Should New Zealand internet addresses be for Kiwis only?
Chris Keall •
Written by Chris Keall for The New Zealand Herald. Republished with permission. Original story.
Should .nz domain names (web addresses) be available to locals only?
Should domain names be dished out on a first come, first served basis, or should an entity with established use be given preference?
Where to for privacy and security post-Christchurch?
Does there need to be greater Māori participation in .nz policymaking?
These are just some of the questions being mulled over by a panel assembled to review InternetNZ policy.
InternetNZ is the non-profit that administers the .nz domain, and advocates for "an open and uncapturable internet", weighs into issues like the digital divide, awards various community and research grants and hosts low-cost conferences.
The panel is headed by Sue Chetwin, who recently left her long-time position as chief executive of Consumer NZ to become a law student with several side gigs - beyond the InternetNZ review, she is on the boards of the Financial Markets Authority and Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
Currently, .nz domains are available to anyone around the world.
A discussion document notes that this is not always the case. Australia, for example, requires a company to have a local business number before it can register a .com.au address.
Chetwin says there are consumer issues at stake. Not everyone realises that .nz addresses can be nabbed by all comers. An offshore party owning a .nz address can also make it harder to resolve a legal dispute.
On the flip side, she concedes the Herald has a point with its argument that as a small, export-led economy, NZ can't risk parochial tit for tat that might mean an NZ company trying to get a foothold in, say, the British market is denied a .co.uk address.