An Update on Internet Censorship in NZ

Yesterday Telecom announced that they were joining the DIA’s Internet censorship scheme.

It seems that a lot has happened since we did our last update.

Increase in the number of ISPs

The ISPs using the system are now:

  • Maxnet
  • Watchdog
  • TelstraClear
  • Airnet
  • Xtreme

Telecom are obviously next and Vodafone are also apparently well on the way to implementing it. According to the DIA, “Discussions are continuing with Ihug/Vodafone, Woosh, Orcon and 2degrees. Design changes are being investigated to adapt the system for performance on mobile devices.” However public statements from Orcon have said they have no plans to implement the filter.

Even so, this means that most users of the Internet in New Zealand will be using a filtered connection.

The filter list

The number of entries has risen from 153 (as at 29th June 2010) to 538 (as at 2nd November 2010), representing 463 unique domain names.

What is being filtered

From the DIA’s Independent Reference Group minutes: “Aware that the inclusion of drawings or computer generated images of child sexual abuse may be considered controversial, officials advised that there are 30 such websites on the filtering list. Nic McCully advised that officials had submitted computer generated images for classification and she considered that only objectionable images were being filtered. It was noted that images of popular television cartoon characters engaged in sexual acts, which are quite common on the internet, would not be added to the filter list.”

Further reading


  • IRG 2nd Quarter Briefing Document from the DIA (not online)
  • Letters from the DIA (not online)

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