Over 16,000 submissions generated against Govt's media regulation proposals through Free Speech Union online tool
2 August 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Over 16,400 submissions have been made against the Department of Internal Affairs' ‘Safer Online Services and Media Platforms' proposals through the Free Speech Unions online tool at freespeechsubmission.com. Kiwis are sending a message loud and clear that we do not want our internet or media constrained by the overreach of an unaccountable, censorial regulator, says Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the Free Speech Union.
“The DIA’s proposals to regulate media and the internet would effectively create ‘hate speech’ laws for the internet. After the outcry against the failed hate speech legislation, it is no wonder that the same message is being sent here. Kiwis do not want their legal speech constrained or regulated by the Government.
"To our knowledge, the total number of submissions received during this policy consultation is second only to the Ministry of Justice's policy consultation on hate speech laws. (This is for policy consultations, not Select Committee legislation submission processes).
“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. New Zealand must buck the trend of other supposedly ‘liberal’ democracies to take a stand for free speech through a free press and free internet.
“Neither the Minister of Internal Affairs nor even the department’s Chief Executive fronted to announce these proposals, leaving it to their subordinates. It seems clear even to them that these proposals will be undeniably unpopular and a disaster to implement.
“With the election nearing, we call on all political parties to commit to upholding our free press and free internet, and commit to sending these proposals to the dustbin where they belong.
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