Another victory for free speech: DIA abandons proposals for online censorship



10 May 2024


Another victory for free speech: DIA abandons proposals for online censorship

The Free Speech Union welcomes the decision by the Department of Internal Affairs, and Minister Brooke Van Velden, to abandon proposals to further regulate online speech. It is increasingly clear Kiwis have no interest in our would-be-censors’ obsession with trying to control what they say, claims Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the Free Speech Union.

“The DIA’s proposals for online content and media regulation set themselves up to effectively be hate speech laws for the internet and press, created by an unelected, unaccountable ‘regulator’ without the legislative scrutiny that Parliament normally provides. It is a worst-case scenario for free speech. 

“In nations with legislation similar to these proposals, it is increasingly clear that they are used for political purposes to control certain speech, particularly of protests and dissidents.

“We are thrilled New Zealand continues to buck this trend in comparison to other supposedly ‘liberal’ democracies, and to stand for free speech through a free press and free internet. 

“DIA received over 20,000 submissions during its consultation on these proposals. The Free Speech Union facilitated over 93% of these submissions, each unique, from Kiwis opposing this overreach.  

“Considerable work remains to create online environments where all individuals are free to speak openly, without facing harassment or potential intimidation. This is a cultural work, one which is enabled by a dedicated belief in free speech; not imposing ambiguous ‘regulation’ to beat distasteful opinions or provocative views.

“Bravo, free speech champions of New Zealand.” 

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  • Nadia Braddon-Parsons
    published this page in Media releases 2024-05-10 11:24:55 +1200

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