Filtering debate at NetHui 2018

Mandatory filtering of our internet by government agencies is appropriate in NZ

Facilitators: Shane Hobson & Andrew Cushen

Good cop Andrew & bad cop Shane will lead a discussion on the topic of internet filtering by NZ Govt agencies. Shane will take the affirmative, explaining that the benefits to society of filtering outweigh the costs, while Andrew will vigorously defend every New Zealander’s right to an open and accessible internet.

Bypass is pleased to announce our promotion to the NZTE F700

According to the NZTE, segmentation into F700 is based on a company’s willingness to engage with NZTE, ambition, capability and capacity to grow internationally and past international growth performance.

Our global network is currently processing 47.5 Billion DNS queries per second at peak.

NZTE has played an essential role in helping Bypass navigate international expansion. Of particular value, we’ve benefitted from the Beachheads advisors, who are a network of private sector experts who offer perspective and insights to help our customers grow internationally.

We’re pleased to see that NZTE has recognised our investment in establishing an office in India.

For Bypass, this means a more intensive account managed relationship, where NZTE provides strategic advice and some judicious, trusted advisor insight based on seeing what works across the export sector.

90% of customers agree or strongly agree that NZTE has added value to their business.

We look forward to continuing to strengthen our working relationship with them to support our international growth.

About NZTE
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is New Zealand’s economic development and trade promotion agency. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise helps companies grow internationally, bigger, better and faster, for the benefit of New Zealand.

Telcos missing from Australia Online Safety on the Edge Conference

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We have just returned from the Online Safety conference held in Sydney on Nov 1 – 3. The conference was jointly hosted by the Australian eSafety Commission and NZ’s own Netsafe.

The event was well attended with over 400 delegates and a range of interesting speakers. We shared a table with Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety for Facebook. She explained some of the tools that Facebook is using to help keep people safe online including their processes for taking down image based abuse after it has been posted online. Antigone went on to explain measures that Facebook is employing that allow people to pre-emptively block private images before they are posted onto Facebook. This is a significant step forward in stopping online image based abuse before it occurs.

The majority of delegates were from groups who provided training or support to young people helping them to be safe online or to assist those who had been victimised online.

There was only a small number of representatives from the online or telco industries suggesting a lack of awareness or sense of responsibility for the role we play helping to keep people safe in the online environment we’re creating.

Nearly all the presenters had an upbeat, positive story to tell about their work. The exception was a case study presented by the Child Exploitation Internet Unit of the New South Wales Police Force. This was a “warts & all” case study that took us through the detection, capture & conviction of five Australian child sex offenders  We were able to read the text messages and chats exchanged by the abusers, listen to their recorded phone calls and watch their police interviews. In this case all five offenders were convicted and imprisoned. This was a truly chilling presentation that gave a small insight into the world of child sex offenders and reinforced the value of our work.

This huge issue in the Australian household, & the perfect organisation to really help is the broadband provider. Bypass’ network level parental control – Buddy Guard is designed to help the service provider with a fast deployment model & tools to help with the challenges that families are currently facing in the home. It’s just one way the broadband provider plays a part in the wider ecosystem, with online content players & government to prevent children from harm online.

Controlling Household Screen Addiction

There is still debate over which patterns of Internet use are excessive or addictive, however there is no doubt that the increased amount of time kids spend online is concerning to parents.

The global market for parental control solutions is fragmented. This fragmentation is because traditional solutions have required the home users to download software for each device and keep it up to date. In addition, because parental controls have also been part of a security sub-set, the measures have often been feature rich and too complex for the standard user to operate.

With no clear dominant players and the size of the parental control market predicted to double by 2018, there is an opportunity for a telecommunications provider to take a lead in shaping a positive online experience.

One of the problems are that traditional solutions are activated from software that is activated separately on each device in the home. With the number of mobile phones, tablets and laptops in the home these days it’s become too hard. When the family all used the desktop in the corner of the lounge this wasn’t an issue, but now this is seen as too hard to implement and keep up to date. Some of these solutions are seen as too expensive with high monthly fees or upfront costs, payable per annum based on the number of devices in the home and slow down the online experience when users demand speed and performance.

Parents feel out of control with the pace of change and exponential growth on the internet. They feel like they can’t keep up and that their kids are several steps ahead of them.

Credit: Facebook Parental Controls Review. 30 Statistics about teens and social networking.

Internet use has become so normalised and mobile data is ubiquitous. This makes it difficult for parents to know whether they are too strict or too relaxed about the online behavior of their children.

This is often complicated by their own often heavy use of the internet and the pressure from schools for kids and teens to use online resources. Parents are finding that their kids stay glued to their screens even as they begin to experience major problems in functioning, in ways that are not dissimilar from those dealing with substance abuse and gambling disorders. There is still debate over whether someone can be addicted to the Internet itself, or if the Internet serves as a vehicle for engaging in addictive behavior.

Screen time can become an addiction when it begins to impair life functioning deeply. Some individuals game to the point of dropping out of school or isolating themselves from real-world socialising.

The two biggest concerns we’ve found from our focus group research are inappropriate content and amount of time spent online. While both are important to all parents in families with younger children, the focus is inappropriate content. From middle school age, parents’ concern shifts to the amount of time spent online and what impact this has on other aspects of life.

Social networking seems to be disproportionately problematic for women while males have more problems with gaming and pornography. But what is the threshold for problematic patterns of usage? From a developmental perspective, there is more research to understand how specific types and patterns of Internet usage at different ages and how this leads to potential problems.

While the mental health community has started to see an uptick in complaints about screen addiction, we do not have set guidelines to screen for it.

Part of the confusion comes from the fact that we have pushed technology into our schools. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but moderation has become a hard balance when technology is a necessary part of children’s upbringing.

As our kids have become more isolated and detached as technology pervades their lives from waking to sleeping or staying up all night gaming, the telecommunications provider can help. Buddy Guard is designed to be a part of an educational campaign to enable parents to find ways to help children and teenagers maintain a healthy digital diet, without the helicopter-parenting effect.

The goal of Buddy Guard parental controls is to achieve moderation, not abstinence. Outcomes are different depending on each family. To establish healthy practices from the beginning, we work with the telecommunications provider to develop parenting guidelines for regulating technology at every age of childhood.

Our approach using our world’s first transparent DNS software is game changing, reducing the total cost of ownership by millions of dollars and allowing the telecommunications provider a choice in the commercial model. This is due to a much lower infrastructure cost which minimises the cost of deployment and significantly reduces the on-going capital requirements to maintain performance as data volumes grow exponentially.

Buddy Guard is also designed to reduce the cost of compliance from regulation. At the same time as user side demand occurs, regulatory pressure on the telecommunication sector increases globally. This is due to national security concerns and media lobbying in Australia and New Zealand, and social behaviour norms in India and Indonesia telco’s. These costs are grossing, increasing the cost of compliance for telecommunications providers, a cost Buddy Guard will significantly reduce especially if your compliance model is proxy or DPI based.

Parents must discuss online activity with their children to better ensure their safety and security offline. Buddy Guard Parental Controls can be enabled by the telecommunications provider to address these issues.

Censor eyes ‘Global Mode’ internet access while advocacy group Internet NZ’s view is web access not illegal – Featured on NZHerald

censorship, free movies, free movies online, streaming movies

This week another shot was fired across our bow when Chief Censor claimed Global Mode may infringe on censorship issues.  Personally we feel that it’s unreasonable, it’s not the ISP’s role to censor YouTube, but ultimately our customer Slingshot came out saying – “We firmly believe there are no censorship laws broken when Kiwis access overseas content from New Zealand”

Slingshot has every right to offer customers back-door access to international websites, says an internet advocacy group that is “surprised and bemused” the country’s chief censor is considering bringing charges against the broadband provider.

InternetNZ, a non-profit organisation that seeks to foster internet use in this New Zealand, said it did not believe providers were responsible for what its customers did online.

InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter said this morning that CallPlus had every right to offer the service.

“The courts have not decided that the service is illegal,” he said.

Internet companies Slingshot and Orcon, both owned by CallPlus, offer a service that gives customers access to overseas movie and television websites, like Netflix, that are normally blocked to people in this country because of copyright arrangements.

Read more:
Censor eyes ‘global mode’ internet access

There is therefore the potential for New Zealanders to watch films on these sites that are unclassified in this country or banned. Netflix charges around $12 a month for streaming a vast catalogue of television shows and movies online.

Among its library is Maniac, a 2012 film starring Elijah Wood as a serial killer, which the Office of Film and Literature Classification banned from general release in New Zealand last year.

Andrew Jack, the country’s chief censor and head of the classification office, this July wrote to online film distributors reminding them of their obligations under the law and said this week that most “responded positively”.

Jack did not respond directly to questions about Slingshot’s service last week, but a spokeswoman said:

“A range of charges are being contemplated. Given that this is a matter which may end up before the courts, it is not appropriate to comment further.”

Carter (from Internet NZ) said suggesting Slingshot was responsible for its customers’ actions was not to be encouraged.

“We don’t criticise road construction companies for speeding and we don’t attack phone-line companies if someone makes a prank call,” he said.

“The reality of Internet-based services is that the border becomes less important. Rather than this reactive approach, the Censor would be better placed starting a conversation about how censorship questions should be dealt with in the Internet age,” says Mr Carter.

CallPlus chief executive Mark Callander said last week that all legal issues were closely investigated when the service – called Global Mode – was launched and that he was very comfortable with the legal position on it.

While Global Mode sets new precedents, we’re seeing the public become more aware about the importance of open Internet policy. Slingshot is leading the charge as the consumer advocate.

NZ Herald

Global Mode Commercial Director featured opinion article published by Fairfax

censorship, net neutrality, TPP, TPPA

The New Zealand government is one of the parties involved in the TransPacificPartnership Agreement (TPPA or TPP for short). The TPP is no simple “free trade agreement.” It goes further than tariffs and quotas.

According to the Fair Deal Coalition “the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will reach beyond the border, into New Zealand’s own policy-making and regulatory processes. [And] could stop future governments from making their own decisions on important issues including how long copyright lasts and how Internet Service Providers do business”.

Global Mode developer defends service

The American Motion Picture Association once tried to ban the personal VCR based on copyright principles, the VCR then became on of the largest ways for the consumer to purchase TV shows and movies for in home viewing.

Hollywood has already approached New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs to stop Kiwis accessing online content.

Radio NZ reported in July of this year that the Motion Pictures Distributors Association wanted access to the Internal Affairs child pornography filter, so they could block access to copyrighted material.

Should a US organisation with commercial interests control your ability to access websites when you are in New Zealand governed by New Zealand laws?

About 25 years ago the world wide web was invented by Timothy Berners-Lee. Last month in an interview with the Washinton Post, Berners-Lee said that US system is now in danger from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who stand to amass too much power over what was intentionally built as a decentralised network – one where no single actor could dictate outcomes to everyone else.

The TPP would indeed limit the open internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and fundamental rights if a number of proposed copyright provisions were agreed to. The TPP should lower trade barriers, not raise them.

New Zealand would be obliged under its free trade agreements with the United States, Singapore and Korea to provide a legal incentive to ISPs to cooperate with rights holders to prevent infringement on their systems and networks – based on their laws, not our own. New Zealander’s right to operate as a sovereign nation is at risk. Policies that won’t even address the root causes of internet piracy. Polices that would remove competition on the internet.

In contract, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) policy recommendations suggest that access to the internet should be promoted as fundamental to participating in 21st century society. So how can the New Zealand government fundamentally agree to lose control of our ability to provide access to online services from a fair trade agreement and say it’s in our best interests?

When you consider that last generation media monopolies have spent years ranting against piracy, while ignoring customer feedback, there has been very little done to reduce online piracy.

Rather than declaring war on frustrated customers, perhaps it would be best to focus on the problems which have driven New Zealander’s to take their business elsewhere?

Termination of internet access to a household or business would cut off occupants from education, employment, health services, government information, and social engagement.

If you dive deeper, the current issues and risks are greater as New Zealand could become subject to decisions such as a recent court decision involving Verizon vs the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in relation tonet neutrality.

Put simply, net neutrality refers to the basic principle that all data should be treated equally. That means no preferential treatment to specific kinds of content, certain users, individual companies or modes of communication.

This means big telecom companies can give an advantage to big internet companies who are willing to make deals with broadband providers, this quite obviously presents small companies with the disadvantage of operating on a slower network, lowering competition and removing consumer choice.

There’s a difference between regulating providers of broadband and the services that run on top of it, said Berners-Lee. Strong net neutrality rules would help preserve that line dividing the two and limit the incentive of ISPs to meddle in the market for services.

Netflix has said that “net neutrality must be defended and strengthened,” calling out giants telecommunications providers for bad behaviour. We can only wonder what impact the TPP will have on media censorship in New Zealand. There is no point simply blocking sites that promote online illegal downloading when they can change their address in minutes.

The internet has no readily available gate that we can put a lock on to keep people from downloading illegal content because there are many alternative ways for infringers to access their favourite movies and TV shows online. Over 2.5 million if you run a Google search.

The fact remains piracy isn’t a new problem, but could you say that the current solutions and proposed solution from the sector is not working?

Content rights holders have been fighting a losing battle for years. The file sharing industry is now global, very sophisticated and mainstream. Pirating techniques have evolved, simplified and diversified over the last decade, and many options and alternative distribution models have been constructed.

The content industry has not kept up.

In New Zeland only a very few cases have ever been heard by the Copyright Tribunal, and ISP’s foot huge bills to cover the costs to compliance systems.

Under the TPP, traditional providers will begin to relentlessly lobby the New Zealand government to create restrictive policies and heavy-handed solutions, none of which take consumers interests into account or addressing the reasons why New Zealander’s illegally download movies and TV shows.

Under the TPP, the government instead seems determined to be seen as defending, at all costs, the business model of the Hollywood movie houses.

Why not, instead of threatening consumer rights – make an investment that changes quarterly forecast earnings and create a solution people demand?

Double Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey challenged TV channels to give “control” to their audiences or risk losing them at his address at the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

“Netflix was the only network that believed in the new model of creating content….. The audience wants the control, they want the freedom. Through this new form of distribution we have learnt the lesson the music industry didn’t learn. Give people want they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in and at a reasonable price and they’ll more likely pay for it than steal it. Well, some will still steal it but I think we can take a bite out of piracy”

Obviously New Zelanders want the access to new content. The demand is there and consumers want to be treated with respect, not hampered by delays or excess charges.

Consumers who want access to content immediately are willing to pay for it. A government that forces costly policies onto consumers and ISPs, policies that won’t even address the root causes of internet piracy, is not the answer.

Chorus built a high speed network that provides unprecedented access to information never seen before in New Zealand. Our super highway is ready, and many, if not most people prefer to do the right thing. They want good service at a reasonable price. They want to pay for the very desirable content.

If the TPP lets governments & broadcasters lump people who are streaming overseas content into the same group as BitTorrent users, we prevent consumer choice.

Consumers will be stopped from bypassing geo-blocking, an artificial restraint on trade. Trade covered, ironically, by something called a ‘Free Trade Agreement’.

So start treating your customers as customers, not the enemy, and you might find things improve. Address the reasons why people infringe copyright in the first place rather than continually apply a band-aid to a broken bone.

The New Zealand sector is ready and willing to provide a legal framework within which rights holders, ISPs and consumer representatives can develop flexible, fair and workable approaches to reducing online copyright infringement.

Don’t ban parallel imports. Allow fair and genuine uses of copyright works in a rapidly evolving digital environment. The TPP should lower trade barriers, not raise them, and as a country we need to seriously consider removing oursleves from the TPP negotiations before it’s too late.

Matthew Jackson is Commercial Director of Bypass Network Services Limited and co-founder of Global Mode

TUANZ backs Slingshot in ad row

free movies, free movies online, global mode, streaming movies, streaming movies online

The Telecommunications Users Assocation is backing Slingshot in the ISP’s ad row with Sky TV, TVNZ and Mediaworks.

“Tuanz supports Slingshot in bringing competition and choice to its customers, our understanding is that ‘Global Mode’ is legal under the copyright act and is simply a form of digital parallel importing,” acting CEO Chris O’Connell tells NBR ONLINE.

“We are disappointed to see broadcasters using their position to try and limit consumers right to know about legitimate choices for accessing content. New Zealanders are global digital consumer and should be able to access and purchase content.

“The same applies to NZ content that is geoblocked, when our missing million really is the Kiwi diaspora, surely we need to be a beacon of openess and freedom.”

TVNZ has decided to a run revised version of Slingshot’s ad, while MediaWorks has staunchly refused.

Sky TV said it no longer wanted to talk to the media about the controversy, only its client, Slingshot. However, a rep for Slingshot tells NBR the pay TV broadcaster has refused to run the edited version.

Source: NBR