Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don’t sign away our rights in secret

Today on Radio New Zealand National after the 11am news I talk about ACTA, the secret treaty being negotiated by your government that has the potential to take away your rights. It’s worth getting angry about. You can see my speaking notes below the fold, read my blog post about it at Public Address, or after the broadcast you’ll be able to download the audio as ogg or mp3. (more…)

posted by colin at 8:20 pm  

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Zealanders’ Internet rights for sale

Today I wrote a guest post on Publicaddress about ACTA, the secret treaty that could take away your right to an Internet connection. It’s all being driven by overseas lobbyists, and they have quite a number of countries negotiating a treaty to force draconian laws on all of us.

This isn’t idle scaremongering. The previous government showed it was quite willing to give the right to cut off your Internet connection to appease a handful of unaccountable industry lobby groups, and the current government is negotiating an international treaty to guarantee it.

You don’t have to put up with this. Just say no. Write to your MP. Write to the responsible Minister, Simon Power. Or write to John Key. Tell them: you wouldn’t cut off the power to a household whose neighbours said it played music too loud. And you can’t cut off the Internet for a house where someone has been accused of downloading a song. And tell them that New Zealand doesn’t need its Internet damaged – and New Zealanders don’t deserve to have their rights curtailed – to suit the needs of a very few companies.

posted by colin at 11:22 pm  

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Internet – empowering your community

Today I’m talking at the Engaging Your Community conference at Massey University in Wellington. I’m going to asking and answering questions like “where did the Internet come from?” and “why is it uniquely suited for community use?”. I’ll look at posting a version of my speaker notes here soon.

When I was writing this presentation, what struck me most was that the values that have made the Internet successful – openness, thrift, lack of centralised ownership – are exactly those you find in community organisations. It’s no coincidence that the Internet grew to dominate the online world, rather than the privately-owned Compuserve or Prodigy.

I’m hoping to meet a lot of engaged and enthusiastic people at the session today. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

posted by colin at 5:49 am  

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