Feedback on the government’s proposal as outlined in its ‘Safer Online Services and Media Platforms Consultation Document’ is due Monday 31 July 2023.
Reality Check Radio’s (RCR) Legal Hub presenter Katie Ashby-Koppens says the document is about framing censorship laws aimed squarely at independent media outlets like RCR.
‘What is being proposed is a serious threat to free speech. These laws, if enacted, would make certain speech illegal under the guise of keeping us safe.’
RCR have created a template for feedback, available at defendfreespeech.co.nz. The template is designed to make the feedback process as quick and simple as possible.
‘Free speech is a fundamental human right, and it’s under serious attack. Without free speech, we’re not free,’ said Ashby-Koppens.
The proposed legislation will see the introduction of a ‘Regulator’ of online content, a ‘Ministry of Truth’ with power to develop codes dictating what can and cannot be shared online.
Of the proposal, Voices For Freedom wrote on their website:
‘This new Regulator will be empowered to make up its own rules to protect Kiwis from vaguely defined “unsafe” or “harmful” content that we apparently all need protecting from. The Regulator will approve codes of practice for platforms to comply with, requiring platforms to identify, moderate and take down “non-compliant” content.’
The government’s discussion document is available on the website of the Department of Internal Affairs.