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New Zealand Spy Agency To Vet Network Builds, Provider Staff 92

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the criminals-in-uniform dept.
Bismillah (993337) writes "The new Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act of 2013 is in effect in New Zealand and brings in several drastic changes for ISPs, telcos and service providers. One of the country's spy agencies, the GCSB, gets to decide on network equipment procurement and design decisions (PDF), plus operators have to register with the police and obtain security clearance for some staff. Somewhat illogically, the NZ government pushed through the law combining mandated communications interception capabilities for law enforcement, with undefined network security requirements as decided by the GCSB. All network operators are subject to the new law, including local providers as well as the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, who have opposed it, saying the new statutes clash with overseas privacy legislation."
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New Zealand Spy Agency To Vet Network Builds, Provider Staff

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  • Not Illogical (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmperorArthur (1113223) on Monday May 12, 2014 @09:56PM (#46986113)

    It's not illogical at all. You just mandate that all traffic goes through a room controlled by the government for "Lawful Intercept." That way you can say that it's done for law enforcement, but the reality is they're emulating the USA and keeping everything while also MITMing anything they feel like.

  • by ASDFnz (472824) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:28PM (#46986327)

    Most likely they are getting strong armed by the USA or the EU.

    It is the US, ever since 9/11 the US has mandated a pile of legislation changes that their trading partners must make.

    With any luck NZ will make the changes and then never enforce them.

  • Re:Majority Rules (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mudshark (19714) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:49AM (#46987425)

    You don't know much about NZ government, then. So much for those assumptions of yours.

    The TICS legislation was introduced as an exercise in ass-covering along with another bill which made illegal electronic surveillance performed by the GCSB "lawful" ex post facto. Both bills were overwhelmingly unpopular and submissions from the public and interest groups were practically unanimous against.

    Several opinion polls have indicated that the majority of the NZ population disagree (many vehemently) with their government on these laws, and when they passed it was only with a one-vote majority in the Parliament courtesy of an MP who is the sole representative of his minor party (who himself only got into office because of a pre-election backroom deal with the National party). The best part of all this is that this deciding MP was himself under suspicion of leaking internal documents about illegal conduct by the GCSB, and that his email and that of the journalist he was corresponding with were snooped on in the process.

    For a tiny little island nation we sure do have more than our fair share of idiot politicians and inept law enforcement. Not to mention a system of government whose relationship with democracy grows more tenuous by the year and which resembles a bunch of nice ideas thrown together without any guarantees, such as an immutable and entrenched Bill of Rights. The GCSB and TICS legislation have done considerable harm to the notion of privacy as a basic human right in this country with dragnet surveillance and full feed-through to the NSA of whatever gets picked up.

  • Re:Not Illogical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @04:55AM (#46987575)

    but the reality is they're emulating the USA and keeping everything while also MITMing anything they feel like.

    The lawful intercept for the fibre connections is MITM-proof. Unless they are going to make Chorus spend billions re-doing the network, the "read only" taps will be useless for MITM attacks.

    When they routed Kim Dotcom's traffic through the government MITM servers just before the raid (illegally at the time) the hit in performance was enough that it was noticeable and traced.

    The government just isn't that smart.

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