Internet Policy in New Zealand, or, Why Kim Dotcom Needs A Figurative Slap To The Face

I unashamedly admit to being a nerd – in fact, of the names I get called on a daily basis, that one is by far the nicest. I’m also a student of politics who has no particular loyalty to any party. It’s because of these two things, Kim, that I feel an overwhelming need to grab you by those mountainous figurative shoulders and figuratively slap some literal sense in to you.

Regardless of any other motives you may have around your extradition, I have absolutely no doubt that you believe what you are doing is best for New Zealand’s internet policy. After all, a lot of the things you believe in would be wonderful for this country — for example, a competitor for the Southern Cross cable.

But – and this is an important but, Kim – the number one thing that internet policy needs is to be taken seriously. It needs the general population to realise that this isn’t a fringe issue or something that will never impact their lives  — rather, they need to realise that internet policy will be an integral part of what this country becomes over the coming decades.

What you are doing – and brace yourself for this, Kim — is not bringing credibility to internet policy. Nothing is credible about a party led by someone ineligible to stand for parliament, that comes very close to flouting electoral law, that somehow seems to be sharing a billing with an electronic dance music album. And worst of all, your party seems to be having its strategy set by a veteran of fringe politics, the only person in the country with an ego taller than yourself, Martyn Bradbury.

You’re doing every bit as much damage to the future of internet policy in this country as the schoolchildren of the Pirate Party would have done anyone offline noticed they exist. Internet policy needs to go mainstream, not further fringe. You’re doing immense damage to ever achieving that goal by furthering the view that it’s only people like you — like us — who care about it.

InternetNZ is effective because it is professional. If you want to advance the cause of internet policy, donate to them and help them do their work, rather than helping condemn what they work for into the cesspit of fringe politics.

And to those people in the profession who think they can professionalise the Internet Party by being a public part of it – I’m willing to be proved wrong, but I daresay the association will impact your reputation more than the party’s.


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