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Protect New Zealanders From Cyber-Crime

National Justice spokesman Tony Ryall today called on the Government to get cracking and implement adequate protection against cyber-crime.

Mr Ryall was speaking to the IT Security Management Conference in Wellington today as a part of a panel discussing e-justice: responses to computer crimes.

"New Zealanders have been shocked to hear about hackers bringing down security systems, banks and other businesses overseas. They would be even more shocked if they realised that these things can happen here and, under current law, we can do little about it.

"If a New Zealander undertook a denial of service attack, like the one which brought down several Internet providers in the United States recently, then they could not be prosecuted. There are no laws.

"You are more likely to get caught breaking into a Government building than hacking into a computer to get Government information. A large amount of sensitive information is transferred over the Internet and it's easier to obtain than breaking into a building.

"New Zealand is lagging behind internationally and it's imperative that we get cracking and develop good legislation that will address unauthorised entry (hacking), causing damage without intent, mail-bombing, identity theft or assumption, denial of service attacks and criminal defamation. "Current legislative proposals don't go far enough. My Crimes Amendment (No.6) Bill has been before Parliament for over a year. But things have now changed so much that the proposals don't go far enough to address the real risks to commerce from destructive activity. We must do better. "There should be a separate criminal code with extra-territorial effect. Any criminal who commits a cyber offence in New Zealand or against New Zealanders should be dealt with. "Cyber-crime isn't as visible as a burglary but it has the potential to do far more damage. We should become a 'zero-tolerance cyber-crime society'," Mr Ryall said.


A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on along with an archive of previous releases.

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