Kia ora members,
So a couple of big things since our last newsletter. Firstly the TPP text was finally released. Unfortunately our concerns about the IP Chapter are confirmed by this release. It means longer copyright terms and a new offence for removing digital locks on content, even where there is no copyright infringement. InternetNZ will be participating in the legislative process that seeks to implement the TPPA to ensure that the open Internet is both protected and enhanced.
Last week we submitted our telecommunications review submission to MBIE. Our submission encourages the Government to continue enhancing competition in order to reap benefits to our economy. You can see our media release and a link to our submission here:
And today the Domain Name Commission has launched its second public consultation on the .nz WHOIS – asking for the community's views on what information should be displayed in the WHOIS and how. You can read more about this here:
Internet issues programme
As we mentioned in the last issue of What’s Up, the Issues team is busy with a particularly massive load of submissions due to the Government’s Digital Convergence programme of work.
Here’s our responses to date:
Our thoughts on the convergence programme itself can be found in the submission below. In short, we welcome the programme and argue that its real value will be in how it coordinates the various streams of work to make it “bigger than the sum of its parts.”
Our response on content regulation is also linked below. We believe its time for a new approach to these matters that enables new models of distribution; that allows effective use of the Internet and that supports an excellent, informative regime for Internet users.
Submission on content regulation in a converged world
And our submission on the Telecommunications Act is below. We argue that competition is vitally important in telecommunications markets, and that this review should seek to drive that competitive pressure to another level.
Regulating communications for the future: review of the Telecommunications Act 2001
Throughout preparing these submissions, the thoughts of our members and our Policy Advisory Group list participants have been incredibly helpful, insightful and challenging. Thank you for helping us!
Another update about the collaboration being led by the New Zealand Internet Task Force on forming a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT).
They’ve gone live with their site soliciting support and participation, and you can see that here:
InternetNZ’s interests here are pretty simple - it's long past time that we had a comprehensive CSIRT function in New Zealand, and we want to make something happen. We’ve previously commissioned a report from international expert Chris Horsley at the CSIRT Foundary on structural options to make that happen - you can see that here:
We are supporting the NZITF work on this because they’ve moved further and faster than anyone else so far. That doesn’t mean we don’t support the New Zealand Government doing something too - in fact, we think that’s essential. The NZITF work is a head start - a test of a model and demonstrates demand for this initiative. We’re pretty hopeful that the Government as well as the private sector will dovetail in behind this and help make something happen. If you’re keen to be involved, ping Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And this time, with the full confirmed text. We’re working in collaboration with a number of aligned people and organisations to wrap our head around exactly what this means now for the Internet in New Zealand. We’re also keenly focussed on ensuring that any implementation process of the TPP encompasses positive aspects of international standardisation as much as the negative. For example, if we have to have the same extension to copyright as everyone else, surely we can have the same fair use rules as everyone else too - right? James is our lead here, and is always open to thoughts, comments and questions: email@example.com.
- Internet Governance Forum 2015: Ben’s off representing InternetNZ at the IGF in Brazil - the premier international Internet policy forum for the year. He’ll be sharing his thoughts and ideas once he is back.
- Copper Internet pricing: The Commerce Commission will be announcing their pricing decisions for copper-based telephone services on the 15th of December, and we will finally see whether this process is going to deliver to the long term benefit of end-users in New Zealand, or whether everyone’s ADSL prices need to go up :( stay tuned!
- ISP feature comparison: What was our scorecard concept is now more of a consumer information play on features that matter. We’re still cooking here.
We are excited to announce our December speaker series event will be an extension of one of the most popular barcamps at Net Hui this year - Sex and the Internet.
The format will be a panel with speakers Jessica Ducey from Family Planning, a representative from Family First, Martin Cocker from NetSafe and others from the privacy and censorship sectors. Questions and conversation will follow.
The event will be held at Internet New Zealand Wellington's offices on the 3rd of December and registrations are now open:
InternetNZ <3’s research
This week InternetNZ is opening expressions of interest for the New Zealand Internet Research Forum 2016.
The NZIRF is a collaboration between InternetNZ and AUT’s Institute of Culture Discourse and Communication bringing together researchers and interested parties to discuss their proposed, current and finished research with the New Zealand Internet community. It will be held at AUT on Friday 5 February. An NZRIF expressions of interest page will be advertised on our website before the end of the week.
This year’s funding round dedicated to supporting Internet research is now live!
The "research round" is to help fund individuals or organisations conducting research projects focused on Internet topics and issues which can inform the development, availability, use or benefit of the Internet in New Zealand, or supports the development of the Internet research community in New Zealand. You can apply here.
The "conference round" is to help the New Zealand Internet community participate in relevant conferences and events related to the development of the Internet. You can apply here.
You can learn about and apply for grants by clicking on the relevant round on our community grants page here:
This month we are giving you a snapshot of James Ting-Edwards, InternetNZ's Issues Advisor.
What do you actually do: Engage! My job is to look after our “law and rights” work, which means having lots of conversations and writing lots. Right now, I’m talking to people in universities, businesses, and elsewhere about what the TPP means for the Internet, intellectual property, and innovation in New Zealand. I also write submissions on things like online GST, explaining why you can’t use IP (internet protocol) addresses to say whether a person lives in NZ. There really good ideas come from wide discussions - I’m mostly a translator between people, legal stuff, and tech stuff.
What’s your favourite thing about the Internet? Connections. I’m most excited about the personal and cultural ones. Groups like “philosophy geeks” or “effective altruists” may not have physical homes, but they can make their own spaces on the Internet. Result: James from little old NZ can decide to volunteer in Oxford. Plus Facebook is how I stay connected with people overseas: my brother sends photos of gorgeous Pacific places, and I tell him what our improv group is up to.
What’s your least favourite? People hurting people. There’s a really unfortunate mix where people play to an audience, or forget that there’s a human being on the other end of the Web, and it amps up to doxxing or harassment. As Wayne’s World put it, “be excellent to each other!”
What’s your favourite book? The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson. It puts the “social science” in science fiction. The story is about Princess Nell - a girl from a really tough environment, who takes control of her life by learning from a magic nanotech book. Love the interplay of technical and social Things That Matter for how people live in this world!
What’s your favourite band: Ben took Soundgarden, and Andrew took Queens of the Stone Age. So I’ll say either Dave Brubeck Quartet or Dethklok.
Favourite meal: Dōngpōròu (东坡肉), Hangzhou style braised pork. Mouth watering now. Or a perfect, just ripe banana eaten with Minion-style enthusiasm.
Who would you want to play you in the film of your life? Either Psy or a young Jackie Chan, with lots of stunt eating. Mmmmm noodles.