Author: The Looking Glass
Two documents released under OIA lay out the mindset and the cross-agency apparatus the government set up to monitor and record so-called ‘mis-and-disinformation’. They raise serious questions about whether or not the state is respecting citizens’ privacy and right to free speech and whether it’s treating political dissent as ‘disinformation’.
This report is long, so by way of a quick introduction, it details how the government has been monitoring alleged ‘mis-and-disinformation’. It reveals that:
- An inter-agency group was set up to track dissenting views on covid, or what the government calls ‘disinformation’, headed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
- That a group of seven Ministers are responsible for responding to so-called ‘disinformation’.
- That the government has been concerned with creating a veneer of legitimacy through outsourcing ‘disinformation’ monitoring to academia and the private sector, lest it appears to be monitoring speech(!).
- That the now scrapped TVNZ/RNZ merger and the PJIF were part of its overall strategy to address ‘mis-and-disinformation’.
- That MBIE funded a data research project on disinformation through Te Pūnaha Matatini, at the University of Auckland, that bears a striking resemblance to The Disinformation Project.
- That New Zealand is working with Five Eyes partners to monitor and respond to what states call ‘mis-and-disinformation’, but what is also recognised as legal speech that constitutes political discourse.
Full, original article published 20 Feb 2023 on thelookingglass.co.nz
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