Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Protecting Aotearoa’s Democracy With AccountGuard

In view of the upcoming general elections in New Zealand, called by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for 19 September 2020, Microsoft is making AccountGuard available to all of New Zealand’s political parties and eligible NGOs that conduct political analysis or education.

AccountGuard is a unique, free-of-charge service at no additional cost to customers engaged in electoral processes with unified threat detection across personal and campaign accounts, in addition to providing guidance to strengthen their cybersecurity practices.

New Zealand is an evergreen spot on the Democracy Index map according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s EIU’s Democracy Index 2019, consistently ranking in the top five most democratic nations in the world.

While Kiwis can be justifiably proud of the democratic foundations of their country, in the 21st Century, threats to democracy don’t exclusively come from weak state institutions or leaders who abuse power. In fact, robustness of electoral processes and their digital resilience to manipulation by malicious cyber actors, both domestic and foreign, are becoming very important areas of focus.

For Microsoft, 2019 marked a year when we made public that we took legal action and technically disrupted operations of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) from Iran (Phosphorus), North Korea (Thallium), China (Barium) or Russia (Strontium).

These groups have run sophisticated cyber campaigns, aiming to gain access to sensitive information that had the potential to allow them to influence real-world political processes in the US and Europe. Such APTs don’t only target government officials or candidates – they also attempt to exploit think-tanks that contribute with their research to the electoral processes.

In order to address this growing threat, AccountGuard was first deployed in the United States in 2018 and later expanded to Canada, India, Australia and 22 European countries ahead of the EU elections last year.

Further information about AccountGuard is available here.

New Zealand has become synonymous with the land of strong democratic institutions, human rights and government transparency. Microsoft believes all these values deserve equal protection in both the offline and online worlds. We are looking forward to playing a role in protecting New Zealand’s democracy and the integrity of the upcoming electoral process.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Rationing Of PPE Gear, Masks And Everything Else

From the outset, the perceived need to ration our scarce resources seems to have driven the response to Covid-19. Rationing still appears to be limiting the ability of nurses and other frontline workers to access and routinely wear the PPE gear they need to do their job safely. Initially at least, we were also rationing the public’s access to Covid-19 testing. We also continue to pick and choose among the scientific evidence to justify advising the public against the need for them to wear masks…. If it hasn’t done so already, this trend will end up eroding public confidence in the Ministry of Heath assurances that hey don’t worry people, we have enough PPE gear, testing kits and masks to go around. Counter factual : if we’re rationing it, we haven’t got enough... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>






InfoPages News Channels