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Reining in the internet

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OPINION: Here in New Zealand, and throughout the Western world, we look down our digital noses at countries that censor their internet.

We see any government that regulates the online content its citizens browse as clearly having an agenda.

We may soon have to climb down from this high horse.

The past few weeks have seen influential Western governments laying the foundations for their own versions of internet regulation.

* Copyright directive could spell the end of memes, gifs and video montages
* What is net neutrality and why should New Zealanders care about it?
* US federal regulators repeal net neutrality rules in sweeping deregulation

The proposals are nowhere near as drastic as the online censorship experienced in China, North Korea, Myanmar. But they still represent a significant shift away from internet freedom.

Last week the European Union (EU) made waves with its far-reaching Copyright Directive. The headline from this directive – which needs to be individually implemented by all 27 member states – places responsibility for breaches of copyright on platforms, not users.

This means the likes of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter will be responsible for policing and removing any copyrighted material shared on their site.........

© Stuff