New Zealand cable provider seeks ability to censor websites from the public on demand

Sky Television is seeking the right to force the country’s top internet providers to block access to websites hosting pirated material.

InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter said the move was “an extreme step” that was unprecedented in New Zealand.

Taryn Hamilton, consumer manager of Vocus New Zealand, which owns the Slingshot and Orcon internet brands, said Sky’s demand was “something you would expect in North Korea, not in New Zealand”.

“It isn’t our job to police the internet and it sure as hell isn’t Sky’s either. All sites should be equal and open,” he said.

Sky TV has drawn up an application for a “site blocking injunction” to Auckland High Court, under which it would name offending websites, which it would then expect internet providers would block within 10 days of a request being made.

Spokeswoman Kirsty Way clarified it was draft injunction which it hoped to file with the court “shortly”. It had provided copies to the telecommunications companies “as a courtesy”, she said.

It would target websites “solely created to offer pirated content like Pirate Bay and Putlocker”, she said. “This is not a complete list, but it will be a small number and we’d ask for an option to apply via the courts for additional sites as needed.”

The draft injunction can be read here:

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