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TICS Bill is Still Bad for New Zealand Digital Businesses

15th October 2013

TICS Bill is Still Bad for New Zealand Digital Businesses

Minister for ICT, Amy Adams has released an SOP which makes some changes to the controversial Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill (TICS Bill). This will be introduced to Parliament today as the Bill receives its second reading.

It is very late in the day to be making changes without time for review. Analysing the SOP against the Bill will take time. One of NZRise members' concerns was that despite this legislation being a response to significant changes in technology there has been very little consultation with technologists when it comes to drafting and updating definitions. And there has been no public debate about how much of this additional interception capability is appropriate.

The key issue for the NZ digital sector, the definition of "network operator", has not been addressed. We can assume this extraordinarily broad and sloppy definition is deliberate. The flow chart on page 2 of a document released by the Minister late yesterday shows just how much control the GCSB is demanding over our systems and why digital companies, like Catalyst, have so much reason for concern. In a letter to the Minister of 9th October, it was stated:

"The irony of describing this new Bill as an attempt to update our legislation whilst retaining the—now very dated—definition of network operator is not lost on the local digital sector".

Whilst the rewording of clause 54 (SOP page 4 and 5) seems to allow the Minister to address some concerns we have raised this is only on a case by case basis, with unclear criteria, and doesn't give the industry any certainty. Getting to the point of Ministerial review of a GCSB decision seems to be a long, expensive and arduous process.

NZRise members are requesting that the Minister delays the second reading of the bill, to give adequate time to analyse the SOP's wording and consult further.

Until we have been able to do that we remain opposed to the Bill.

Full text of this topic in NZRise Internal Discussion: http://nzrise.onlinegroups.net/r/topic/1Zs5Chq1RSxKWs3acuwvqD

ENDS

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