Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Telecommunications Security Legislation To Be Modernised


Hon Amy Adams
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

17 April 2013 Media Statement

Telecommunications Security Legislation To Be Modernised

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has announced the Government plans to modernise the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004 to ensure it remains effective in a rapidly-changing telecommunications environment, and also intends to create a new formalised network security regime.

The proposed changes relate to obligations for telecommunications companies, and are focused on modernising the existing interception capability regime and introducing a formal and transparent framework for network security.

The changes will not in any way alter the authority of police or intelligence and security agencies to intercept telecommunications, or reduce the checks and balances on how these agencies can access and use private communications information. These matters are dealt with under separate legislation.

In addition, the privacy requirements imposed on telecommunications companies under the Act are to remain unchanged.

“The ability of government agencies to work effectively with telecommunications companies is a vital part of the Government’s role in protecting the country from crime and protecting our national security,” Ms Adams says.

“For example, interception of telecommunications has long been used to investigate and prosecute serious offending such as homicides and serious drug crimes. It has also been used in emergencies such as armed offender situations or kidnappings, to combat threats to national security, and prosecute cybercrime, both domestically and internationally.”

In regards to network security, the proposed changes will mean network operators will be obliged to engage with the Government through the GCSB on network security, where it might affect New Zealand’s national security and economic well-being.

These requirements will be backed by a graduated enforcement regime, with escalating responses available if significant national security risks are raised.

“Updating the legislation will ensure that New Zealand’s telecommunications companies have a clearer understanding of how to meet their interception obligations while ensuring network infrastructure remains secure, as we move to an increasingly online world.”

The Act will be renamed the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act. Further details of the proposed changes will be publically available next month when the updated legislation is introduced to the House.

--

Questions and Answers
What is telecommunications interception capability?
Lawful telecommunications interception relates to the technical ability of New Zealand government agencies (the Police, the NZSIS and the GCSB) to intercept private telecommunications, where they have lawful authority to do so.

These agencies use interception to prevent crime and protect our national security.

What is network security?

Network security involves ensuring that telecommunications networks do not contain unauthorised ability to copy or divert data, are safe from unauthorised access, and do not allow others to carry out espionage or disrupt services.

Why are telecommunications companies required to have interception equipment available?

Telecommunications network operators are already required to have specialised interception equipment available under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004.

The equipment is used to provide technical assistance to New Zealand Police and the country’s security and intelligence agencies to carry out interception warrants.

These agencies use interception to prevent crime and protect our national security.

Why are changes needed to interception capability and network security?

Changes are needed to update the existing interception capability requirements and to establish a more formal and transparent framework for network security. This is because technology is changing rapidly, reliance on the internet and on information communications technology is increasing and the structure of the telecommunications industry is becoming more complex, with a greater number of specialist providers.

What are the benefits of the interception capability changes?

The proposed changes will make it easier for telecommunications companies to understand and comply with their obligations, as these will be clearer and better targeted. This will reduce compliance costs, deliver a more efficient system and provide a more effective enforcement system.

Will these changes to interception capability increase the authority of government agencies to access business and personal data?

No. These changes relate only to obligations on telecommunications companies.

The authority of New Zealand government agencies to carry out lawful interception, and the checks and balances on their work, is covered in separate legislation.

What are the benefits of the new framework for network security?

The Government already works closely with telecommunications providers to address potential national security risks relating to the design, build and operation of telecommunications infrastructure.

The new framework will provide greater certainty and transparency for the industry, the Government, and the wider public.

The proposed changes will mean network operators will be obliged to engage with the Government on network security matters, and to inform the Government of network decisions that may be of significant security interest.

These requirements will be backed by a graduated enforcement regime, with escalating responses available if significant national security risks were raised.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news