National Government shouldn't empower BSA to gag bloggers
Govt wrestles with law, ethics for on-line media
The Government is looking into regulating bloggers, Twitter, Facebook and other internet-based publishing to protect the integrity of the justice system.
But bloggers warn it is very difficult to draw a line between what should and should not be published over the internet, and regulation can always be sidestepped by setting up a site overseas.
Television, radio and newspapers reports about criminal trials or other aspects of the justice system are regulated by standards of balance, truth and fairness.
But "new media", as Justice Minister Simon Power termed them, are not regulated beyond the requirements of the law.
"It's a bit of a Wild West in cyberspace at the moment, because bloggers and online publishers are not subject to any form of regulation or professional or ethical standards," Mr Power said.
"Issues I'm concerned about include how trials can be prejudiced by information posted on websites and seen by jurors, real-time online streaming of court cases, breaches of court suppression orders, and republication of a libel."
And I think there isn't much issue with that, Cam got righteously nailed by the Courts recently as the Judiciary stamped its authority on-line, issues regarding trials and suppression orders aren't controversial expansions of power, but it's this next part that is the danger...
He said there should be one set of rules for all news media, and the review - by the Law Commission - would look at extending the powers of the Broadcasting Standards Authority and/or the Press Council to cover new media.
...which means Simon Power wants to force the same gag rules of 'balance' used in the mainstream onto the blogosphere. The BSA can go fuck itself if it wants to try and enforce it's narrow view of what can be said and what can not be said because decisions by a political board as to what can be said on-line are not warranted or needed. As the Lord of the Blog, David Farrar pointed out...
"If you tell a lie you can be exposed as a liar, if you defame someone you can be sued for defamation," he said.
"You get pounced on within minutes if you have something wrong.
Simon Power of course is the Minister who called for Tumeke to be shut down after believing his own hype over prisons being an adult Disneyland when he wrongly claimed Tim Selwyn was blogging from Prison on a computer. Power had sold the concept of luxury prisons to the NZ public in the lead up to the 2008 election and believed that there were computers available in prison alongside the flat screen TV's, underfloor heating and landscaped gardening to rival the great gardens of Europe. In his rush to believe his own lie re luxury prisons, Power had wrongly believed prisoners had access to blogs and when Tim's blogs from prison appeared on this site, he called for Tumeke to be taken down. If he had his way under this new BSA he could have done that.
Let the BSA tell the corporate news media what to do, and if bloggers breach the law, take them to court, but expanding what the Government thinks is fair and balanced on-line to what I have to say in a blog, a tweet or on my bloody facebook ain't your business Mr Power.