New Zealand bill will expand internet censorship

Legislation introduced to New Zealand’s parliament will vastly expand the power of state agencies to censor and remove online content deemed “objectionable”.

The culmination of pushes since the Christchurch event, the move will enable the ‘Chief Censor’ to issue takedown notices and create internet filters, concerning privacy advocates.

CENSORING THE INTERNET

New Zealand has been in the censorship business for years. However, the government appears to believe it’s still not doing enough censoring and has introduced a new bill to parliament.

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill  stems from reaction to the questionable Christchurch shooting, and seeks to expand abilities to block content it deems to be ‘objectionable.’

The New Zealand legislation would empower the country’s Chief Censor “to make swift time-limited interim classification assessments of any publication,” including anything posted on social media.

An ‘Inspector of Publications’ will be able to issue “take-down notices,” requiring online platforms such as Facebook or Google to remove “objectionable” links or be fined up to $200,000.

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