12 Oct 2015

Tonga govt says internet laws wanted by public

7:18 am on 12 October 2015

The Communications Minister in Tonga says moves to create a new body with powers to block selected online content has addressed public concerns about internet usage.

The National Shield of Tonga

The National Shield of Tonga Photo: RNZI

Siaosi Sovaleni says bills passed through the house last week aim to protect children from misusing the internet.

If a website or internet connection is disseminating information deemed not good for the community, a new commission will have the authority to take down the website.

Mandatory filtering will also come into force which will block some inappropriate websites although people can opt out of this.

Mr Sovaleni says the changes in law answer issues that came up in public consultations.

"There were some concerns about the negative impact of the high penetration of using the internet and so forth so there are a couple of provisions that actually provide some measures to mitigate

those potential problems."

Mr Sovaleni says it is important to keep child pornography and other such material out of the kingdom but peoples' freedoms will not be infringed upon in doing so.