InternetNZ bemused at Chief Censor's interference

InternetNZ is surprised and bemused by recent comments from the Chief Censor that he is considering "prosecuting" Slingshot over its GlobalMode service that enabled Internet users to access sites that were otherwise blocked in New Zealand. 

InternetNZ does not believe that an Internet Service Provider is responsible for what its customers do on the Internet and that to suggest otherwise creates a bizarre world where Internet providers are held up to a different standard to other utility suppliers.

InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter says that CallPlus has every right to provide this service. “The courts have not decided that the service is illegal,” he says. Comments from the Censor would seem to single out ISPs for special treatment, and that isn’t good for the Internet or for Internet users.

"I don't recall the Censor making similar claims when NZ Post started YouShop, enabling customers to order items that were unavailable in NZ and have them delivered to a phoney address in the United States.

"We don't criticise road construction companies for speeding and we don't attack phone-line companies if someone makes a prank call.

“To suggest that Slingshot is responsible for what its customers do on the Internet is not a good idea, and not something to be encouraged."

Mr Carter says that the online world should be analogous to the offline world with regards to law like this and the reported comments from the Censor's office do not help.

“The reality of Internet-based services is that the border becomes less important. Rather than this reactive approach, the Censor would be better placed starting a conversation about how censorship questions should be dealt with in the Internet age,” says Mr Carter.

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