Vikram Kumar - Chief Executive, InternetNZ

“So 2010 again was a year when governments started having a much greater influence and started taking a more active role in regulating the Internet. There are two aspects to it – one was the Copyright and File Infringement. So we had Section 92A which was widely regarded as guilt upon someone saying you are guilty. So the Copyright File Infringement Bill in 2010 was a huge improvement. It still has a lot of negative features such as provision for the termination of a person’s Internet account down the track. But still it was a huge step forward. I think, more importantly, it showed that the Government was now much more interested and willing to regulate the Internet. So we have a name suppression review going on, we have a large number of Government organisations beginning to look at the Internet and thinking of it as something that they need to start controlling through the law more than they have in the past. The second aspect of the Government in 2010 was international treaties and it’s clearly a complex area where trade treaties have a large number of topics that are covered, but particularly where the US is involved, we have Intellectual Property becoming more and more of a controversial subject in international treaties. So the year started with the ACTA, which is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and InternetNZ and a lot of other organisations had quite a public movement, including the Wellington Declaration, that called for more transparency. And I think ACTA, over time and over the negotiations, became much less of a problem than when it first started off. But the issue of various governments trying to further their national interest through trade treaties is not going to go away. So the son of ACTA as it were, is TPP which is the Trans-Pacific Partnership discussions and the same issues, perhaps even more so, will come true in TPP as it came true in ACTA.

So I think 2010 was that trend of government and the law now looking at the Internet and saying it’s an area they need to do more about.”


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