Does it strike anyone else as ironic that Judith Collins favorite attack pet/dog Cameron Slater should be the first candidate for these new cyber bullying laws?
Let’s not forget that Cam published the private work details of a Port worker who complained about his employer, called for Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp to be gut shot so that he would die slowly and painfully, promoted an edited interview of Jim Anderton that falsely asserted Anderton saying it would take an earthquake for him to lose the Christchurch Mayoralty and only last month published a false press release from Russel Norman that attracted threats of violence in the comments section.
It would be an irony if that’s what these cyber bullying laws were really aimed at.
They are not.
Let’s put aside who is going to quantify what is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false (thresholds Slater manages to breach most weekdays before 10am), forget how a small outfit like Netsafe is going to be able to respond to the avalanche of complaints that Facebook alone manages to generate every week and let’s take a stab at what this is really all about – Government expansion of control into NZ cyberspace.
This isn’t about bullying. Sure, it’s been dressed up that way so that there won’t be any scrutiny, but this is about the power to exert control over the internet and in particular, bloggers.
Bloggers that do the bidding of the dominant narrative structure like Slater and Farrar will be immune from this legislation, bloggers who don’t however will be the first targets.
The Government have always been able to rely on the corporate mainstream media to act as gatekeepers in terms of framing the popular narrative and keeping citizens from expressing opinions that challenge the status quo. With the emergence of blogging as the new influence, the structures of power are very keen to start putting into place limitations and control.
Being able to throw someone into prison for 3 months because they have posted something grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false based on standards that the State will decide has nothing to do with protecting us, it is a very direct attempt to start controlling cyberspace using the illusion of cyber bullying.
I have no problem with a system that liaises with website hosts and ISPs to request take-down or moderation of abuse, and repeat offenders should certainly face fines, but imprisonment for 3 months?
Take the Private Investigators for corporate evil, Thompson Clark Investigations Limited. They have helped infiltrate protest movements and frame them and are paid vast sums of money to undermine democratic protest. These vermin vulture maggots will use these new powers incessantly against protest movements that generate their popular support online.
This cyber bullying law is being sold as protecting us from the damage of online bullying, something I agree needs addressing, but this law isn’t limited to bullying, it drags in a whole lot of online content that can be easily extended well beyond the sales pitch of teenagers egging on other teenagers to commit suicide.
I see corporations using this legislation to shut down content they claim is abusive to their reputation.
Take the oil spill last week by Exxon Mobile and the extreme measures they went to shutting that story down online and the counter spin they tried in the cover up, and let’s not forget our very ownShane Jones claiming Greenpeace were responsible for economic vandalism with their satire of Sealord.
The Law Commission wants to create a Communications Commission where those accused can not represent themselves or protest the charges, sounds like Judith is building a construct that will be ripe for bullying by corporations and big business.
The true test if these cyber bullying laws are legitimate would be the immediate arrest of Cameron Slater. Let’s see if it’s him or Greenpeace who get prosecuted first.