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Article posted May 08 2011, 7:31 PM Category: Geopolitics Source: Techdirt Print

US Upset That New Zealand Government Has Too Much Respect For Free Speech

by Mike Masnick, Techdirt

Following the leaked cables that showed how the US offered to help write New Zealand's new copyright laws, Chargone points us to the news that the US was equally (if not more) interested in rewriting New Zealand's anti-terrorism laws, which it believed were inadequate.

Particularly galling to the US State Department? The idea that New Zealanders have a healthy respect for free speech (how dare they!):
In the post-9/11 world, one would expect that New Zealand would have an adequate law to deal with foreign as well as domestic terrorism - it does not. Critics of the TSA [Terrorism Suppression Act] say that the law was never envisaged to apply to domestic terrorism, but one wonders if it would have applied to foreign terrorists plotting much the same activities as those leaked by the press. The inherent weaknesses of the TSA underscore that the Labour Party and its minor party partners in government (many of whom are veterans of Vietnam War-era street protests) are not comfortable with legislation that in any way would undermine legitimate political expression. We hope the Law Commission, which will review the law...
Yeah. We come from the country in which we're told that the government "shall make no law," that infringes on our right to free speech... and here that same government is whining that another country has too much respect for free speech. The US ambassador seems upset that New Zealand would dare consider free speech rights to be important. It's stories like these that make the State Department's claims of supporting freedom around the globe ring pretty hollow...

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