The New Zealand government is in the process of discussing measures to strengthen the existing copyright laws.  They are collaborating with other countries including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and the United States on the Anti-counterfitting Trade Agreement.  Based on reports on the Ministry of Economic Development’s website, It appears that all countries involved in the discussions have agreed to the premises of the agreement, and are working towards implementation.  While domestic consultation is said to be part of the process, this is the first I have heard of it.
While on the surface this may seem a good idea, the terms of the actual agreement appears to threaten the openness of the internet in New Zealand.  Mark Harris’s submission covers the main concerns which many have with this act.  Colin Jackson believes that the implementation of this act could lead to ISPs filtering content from sites such as Youtube, and blocking incrypted services such as Skype.

Is it too late to do anything about this?  Officially submissions on this act have been closed since July 28, 2008, and the government does seem to have made it’s decision.

Pam McKinlay has recommended sending a letter to stating either your support of someone else’s submission or writing your own.  I’ve recently sent the following email

Subject: ACTA

I’m writing to add my support to Mark Harris’ submission
I know that this is past the date for acceptance of further submissions, but to be fair many people who are interested in net neutrality and associated matters were not informed of the act, or invited to put their submissions to the act.
For this reason I believe that the consultation which has occurred around this act has been insufficient, and continuing to progress down the path which the government seems committed to is unethical without further in-depth consultation with all stakeholders.