After the packed out Town Hall meeting in Auckland, I asked, ‘what should we do now‘.
One of the elements beyond revoking the GCSB mass surveillance Bill and it’s enabler TICS Bill, is putting together a NZ Digital Bill of Rights.
Kim Dotcom has mentioned last week he has an interest in this, the Greens in Australia are keen on the idea and David Cunliffe has a unique opportunity to champion this as the next possible Prime Minister, so what should a NZ Digital look like?
-freedom of online expression
-freedom of online peaceful assembly
-freedom of online association
-freedom of online thought, conscience, religion and belief
-freedom from mass surveillance
-right to privacy
-right to free community high speed access to internet via all schools, libraries, community centers and Maraes
My thinking is that this would become a Commissioner role in the Human Rights Commission. Obviously there would be definition of each of these rights. Defamation and hate speech wouldn’t be covered, not being forced to open access to your social media sites to employers (as a freedom of association), freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief would allow very robust speech, freedom from mass surveillance demands revoking of the GCSB Bill, right to privacy would challenge some of the surveillance powers the Police have been given by this Government and the right to free community high speed internet would do something towards challenging the digital divide.
We have some of the brightest techies and legal minds to grapple with and generate a Digital Bill of Rights that we could all be proud of as NZers. Women fought and gained universal suffrage, workers fought and gained the 40 hour week and baby boomers fought and kept us nuclear free.
It is our responsibility now to make a stand and use this terrible step towards a mass surveillance state as momentum to shape our future in a manner befitting the egalitarian and social justice values our democracy should champion.
From a political point of view, this Bill if articulated passionately would win mass favor amongst under 40s and those Baby Boomers who feel the current Bill of Rights hasn’t lived up to its promise. It could also foreshadow an actual debate about the current Bill of Rights and whether it needs updating and enshrining into law as a constitution.