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GCSB statement on the Christchurch terrorist attacks

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) welcomes the inquiry into the Christchurch terrorist attacks.

“The attacks on Friday were an abhorrent challenge to everything that New Zealand holds dear. GCSB’s thoughts are with the families, friends and communities of the victims at this time,” said Andrew Hampton, Director-General of GCSB.

“As primarily a foreign intelligence and cyber security agency, the GCSB's role in domestic counter terrorism is to support Police and NZSIS as required and pass on any relevant intelligence received from partners.

“GCSB is normally in a position where it can neither confirm nor deny any operational details, but given the nature of the situation I can confirm GCSB had not collected or received from partners any relevant intelligence ahead of the terrorist attacks.

“New Zealand’s intelligence and security agencies do not currently have the legal authority, technical means or resources to actively monitor all online activity that occurs in New Zealand. In addition, all intelligence and security agencies are grappling with the challenges of encryption and closed online communities.

“GSCB has stood up a 24 hour operation response team which is working with domestic agencies and foreign partners to support Police and NZSIS.

“It is important that there will be the inquiry and GCSB is committed to providing all necessary support. It is of the utmost importance that the public are assured that GCSB acted lawfully and appropriately.

“Due to our focus on supporting the ongoing Police investigation and the inquiry I do not intend to comment further at this time.”


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