them to commit suicide

    Not according to this proposed law.

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  61. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    The NZ police state just got one point stronger.

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  62. Elaycee (4,297 comments) says:

    @burt: Yes, random people telling me I should commit suicide would give me no choice but to do so……..

    Sheesh – [shakes head in disbelief]

    My example was Charlotte Dawson – when some moron kept urging her to ‘go hang’ herself. Now you clearly think the moron was exercising his rights under ‘freedom of expression’ when he urged Dawson to kill herself – and you’re totally entitled to your view. But in my view, the moron was being a total wanker by picking on someone he would have known was having mental issues and then inciting her to take her own life. Now, IMO, that’s not exercising ‘freedom of expression’ – it’s just confirming the prick was being a bully – picking on someone vulnerable. Indeed, no different to the wankers of the world who shout at someone on a building ledge to ‘jump’…

    Now, you may think that’s OK, but I don’t. Most of us are ‘normal’ and can laugh off verbals – but others can’t. Including Dawson.

    As I said earlier, the devil will be in the detail. But if wankers / bullies of the world are held accountable for their actions (examples above) then I support the initiative.

    Actions have consequences.

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  63. Fentex (857 comments) says:

    Actions have consequences.

    Empowering the state to censor, to punish people for having unpopular opinions and to raise hurt feelings above individuals liberties to speak is an action that will have tragic consequences.

    It may be that legal remedies for harassment are required for online interactions (it isn’t something I feel a need for, but I am not everyone), but there is no need for a law that criminalises speech on such trivial grounds as this proposed one does.

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