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Govt boost to stamp out terrorist and violent extremist content online

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand’s ability to find, stop and stamp out terrorist and violent extremist content online has today received a significant boost.

The Government is investing $17 million to step up its work to keep New Zealanders safe from harmful content on digital channels, following on from international progress made on the Christchurch Call at a United Nations meetings in New York.

The Government investment will:

- Double the investigative, forensic, intelligence and prevention work of the Department of Internal Affairs, with a focus on violent extremist content online

- Bolster the Chief Censor’s current work to assess and make fast decisions about harmful content

- Strengthen our laws to ensure we can swiftly respond to violent extremist material

- Longer term, look at how online providers should be regulated as part of the media

Minister of Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, who has responsibility for the Government’s Countering Violent Extremism online work programme said: "The ease and speed with which the March 15 terrorist attack spread online showed we need to improve our systems to respond just as swiftly.

"While terrorist and violent extremist content is objectionable and therefore illegal under current law, the changes mean we can target this material in a similar way to how we target child sexual exploitation material, by working quickly with online content hosts to remove it as quickly as possible," Tracey Martin said.

The Department will combat violent extremism online including investigating and prosecuting those committing offences through both proactive detection and working with international and domestic partners.

"Our online world must be a force for good where we can exchange ideas, share technology, and maintain civil liberties, while protecting New Zealanders from objectionable content," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

"We need to meet that challenge as a country and as a global community.

"Countering violent extremism online is an important part of our response to the March 15 terrorist attacks, following on from gun reform, the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the Christchurch Call," Jacinda Ardern said.

Approximately 17 new full-time people will be employed.

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