While most eyes here and round the world were on the miner miracle in Chile, a speech in the House by Simon Power-Lust this afternoon signalled (if anyone were looking) that things ahead are looking ominous for bloggers.
Cameron Slater’s tilt against name suppression did eventually earn him a partial victory. But as I said when Cameron, aka Whale Oil, was given his lumps earlier by Justice Harvey, that decision was very much not a victory for free speech—because in his bewailing the lack of official “oversight” of the blogosphere, Harvey was floating a trial balloon to which Power-Lust this afternoon gave motive power by asking Jeffrey Palmer’s inveterately lemon-sucking Law Commission “to review the adequacy of regulations around how the internet interacts with the justice system.”
In other words, to begin drawing up plans for full regulation of the blogosphere by bureaucrats like Jeffrey—who has never seen a committee, board or tribunal he hasn’t wanted to join.
We may continue to post what we like and what we think. For the moment. But all that will stop when Jeffrey Palmer and Simon Power-Lust—men who look at the freedom of the blogosphere and see only a “Wild West” that needs manacles—men between them who have a face that needs punching and an ego that needs puncturing—bring in the very shackles on we bloggers that Justice Harvey’s 70-page decision presaged.
This is how easily censorship comes to a country.
Who now will rise up in protest?
UPDATE: Question answered. Voices already raised in protest among those about to be shackled:
- FIGJAM dreaming if he thinks he can control us – Cam Slater, WHALE OIL
”Instead of embrac ing freedom, FIGJAM has decided to go all 1984 on us. He will succeed in regulating me and my fellow bloggers like Andrew Williams succeeded in winning re-election. I’ve been looking for a new target and I think I just found one…”
- Government looking at further regulation of speech on the Internet – Thomas Beagle, TECH LIBERTY
”These is no mention in the press release of the freedom of expression guaranteed to New Zealanders in the Bill of Rights Act. Nor is there any recognition that many forms of old media such as leaflets, posters and books are also unregulated…”
- Eff Off, Power! – CRUSADER RABBIT
”…this, in a socialist country where the MSM are no more than lickspittles pushing government propaganda and recycling handouts! No wonder this little statist creep wants blogs to conform to the same standards’.”
- High Noon – ROAR PRAWN
”…who in tarnation advised him to set about making the bloggers and online community the enemy?”
- From The Hood : Absolutist Simon Power Corrupts Absolutely – Lyndon Hood, WEREWOLF
”Simon is so powerful nobody’s allowed to argue with him..”
- Internet no wild west – lawyer – NBR
“I don’t agree internet is the Wild West,” Rick Shera told NBR…
While other voices are raised just to clear their own throats and say “on the one hand…”
- Review good, framing of it bad – DAVID FARRAR [ironic, really, since he’s presently attending a conference at which they’re talking about Nannies and Busybodies…]