6 Jun 2011

Internet access cut seen as breach of rights by UN

6:16 am on 6 June 2011

A report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur says cutting access to the internet is a violation of human rights.

Earlier this year, the New Zealand Government passed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill under urgency to deter illegal file sharing.

The bill empowers a district court to suspend an internet account for up to six months, but this part of the law has not been brought into force yet.

The UN Special Rapporteur says he is alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from internet access if they violate intellectual property rights.

He says the response is disproportionate and breaches an international covenant on civil and political rights.