NZ Fry Up: Who is responsible for online content?; IT spend reaches $15.9B; AI improves safety across Auckland Transport

New Zealand IT, tech, and telco news and views from our correspondent in the Central North Island.

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Who in NZ is responsible for harmful online content?

When can a website registered in New Zealand be taken down for hosting harmful content,  and who makes the call?

This debate has been playing out over the past week in relation to a controversial New Zealand website which featured a list of people, including politicians, academics, scientists, and journalists, to face “trial and execution” over their role in the pandemic.

The website, which Computerworld New Zealand has chosen not to link to, has since been hacked and has been stripped of its harmful content.

However, the question of how soon such sites can be removed lingers. According to reporting by the Spinoff, the Domain Name Commission, which oversees regulation and registration for the .nz country code top-level domain, said it had not suspended the site as it had not been requested to do so by authorities such as the New Zealand Police. The police in turn confirmed it had received a report about the website and were still looking into it.

Meanwhile, Vocus, on whose services the site is hosted, also said it would only remove sites containing harmful content if it “receives a request to do so from a relevant authority”.

In response to the controversy, Internet NZ, which runs the Domain Name Commission, published a blog post stating that the legal system was the right forum to enforce content issues but acknowledged the current system wasn’t working:

Internet NZ promised to work with others to make the system work better and outlined a range of possible solutions including provisions for “trusted notifiers” and domain name suspensions, and working with other agencies to better align processes and responsibilities to address content issues. 

2022 New Zealand IT spending projected to total $15.9B

IT spending in New Zealand is projected to total $15.9 billion this year— an increase of 9.7% from 2021, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.

Gartner expects the IT services segment—the largest category of IT spending in New Zealand, which includes consulting and managed services—to increase 10% from 2021 to reach $4.6 billion. Spending on software meanwhile will see the highest growth at 15.1%.

New Zealand IT spending forecast

The data forms part of Gartner’s quarterly global IT spending forecast update in which it predicts worldwide IT Spending to reach US$4.4 trillion in 2022, or up 4% from 2021. According to Gartner, some IT spending was on hold in early 2022 due to the Omicron outbreak and subsequent waves but is expected to clear in the near-term.

Auckland Transport uses AI to improve public safety

Auckland Transport has deployed an artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced video feed to help it optimise transport routes, promote public transportation, and support decision-making for law enforcement.

The new platform replaces an aging and complex system which used 2,500 cameras to monitor the city’s transport network for safety issues.

Auckland Transport moved its video management system to the Qumulo File Data Platform on a HPE Apollo 4200 Gen10 server running on the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform.

Auckland Transport also uses the AI analytics to inform decisions that advance the way people live and move around the city. In addition to vehicles, the AI counts pedestrians, cyclists, and scooters so the agency can understand the movement of people across the city. This information feeds into its transport planning and optimisation of the transport routes.

“We use the data [collected] to convert people to public transport. We know how long it takes to get from point A to point B by car and we let people know that they can get there twice as fast on the bus,” said Jones.

With the new video management system two-thirds of the size of the previous platform, Auckland Transport has also achieved a 37% decrease in energy consumption and it’s reduced power and cooling costs. 

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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