New Zealand’s Parliament has done much more than outlaw the sharing of copyrighted material with their recently adopted legislative amendment.
The government must now force all internet service providers to police their user base for bit torrents. Aside from the immediate cost to service providers, this will have far-reaching economic effects. The slowed growth of internet infrastructure will ultimately hurt all of New Zealand’s online business. This is an affront to a nation that is faced with economic crisis.
This policing of “pirates” will destroy the individual rights to privacy of law abiding individuals. Bit torrents are home to vast quantities of perfectly legal material in the public domain. Those who use bit torrents for any kind of material will become subject to intense surveillance of all their internet activities.
Not stopping at torrents, those who simply use too much bandwidth will be first warned and then charged with steep fines. Under the guise of “anti-piracy,” New Zealand has thrown away net neutrality. On September 1st, 2011, bandwidth will become a taxable commodity for New Zealand.
This same tactic, if proven viable, will likely be applied by other governments all over the world.