I was going to look at the ten Communication Principles in the Harmful Digital Communications (HDC) Bill in detail but then it struck me- from a practical perspective, do they really matter? Should we care about their specific wording, origin, flaws, etc.?
Tucked away at the end of the Harmful Digital Communications (HDC) Bill is an amendment to the Privacy Act to stop unreasonable or unfair propagation of personal information already publicly available.
“I just re-tweeted it” or “Everyone already knows” will generally no longer be available as a defence for breaching a person’s privacy, online or otherwise.
Should there be a law that exclusively targets (harmful) digital communications but not non-digital ones? Over time, I’ve come to accept the logic and need for it, as a part of a larger package of efforts. The medium is the message, the characteristics of digital communications impact society distinctively different than non-digital. It helps that the HDC Bill allows for the non-digital context to be taken into account when determining harm and remedies.
At the same time, I’ve also come to the view that the Approved Agency should only be available to young adults, say for individuals up to 18 or 21 years old.
I spoke at the “Taking you into the cloud” event organised by ecentre, Massey University on 21st November. My slides are below.
Turns out quite a few people had not heard of the Cloud Computing Code of Practice. To be fair, I did say that my own preference for a definition for cloud computing is the more comprehensive NIST one.
The last line in Minister Collins’ press release on the Harmful Digital Communications (HDC) Bill caught my eye, “It also future-proofs the laws against technological advances, to ensure they remain relevant.” Given the inability of anyone to predict how online technologies will change in the future, looking at if and how the HDC Bill achieves this ambitious goal should be of interest.
Well done to the people who worked hard behind the scenes to get safe harbour provisions included in the Harmful Digital Communications (HDC) Bill. Well done to the Government for including this positive step forward.
But, as things stand, I can almost guarantee that people will abuse the provisions. We are heading for a new environment of mass censorship. It might even make the Approved Agency redundant.