New Zealand switches on Internet filter

The New Zealand government has said the Internet filter it has built is now up and running.

According to a civil liberties organisation down under, two ISPs are diverting traffic through the government filter.

Thomas Beagle, spokesperson for Tech Liberty, said; "It’s a sad day for the New Zealand Internet.”

According to the organisation, other ISPs will be joining the filter, but others won't.

David Zanetti, technical spokesperson for Tech Liberty explained: "We fear that the filter will reduce the stability of the internet in New Zealand. It is a single point of failure, introduces a new and very tempting target for hackers, and by diverting traffic will cause issues with modern internet applications."

Tech Liberty reckons the filter "establishes the principle that the government can choose to arbitrarily set up a new censorship scheme and choose which material to block, with no reference to existing law". Even worse, it says, "the list of what is filtered is kept secret."

As Tech Liberty points out, the US government complains about government Internet filtering when it suits it. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton recently said: "Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society, or any other, pose a threat to our economy, our government and our civil society."

Naturally she meant the Chinese, not the Kiwis, most of whom are good old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon capitalists.