POSTING racist or xenophobic messages on the internet and Holocaust denial could be illegal if New Zealand signs up to a international cyber-crime agreement.
Justice Minister Simon Power and Police Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced a three-year plan to crack down on international organised crime. One proposal involves the Government signing the Council of Europe Crime Convention, also known as the Budapest Convention.
A protocol of the convention requires nations to make “the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material through computer systems” a crime. It also makes denial or justification of the Holocaust and other verified genocides illegal.
Almost 30 nations have ratified the convention. However, a number – including US, Ireland and Britain – have refused to sign the protocol.
The organised crime plan proposes to review New Zealand law “with a view to adopting” the convention. A Justice Ministry report notes many laws already conform to the convention.
Source: The Dominion Post Wednesday, Augustr 24, 2011, p. A9.