Porn crackdown: The Government’s moves to stop kids accessing adult material

NewsHub 26 August 2019 
The Government is considering sweeping changes to rules governing pornography, saying everything is on the table.

Advice to the Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin obtained by Newshub under the Official Information Act suggests the current laws around classification and broadcasting legislation are out-of-date.

“Current classification and broadcasting legislation was developed for a pre-internet era and classification of online content, including pornography has many challenges,” it reads.

The documents say the archaic laws are putting people at risk.

“Gaps in the current media regulatory framework mean that New Zealand consumers are at risk. This is particularly the case for children and young people. For example, under our legislation, Subscription Video on-Demand (SVOD) material delivered online such as Netflix is not covered.”

The different options being looked at that could make it more difficult to access explicit content include:

  • Online Public Areas Safety Bill: Require all retail shops, schools, businesses and public areas which provide free Wi-Fi to the public to ensure appropriate filtering.
  • Online Child Safety Bill: Require internet service providers to make available to all subscribers technology which will allow the parents to monitor and control child’s access.
  • Educating Parents on the Harms of Pornography Bill: Directing the state department of education to take a direct role in educating parents of enrolled students on the harms of pornographic material.
  • Government Accountability Trust and Etiquette Bill: Require Govemment agencies to adopt policies that prohibit users from accessing the material.
  • School Internet Filtering Accountability Bill: Require schools to adopt policies and implement filters to protect students from pornographic material while using school devices or networks.
  • R18 access to porn websites: Residents will have to provide age ID to have access.
  • Expanding Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System: Internal Affairs already has a targeted filter around child exploitation, child slavery, child sex offences and paedophilia.

The advice warned any future reforms and attempts to restrict access online content “will need to balance freedom of speech considerations”.

Martin told Newshub work on updating the law was delayed due to the extensive work the Department of Internal Affairs had to do following the March 15 attacks. Now it’s a priority.

“I think we need to get there urgently and make sure our censorship laws are up to speed to protect our children and young people. There is the also the Broadcasting Act that is over 20 years old, that’s a larger piece of work and another minister has responsibility for that.

Five draft laws have been proposed to the Minister by Family First, which include ensuring public Wi-Fi has filtering capability and stopping children from having access at school.

Martin isn’t ruling anything out.

“I definitely don’t want to discount any ideas from anybody that might better protect our children and young people from what is this avalanche of pornography that they are being bombarded with currently.”

A ‘porn working party’ has been set up to investigate the impacts of New Zealanders’ use of pornography in the modern digital environment, coordinate work and advice relevant to this issue between agencies and to provide a centre of knowledge of Government on the subject and advice on potential policy response. The Office of Film and Literature Classification leads the group, and other agencies involved are Netsafe, the Ministry of Health, Internal Affairs, the Ministry for Women, the Ministry of Social Development, ACC and the Ministry of Education.
READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/08/porn-crackdown-the-government-s-moves-to-stop-kids-accessing-adult-material.html
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