NZ Government to lead seven nation digital rights group

New Zealand’s digital services minister Clare Curran said the group wanted to create a digital environment consistent with human rights and protections

The New Zealand Government is to lead a working group on digital rights, set up by D7, the newly expanded D5 group of five nations – New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Korea, Estonia and Israel – considered amongst the most advanced in the provision of online government services.

The decision was announced following a meeting of the group hosted by New Zealand in Auckland last week. New Zealand was appointed chair of the D5 in December 2016, when and the group announced that New Zealand would host the next international leaders’ summit in early 2018.

New Zealand’s digital services minister Clare Curran said the group wanted to create a digital environment consistent with human rights and protections.

“Changes and shifts in how we operate in the digital environment are creating opportunities, risks and challenges for people online, with significant impacts on societies and economies across the world,” she said.

“New Zealand will lead the work and, together with the other members of the digital nations group, work together to create a multi-national framework for digital rights.

“I’ll work across my portfolios and with a number of my other colleagues to develop a fully citizen-centric approach. At the heart of all the work we do are our people and they must feel protected online.”

D5 becomes D7

Also at the meeting Canada and Uruguay joined the group, which will henceforth be known as D7.

The Canadian Government issued a statement saying: “The Government of Canada understands that digital government can serve to enable and empower people while improving service delivery to citizens. Canada is pleased, therefore, to sign the Digital (D7) charter, joining leading digital nations in a mission to harness digital technology to the benefit of citizens.”

According to Wikipedia the D5 members “are bonded by the principle of openness; they are focused on changing governments’ relationship with technology by adopting open standards and open-source software as well as making digital government more effective. They intend to bring in digital skills in-house and encourage short-term contracts with small and medium business suppliers.”

The D5 nations have met every year since 2014. Following the Auckland meeting Israel has taken over the chair. 

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