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Contact for complaints and communications under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015

For all complaints, communications and queries related to the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015, contact me as the sysop of the site on my personal email address lprent@primary.geek.nz

Warning: All communications passed about the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 to me are deemed to not be private communications by me. They may be used without reference to other parties at my discretion in public debate about the use of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. In most cases personal information will be withheld unless it is deemed by me to be within the public’s need to know (see my note at the end of this page).

Basically I will make the determination of the balance between privacy and public interest in the Privacy Act and the Bill of Rights Act. Of course I will make sure that the provisions of not providing the complainant details to an author defined in the HDCA are observed as specified by that Act. However in the absence of explicit restrictions, the implied right I will observe is the right to pass the information on.

Complainants and the authorised agents making a complaint are required by the act to provide this site with the following information under subsections of section 24 of the Act before any complaint may proceed to the district court.

(1) No civil or criminal proceedings may be brought against an online content host in respect of the content complained of (the specific content) if the online content host—

(a) receives a notice of complaint about the specific content; and

(b) complies with subsection (2).

Subsection 2 gives the option of contacting the author of specific content to give them the option on responding and failing that the site to do whatever it thinks is required in remediation.

Subsection 3 states the required information that must be provided to me to constitute a complaint under the act.

(3) A notice of complaint must—

(a) state the complainant’s name and a telephone number, a physical address, and an email address for the complainant; and

(b) state the specific content, and explain why the complainant considers that the specific content—

(i) is unlawful; or

(ii) breaches 1 or more communication principles and has caused harm; and

(c) sufficiently enable the specific content to be readily located; and

(d) state whether the complainant consents to personal information that identifies the complainant being released to the author; and

(e) contain any other information that the complainant considers relevant.

Please note that due to the short time frames required, the obligations on the complainant and/or authorised agent require that this information is FULLY supplied on the the first and any contact related to the Act. The details about what is required to expedite action are below.

It must also state:-

  1. That it is in relation to Act.
  2. If it is a notice of complaint under section 24 of the Act.
  3. All the information in full required under subsection 3 of section 24 of the Act.
  4. If it is from an authorised agent under the Act, it must also contain contact details of the agent’s representative:-
    • The full name.
    • A direct phone line or a phone line and extension.
    • Their direct email address(es).
    • Their physical address(es).
    • The organisation that they are directly employed by.
    • Their position.
    • The contractual arrangement under the Act that allows them to contact me under the Act’s provisions.

Otherwise I will may decide to specify for the missing information, or simply state that the information is inadequate, or to simply ignore it as not complying with the provisions of the Act.

As the site has tens of thousands of posts and millions of comments, the specific content must include a URL to find it, it must contain a quote of the specific text and/or a copy of the image being complained about, under what provision the complaint is being made and in detail exactly why each provision applies.

Telling me the name of the author, title or even the date of a post or comment is insufficient and prone to error. Any contact with me MUST contain a Universal Resource Location (URL). To get a specific URL on this site, you must take it from the site accurately.

In the case of the content of a post, the URL is displayed on location bar of a web browser. It may also be collected by a right click and “Copy Link” on the listing pages of the site. Click on the images for a large view

The URL will look something like the following

https://thestandard.org.nz/dirty-politics-done-in-the-netsafe-style/

In the case of a comment, the URL may gained from right clicking of the date on the link, or from location bar of a web browser after clicking the date. Click on the images for a larger view.

The URL of a comment will look something like the following. A link to a post appended with a comment id.

https://thestandard.org.nz/dirty-politics-done-in-the-netsafe-style/#comment-1315373

In addition, this is a multi-author blog site and frequently the posts are made up of information from other sites. Subsection 2 requires that the site have the option of contacting the author of the specific content. To be able to do this, any notice of complaint MUST explicitly provide all of the displayed pseudonyms or name of the author(s) of the specified content.

Repeated failures to comply with these reasonable limits will result in laying a personal complaint with the police of criminal nuisance against the perpetrator, and if required, a criminal private prosecution against any individual causing me a nuisance.


Personal note:

I’d point out that at this point in time (April 2017) that I have been operating this site for almost 10 years since August 2007. Since 2010 my service has been donated to The Standard Trust.

During that time we have received a number of complaints about content – it has been between about 2-4 complaints per year over the period.

In almost all cases where specific information about about location, the exact content that is at issue, and why it is at issue has been sufficient for me to take remedial action. In only four of the complaints, the information did not result in an action of explanation that didn’t satisfy the complainant.

One related to information on another site. In another the complainant misrepresented the facts, but the facts in the post were accurate. Another was reasonable opinion within the bounds of public debate in the Bill Of Rights Act.  And the final one was a complaint about a possible violation of court order – which failed in court.

Basically I have been around on networks since 1979. I operate the site to ensure that there is a fair balance between public political discourse/debate and the protection of individuals. This is made clear in the about and the policy.

Since parliament has found it necessary to try to regulate this area, then I intend to maintain that standard and attempt to try to help lift the operation of the Act to the higher standards that we already follow.

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