IT Minister Steven Joyce has finally sent me a reply. This was in response to me asking him about his statements in NBR against the idea of Internet filtering:

We have been following the internet filtering debate in Australia but have no plans to introduce something similar here.

The technology for internet filtering causes delays for all internet users. And unfortunately those who are determined to get around any filter will find a way to do so. Our view is that educating kids and parents about being safe on the internet is the best way of tackling the problem.

I asked:

  • Are you still against the introduction of internet filtering?
  • Does the National government have a policy for or against internet filtering?

His letter didn’t answer either question, the only substantive part of it was:

I would like to say first off that the voluntary website filering system being proposed in New Zealand by the Department of Internal Affairs is significantly different in design and scope from the mandatory system proposed in Australia.

He then listed a number of differences in the systems and suggested I talk to the Department of Internal Affairs about it.

What I find interesting about this letter is that he carefully avoids answering both of the questions I asked. Steven Joyce refuses to say that he now supports Internet filtering, and also refuses to take the opportunity to state whether the National government has a policy for or against it.

I find this lack of clear political support for the scheme to be heartening.

1 Response to “IT Minister Steven Joyce Still Against Filtering?”

  1. 1omk on Sep 2, 2009 at 10:24 am:

    >What I find interesting about this letter is that he carefully avoids answering both of >the questions I asked.

    Sadly that is the mark of a good politician. It’s the same the world over.

    You can however make the conclusion that you have made. A politician leaves him/herself wiggle room because there is the potential for the political wind to change. A true censorship zealot (e.g. motivated principally by religious beliefs) would not equivocate and would commit wholeheartedly regardless.