TV internet debate will canvass many issues

Tonight's show will cover safety, security and other matters

UPDATED: A panel discussion on a range of internet safety and security topics will be broadcast tonight live on TVNZ 7 and streamed over the internet. The event is organised by TVNZ 7 in cooperation with Netsafe and InternetNZ.

Panellists will include InternetNZ CEO Vikram Kumar, NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker, Family First national director Bob McCroskie, Watchdog international MD Peter Mancer, associate at law firm Taylor Shaw Kathryn Dalziel, TIG CEO Rob Spray, Lateral Security technical director Nick von Dadelszen and Orcon CEO Scott Bartlett. A pre-event workshop this morning in Auckland and Wellington venues, linked by videoconference and attended by several of the panellists, gave a flavour of the topics likely to be tackled. The workshops discussed internet safety, particularly for children and young people and internet censorship — a hot topic in Australia, though proposals for compulsory filtering of material “refused classification” now appear off the table on both sides going into the general election. Filtering is less controversial in New Zealand, where it is still branded “voluntary” and narrowly focussed on child sexual abuse imagery. Better cyber-defences for the country and its essential services were briefly discussed at this session.

Lastly, the workshop tackled “Individual versus Industry” . For example, can ISPs claim to be merely operators of “dumb” pipes or should they bear a share of responsibility for what their users do online? File-sharing and copyright, perhaps surprisingly, did not come up in the workshop. Instead this session concentrated on the general responsibilities of an ISP. These should emphasise the welfare of their user community as a whole, and hence their own business, said one experienced speaker; for example, the ISP should have no hesitation in warning and reducing or terminating service to a user who is indulging in illegal or dangerous behaviour such as running a computer that has been taken over by malware. This part of the workshop discussion also debated the duty of care, if any, of online companies such as Facebook and Google to keep our personal information private. It asked: Is there a privacy tradeoff the public is willing to bear? While Facebook tends to push limits it was agreed, a productive dialogue has gone on with its users. However, methods it has now given users to regulate privacy settings are not very easy to navigate, perhaps intentionally so, participants pointed out. The broadcast/webcast starts at 9:10pm. Discussion is already being held in a Facebook forum and there are polls on the InternetNZ site.

The debate will be re-broadcast on Thursday August 12 Friday August 13 and Saturday August 14.

The streamed broadcast will be available on the InternetNZ site at http://internetnz.net.nz/tvnz7debate.

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