- Very few people (only 9%) knew whether their ISP used the government filter. The ISPs using the filter represent more than 90% of the NZ internet market.
- Less than a quarter (23%) wanted the government choosing whether to filter their internet connection.
- Two-thirds want the filter to include other, non-specified, content.
Tech Liberty’s Comment
We’ve always been opposed to the government’s internet censorship system but support the right of people to choose filtering for themselves or their families. We’re pleased to see that the people of New Zealand agree with us, rejecting the idea of letting the government impose centralised censorship.
Unfortunately we already have such a system. While it is voluntary at the ISP level, their users get no say in the matter and this survey shows that most are unaware that they are covered by it. We also note that with Telecom, Vodafone and 2 Degrees all having implemented the filter there are no major providers of censorship free mobile data in New Zealand, further undermining any voluntary aspect to the current filter.
At the same time it also seems obvious that the internet has a lot of disturbing content that you might want to block other than just child pornography. Therefore it makes sense that someone wanting “cleaner internet” at their home would be looking for a more general purpose filter than the government’s one. A number of ISPs do offer such a service (either free or as an add-on) and it seems that they should be promoting this further.
In conclusion, it seems that the survey shows that the current government internet filter is implemented the wrong way for the wrong purpose and by the wrong people.