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Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill

24 Apr 14

The Green Party has launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.

Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and freedoms for Internet users, as well as providing for an Internet Rights Commissioner and a Chief Technology Officer for the country.

"The Green Party believes in a free, open, thriving Internet - a platform built on free speech, innovation and democracy," says Gareth Hughes, ICT spokesperson, Green Party.

"With the help of the public, the Green Party will ensure that all Internet users are protected by basic human rights.

"As well as protecting users, the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill aims to encourage innovation, digital democracy and the growth of New Zealand's ICT sector.

"The National Government has passed numerous anti-Internet laws, but the Green Party is committed to building a more resilient, innovative and progressive digital future for New Zealand."

The crowdsourced platform of the Bill gives all New Zealanders a chance to influence the final draft of the Bill.

"The future of the Internet lies in the hands of all New Zealanders, not just policy makers and politicians, and we want the public to help shape Internet use in New Zealand," Hughes adds.

"The Green Party wants to make laws more accessible and engaging for New Zealanders.

"Whether it is the right to free speech, privacy or anonymity Kiwis most value, they will have a chance to have their say. The Internet freedom conversation starts now."

The Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill proposes:

* Ten Internet Rights and Freedoms including the right to access and net neutrality; the right to encryption technology; and the right to privacy including the right to be forgotten online

* Establishment of an Internet Rights Commissioner, as part of the Human Rights Commission, to allow New Zealanders to seek effective remedies for human rights violations online

* A Chief Technology Officer for New Zealand similar in scope to the role of Chief Science Advisor to champion the Internet economy

* A call for New Zealand to support a global Internet Rights Treaty

To view or participate in the Bill's drafting, go to: http://www.internetrightsbill.org.nz/

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