NZ Internet Filtering FAQ

The NZ Internet Filtering FAQ is now hosted at Tech Liberty.

14 Responses to “NZ Internet Filtering FAQ”

  1. 1Tatjna on Jul 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm:

    Thank you. That answered a lot of the questions I had about the issue.

  2. 2Jevon on Jul 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm:

    Some other questions:

    1. When was this originally proposed?
    2. How was this approach made legal? Was there a bill passed? Or has the department always had the opportunity to filter the Internet?


  3. 3Jevon on Jul 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm:

    I read through the answers again and realised my questions were already answered… oops ;)

  4. 4thomas on Jul 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm:

    Jevon – we’re fast and efficient that way! :)

  5. 5Dave Lane on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:45 am:

    When will the registering of web requests (as per “What happens if I go to a banned site?”) be expanded to include registering people’s web addresses (a hugely flawed way of identifying an individual) for the purposes of supporting accusations of copyright infringement a la Section 92a? Surely, DIA won’t just use this to prevent access to child pornography – the government has to pander to the big, obsolete-but-still-influential media establishment to appease the US for ACTA and an FTA, right?

    Also, has anyone worked out the cost of this system to the next tiers of ISPs besides the handful of big ones out there?


  6. 6nz anonymouse on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:26 pm:

    Are there any plans to make the end users liable for going through the filter? I mean .. will it be illegal to try to bypass it through a remote unfiltered proxy? I understand that under the current technical setup such a use won’t be detectable, but in theory if DIA somehow finds out, would the user be prosecuted for circumventing the censorship?

  7. 7thomas on Jul 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm:

    Re: circumvention.

    The advantage of the current approach for the DIA is that they haven’t had to get a law passed to implement it. The disadvantage of the “no law” approach is that it’s not illegal to circumvent the filter.

    On the other hand, it might ruin your “I only saw the website by accident!” argument. :-)

  8. 8Freedom on Jul 14, 2009 at 8:15 am:

    Is this a sensitive topic for Kiwis considering their sheep stigma? I’m not even quite sure how the government is thinking this is a good idea! Hasn’t anyone learned from the Chinese, or Cuban censoring? I didn’t know New Zealand was a Fascist nation. :(


  9. 9anonymous while I still can be on Jul 15, 2009 at 2:28 am:

    “The only way to check whether the website is filtered is by attempting to access it.”

    “Your internet address will be logged. This will be able to be tracked back to your internet account.”

    “Whether the details of requests to filtered sites will be given to law enforcement is awaiting clarification from the Department of Internal Affairs.”

    Finally, the NZ government has realized the best way to govern its populace is through the fear of arbitrary penalties and discretionary enforcement. The passage of laws by an elected representative government is overrated anyway.

  10. 10Charles on Jul 15, 2009 at 12:06 pm:

    – Freedom, if NZ is a fascist nation then we’re a fascist nation with a former MP’s who is transsexual and a cabinet minister who is openly gay (both in the former labour govt.) which isn’t really all that fascist if you thought about the accusation for even a moment.

    – thomas, there was a law. Read “Has an internet filtering law been passed?” which states “it is being done under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993. This gives the responsibility for enforcement to the Department of Internal Affairs.”.

    I do foresee some problems such as:
    [1] when an NZ ISP moves to IPV6 which isn’t supported by the filtering and
    [2] a BGP failure at the DIA will kill access to the non-banned sites that use the same IPs as the banned sites (and most LAN/WAN technicians know what happens when BGP dies) and
    [3] *If* identities of users is passed to the police when you visit a banned site there is currently no way to find out before hand if a site is banned except to visit the site (without messing around with UDP and traceroutes).

    — If WikiLeaks is ever banned, then we the DIA is corrupt.

  11. 11Martin on Jul 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm:

    Errr what does Facism have to do with transsexuals or homosexuality? I think its you who needs to do some reading Charles….

  12. 12annon on Jul 16, 2009 at 8:13 am:

    “DIA’s Censorship Compliance Unit has developed a list of over 7000 sites containing child pornography. If true, this is an interestingly large figure, being about five times the size of the block list maintained by the UK’s Internet Watch Foundation,..”

    Sort of gotta wonder what else they are ‘blocking’??

  13. 13Ryansway on Jul 17, 2009 at 8:07 am:

    While we deplore the existence of sites such as those the DIA intends to “filter for us”, we also deplore the fact that the matter hasn’t been thrown in for public debate.

    But if it’s voluntary then users can vote with their feet. And in today’s competitive climate, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of the bigger ISP’s “held-out”, which is probably why Yodafone and Telecrumb didn’t participate in the trial scheme – one wouldn’t trust the other to go through with it and the repercussions for the one who did “could be quite serious”.

    We would switch ISP’s if one implemented the filter… and the other didn’t, and that’s the problem they’ll need to consider.

    We also think there are other serious crimes going on in this country that deserve more funding and the Government needs to get its priorities straight before wasting money on a system a majority of the public will not receive favorably. This will ultimately become a political hot potato, and when the scheme becomes a victim of public opinion, that’s 150k flushed down the toilet on a long shot.

  14. 14Mark on Aug 13, 2009 at 1:19 am:

    “The DIA say that the filter will not be used for law enforcement.”

    “The Department of Internal Affairs has refused to release the list of banned sites. They claim that they are allowed to do so under section 6 (c) of the Official Information Act. This allows them to refuse on the grounds that the release would be ?likely to prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences, and the right to a fair trial?.”

    Does anyone else see the inconsistency here?