Update From CYFswatch New Zealand
March 1st, 2007 at 10:35 am
Go to www.cyfswatchnz.blogspot.com for an explanation page of the latest events. CYFSWATCH do not intend re-launching the site via Google.
It is just convenient to post a page there for now.
As posted on CYFSWATCH New Zealand
CYFSWATCH NZ are currently in a none too subtle game of “whack-a-mole” with the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry responsible for CYFS. It seems as if there are some very motivated Government individuals who are determined to remain unaccountable to the NZ public about their gross abuses of children and families in New Zealand.
We have posted this page here to advise our readers that:
1/ The entire blog content has been saved, and so can be re-published, anywhere, at any time.
2/ We are at this stage unsure of what transpired over at wordpress. We did not delete the blog. We have contacted wordpress and asked if they can advise us as to what did happen.
3/ If it wasn’t wordpress who deleted the site, then we have to surmise that an external party was responsible for the act.
4/ This message is posted on blogger for convenience. We do not intend re-launching the blog on Google.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any more questions.
CYFSWATCH emailed wordpress in order to ascertain what had happened to the CYFSWATCH blog. What follows is what we believe is a somewhat chilling and eerie reply: it looks as if someone in the NZ Government leaned very, very heavily on wordpress – we have asked for a more detailed explanation, as it does not appear that we breached any of the TOS.
The power and influence the NZ Government is exercising in the jurisdiction of other countries regarding the cyfswatch blog seems truly frightening – we are starting to feel as if we are residents of North Korea.
Hi,I’m sorry but we were advised that we had to remove the blog.
There was no room to move on that.
We do believe in free speech but in this case we had no options. Sorry….-Mark
Now, compare the above response with our previous correspondence with Mark at wordpress:
Thanks for your prompt reply.
The guideline we are using for confidentiality is the question “is this information already available within the public domain?” eg electoral roles, public websites, phone books, directories, etc that a reasonable person could access with reasonable ease. If we ascertain that the information is not in the public domain, or could not be sourced in the public domain, then we would not publish said information to the blog.
Does this apprpoach keep us within the TOS of WordPress?
If you guys do receive any complaints about information on CYFSWATCH, would you be able to let us know, so that we can respond responsibly to the complaint, and amend / delete information as required to by the TOS?
Our site has a lot of media attention in New Zealand, and we want to be seen to be doing the right thing. We were originally hosted by Google, however our site was closed down by Google as they thought we had posted an illegal comment – the NZ police came out in the public media 2 hours after we were shut down and said that no illegality had occurred – so we guess that Google just ended up looking stupid, because they then said in the media that we were welcome to re-post our blog on Google!
We chose WordPress instead.
Enquiry regards blog management and terms of service>Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:00:51 +0000
Thanks for the note.
Confidentiality and Copyright are the two areas you need to be most careful about.
If you can be sure that your email address in the blog is correct too in case we need to contact you that would be good.
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 08:24:40 +0000
“The guideline we are using for confidentiality is the question “is this information already available within the public domain?” eg electoral roles, public websites, phone books, directories, etc that a reasonable person could access with reasonable ease.”
That is okay.
If you can link to the source in the post that would be even better.
Otherwise they say you broke it, we ask you, you tell us, we tell them and that can take time.
But speech is free, opinion is free and we take the view that blogs are there to speak 🙂
So CYFSWATCH asks – who put the acid on wordpress?
We have received an open letter which the author has requested be published:
Open Letter To WORDPRESS, Google and the NZ Government:
To whom it may concern;
Firstly, to wordpress, you claim you “had no option” but to close down the CYFSwatch blog.
You are wrong, you always have options. The fact that you caved in so easily to the NZ Government does you no favours for the future.
You will now, along with Google, will always be seen as easy meat to blackmail by corrupt Governments.
Google knows this only too well, after the Chinese Government forced them to hand over details of Chinese bloggers critical of the communist state.
The fact that these people thought Google would never sell them out is a matter of deep shame to Google, these bloggers are now in prison thanks to them putting money ahead of free speech.
WORDPRESS had the option of holding firm and not caving in. At least Google lasted longer and in the end, was lied to by our Ministry of Social Development. (the death threat which wasn’t, at least our Police said no laws had been broken)
To WORDPRESS, GOOGLE and The NZ GOVERNMENT, I say this.
The CYFSwatch blog was naming and shaming social workers. SO WHAT! The fact is that people were posting on the blog saying that not all social workers are bad, and that CYFS isn’t all bad… we agree!
Its not all bad and there are good social workers. Had CYFSwatch *NOT* named the bad social workers, then suspicion would have fallen on ALL social workers. By naming the bad social workers means that the NZ Government has a basis to conduct an investigation into those who are named as being bad, the blog detailed the crimes and that’s a whole lot better than not having the names of those accused of corruption or the crimes listed.
The fact is, the NZ Government can close this blog down simply by investigating the details as published by CYFSwatch, its that simple. The NZ Government would say that there are avenues for people, who feel they have been wronged, to go down as far as laying complaints goes. WRONG.
You see, the NZ Government also has a choice, they can continue to cover up these abuses of power and pretend its not happening, or it can take action, not against the blog, but in representing its people and giving them a system that works.
At present, all complaints are dealt with “in house” meaning its social workers investigating social workers, and because of that, not one social worker has ever been reprimanded let alone sacked from the position they hold. In fact, this Blogs stand has been to demand an INDEPENDENT complaints authority for the Child, Youth and Families service.
To date, that has been ignored. The fact also is that politicians are ignoring the cries of justice from the parents, because if the number of abuses came to light, this would be highly embarrassing for the Government.
The fact that 83% of the people who, voted on a Television NZ website poll in FAVOUR of allowing the blog to stay open is indication of the need in NZ for this to be aired. Its also an indication that the Ministry of Social Development doesn’t represent the people of New Zealand on its endeavors to close the blog.
Is there a need for this blog? YES. I said recently in a message on the blog that Australia was recently shamed to the world for its actions in the 1960’s and 70’s where it removed children for no good reason from Aborigine families and placed them with white families. It was, as reported, a form of genocide.
That has been called “the stolen generation” by the authors of history. We face a similar situation in New Zealand today. had the Australians had the Internet back then, and had there been a blog dedicated to shaming the Australian Government, then they would be called HEROES today, while the Government, Google and wordpress would be shamed. Only history will be able to lay blame and guilt over this latest episode.
What we need is an internet company to have the courage to stand up to the bullying NZ Government. Worse yet, is that many authors who had pieces posted on the CFSwatch blog who never once named and shamed anyone, are also affected by this censorship. You have denied my right to be heard, I for one was a voice of calm who posted what they thought (the whole idea of a blog) but all my posts have also been affected by the blog being deleted.
This is not fair, and it sets an unwelcome precedent for bloggers all over the world, and yes, I for one will make sure the world knows the facts behind this, because I will tell them as often as I can. The fact is, I gave the people on that blog my Email, and after Google closed it (based on lies) I was told by many people that they had deleted their Google search bar, deleted their Google Gmail accounts, and deleted their adsense accounts. I also know many that will now boycott the Google website, they will use Yahoo from now on.
Theres a few wordpress blogs that will also move in protest when they find out how free speech was stomped on. My personal website will now be anti Google and anti wordpress in protest.
GIVE US THE BLOG BACK AND LET FREE SPEECH RULE!!!!!!