DFAT tight-lipped on US piracy aid

DFAT tight-lipped on US piracy aid

Summary: The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) refuses to be drawn on whether or not the US offered to help draft new Australian copyright legislation after Wikileaks revealed that the US had propositioned New Zealand in 2009.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) refuses to be drawn on whether or not the US offered to help draft new Australian copyright legislation after a cable said that the US had propositioned New Zealand in 2009.

Shhh..

(Naughty secrets image by Steven Depolo, CC BY 2.0)

At the time, the New Zealand government had hit a roadblock during the negotiations on amending section 92a of the Copyright Act, which proposed disconnection from the internet by an ISP if a user was caught infringing.

The US offered to help the New Zealand government to re-draft the laws to expedite their passing into force, according to a cable by whistleblower site Wikileaks.

DFAT, however, refuses to reveal whether or not it participated in similar discussions with the US.

"The Department has frequent discussions with the US and other Embassies on a range of intellectual property issues," DFAT told ZDNet Australia in a statement.

"The Department's practice is not to comment on the content of these discussions," it added.

The whistle-blower site published the communiqué from the Wellington Embassy discussing the offer from the US. The US had said that it had experience in writing and enforcing a similar bill a decade ago.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Piracy, Security, New Zealand

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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