Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Labour will repeal disconnection

Last month, at NetHui in Auckland, Labour's Clare Curran promised that Labour would repeal the hated "skynet" law if they became government. Today, they've gone one better, promising to repeal it within 90 days of taking office, and review the entire Copyright Act to drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. The message is clear: "Vote Labour to kill Skynet".

This is great news, and it shows that Labour is listening and recognises that the law as it stands is unjust. But there's more - they also recognise that internet access is a vital part of modern society, and a human right:

Internet access is not just a utility or essential service but also enables the provision of social and family connections across distances and time zones, education and work opportunities. Therefore all New Zealanders should have the ability to access the Internet and Labour will work to ensure they do.

Labour affirms that the fundamental human right to impart and receive information and opinion necessarily includes the ability to access the Internet in order to give practical effect to the right in today’s world.

(Emphasis added)

In the modern world, disconnecting people from the internet effectively prevents them from speaking. Its the technological equivalent of cutting out our tongues. No society should impose such barbaric, disproportionate and unjust punishments. We don't do the equivalent for stealing bread anymore; why should we do it to protect the interests of rich foreigners clinging to an outdated business model?