• citizen and David Cunliffe, former Information Technology Minister of New Zealand

last modified May 31, 2010 by baboeska

 7th July 2009


Dear Mr. Cunliffe

In your role as Minsiter of Communication and Information Technology, I think you are the right person for this.

There is a key issue that I believe will come up over the next few years, the freedom of the internet. At the moment, the internet is relatively uncontrollable with regards to spread of information. I can find out almost anything I want, whether true or false, and I really like the way it is now.

I don't want to be limited to corporate created and controlled content, that is fed to me at a cost, I like the free internet, and I think that considering the New Zealand people as forefront, continuing a free internet is important, for commerce and research, and more.

The creator of the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, also feels this way

I feel, that without protection and effort made to keeping it free and uncontrolled, atleast within New Zealand netspace, the internet could stop being the great educational, informational and financial resource it is now, and degrade into a controlled pay-per-view environment.

This would obviously benefit some parties, those who wish to control information, those who feel they would make money from selling little pieces of it one bit at a time, to millions of people, but for the majority of schools, universities, research institutes and businesses within New Zealand, I feel this would have a significantly limiting effect.

So I guess what I'm asking is, what is New Zealand/Labour's long term intentions with regards to freedom of information and the internet?

I sincerely hope it is in line with the philosophy of an open society embraced by previous governments, as that philosophy resulted in the Official Information Act, and I feel that having an open internet is in line with the values of the New Zealand people.

In the long term I would like to see the internet decentralised and further removed from government or corporate control, the internet is a great resource for the people of the planet, and it's value, if it isn't twisted into something completely corporate, is absolutely immense.

It's the next Great Library of the world, and we should not participate in burning it.

Yours sincerely

Mingus Casey



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