InternetNZ gives up on global political reform

InternetNZ is no longer openly striving to assist the abolition of all the world's dictatorships. But it has discovered a new commitment to technical innovation.

InternetNZ is no longer openly striving to assist the abolition of all the world’s dictatorships. But it has discovered a new commitment to technical innovation.

The most ambitious phrase of the society’s 2004-7 strategic plan in its September 26 draft version, under “visionary goals”, read “all dictatorships overthrown due to power of free speech on the internet”. The latest draft has deleted the paragraph.

InternetNZ retains, however, its vision of ridding New Zealand of spam and achieving gigabit access to all schools by 2005 and all homes by 2010.

A new section, dealing with innovation, has been added at the end of the plan document. According to councillor Bill Parkin, who presented the latest draft to a select Wellington meeting last week, this was the initiative of John Hine of Victoria University.

The innovation section includes as examples support of next-generation internet, IP version 6 and the DNS security extensions protocol, DNSSEC.

Provision of multicasting services and online resources for training in their use is another significant element. The society also undertakes to “strengthen the New Zealand network to withstand extreme load demands in the case of a national crisis”.

The innovation drive had effectively been expressed in the document’s previous drafts but scattered throughout its sections, Parkin says. It has now been expressed with greater coherence.

The newly approved cyberlaw fellowship at Victoria University is seen as aiding in the fourth of InternetNZ’s eight key strategies, to “protect the internet”. The latest draft has added “… and internet users”.

Strategy 5, “promote the internet”, sparked considerable discussion, with ideas flowing in support of the subsidiary objective of promoting its responsible use. Education loomed large, with calls for an internet use curriculum module to be created and submitted for NZ Qualifications Authority approval. Being taught not to send huge unnecessary email attachments and deleting them in webmail to save costs were mentioned as possible lessons.

Contact with SeniorNet was recommended, with an expectation that older users of the internet could both learn and teach responsible and safe use.

Go here for the latest version of the strategy document.

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