Kiwis have reacted to their government stripping them of their human rights, by bringing in a draconian three strikes law, by ignoring it.
ISPs in Godzone have reported that traffic levels are more or less the same as they were before the three strikes law was bought in. One network operator said that traffic was down ten percent because some people were a “little spooked by the law”. However other ISPs have not noticed much difference at all.
The New Zealand ISP Orcon has said that international traffic into New Zealand has dropped by about 10 percent since last week. Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Orcon’s chief executive Scott Bartlett said that peer-to-peer file sharing represents the second-largest source of traffic after video streaming. If that is the case then ten percent of the traffic falling is absolutely nothing.
This either means that people are not concerned about the three strikes law, or that file sharing in New Zealand was non-existent.
What makes the New Zealand law worthy of a third world despotism is that the burden of proof was on accused file-sharers to prove that they were not guilty. The law fines Kiwi internet users NZ$15,000 and could disconnect their internet. This represents one of the more draconian internet laws in the civilised world, meaning that the country which gave the world state pensions, votes for women, national healthcare and nuclear freezones is suddenly only forward in going backwards.
When a similar law was introduced in Sweden traffic levels fell by a third. It since recovered as file-sharers there continued to ignore the law.
So far NZ ISPs have not reported any complaints under the new “three strikes” system, but it is expected that Big Content will start filing complaints soon. The common belief is that there will need to be a few examples before Kiwis take the law seriously. However, knowing the way that such people are convicted, we have opened a book on how long it will take before some elderly grandma internet illiterate, baby, cat or dead person is convicted under the new law.
The New Zealand government showed how little it knew about the internet when it signed a UN statement condemning “three strikes” policies that deprive copyright infringers of internet access, calling such laws a violation of human rights. If it had known what it was doing, the National government should be submitting itself to the court of human rights in the Hague right now.