Spark will be cheered by endorsement of UK’s handling of the Huawei spying threat

New Zealand  may  have been  presented with  a  model  to  follow  in  dealing  with the Chinese giant technology  firm  Huawei.  According to London’s  “The Economist”  Britain has struck an artful compromise on Huawei and 5G, even though many Americans and other friends of Britain will be appalled by its decision and fear the country is being naive and toadying up to China..

But, in an editorial, The Economist reckons  the UK’s  measured approach to dealing with the controversial Chinese firm is a model for other countries.

Britain’s decision matters: it is a member of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing alliance led by America, and was one of the first Western economies in which Huawei built a presence. Britain also has experience of electronic spying and knows Huawei well.

“Far from being a betrayal, Britain’s approach, of using the firm’s gear on the edges of 5G networks, under close supervision, offers a sensible framework for limited commercial engagement while protecting Britain’s security and that of its allies.” Continue reading “Spark will be cheered by endorsement of UK’s handling of the Huawei spying threat”

Spooks, banks and a difference of opinion about security and privacy

Two  critical  reports by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, have focussed  on the practice of  New Zealand’s  intelligence agencies acquiring personal information  about customers by seeking voluntary disclosure from NZ banks.

The IGIS’s role is to ensure NZ’s two dedicated intelligence and security agencies, the NZ Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), act lawfully and properly.

Until Parliament enacted a new law in 2017, the Intelligence and  Security Act, the intelligence agencies could seek “voluntary”  disclosure from  banks of  customers’ personal  data.

Under the  2017 legislation  the  intelligence agencies  are required to seek this kind of information under warrants of which there are two  types.  Continue reading “Spooks, banks and a difference of opinion about security and privacy”

Five Eyes are widened as the US sets sights on curbing Chinese influence

Australian media have been reporting the Five Eyes alliance has broadened intelligence-sharing activities to Germany and Japan to combat China.

The increased cooperation by the alliance – Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States – is said to be  a sign of a broadening international front against Chinese influence operations and investments.

According  to  the  media reports, the enhanced cooperation amounts to an informal expansion of the Five Eyes group on the specific issue of foreign interference.

Perhaps  coincidentally,  the  agency  in  NZ    which  processes   the intelligence  from  its partners,  the  GCSB,  has identified  “a  significant  security risk” associated with Spark  NZ’s  application  for  the deployment of Huawei 5G equipment in the planned 5G Radio Access Network (RAN). Continue reading “Five Eyes are widened as the US sets sights on curbing Chinese influence”

‘Significant security risk’ stymies Spark’s Huawei 5G proposal

Where’s  John  Le  Carre  when  we   need   him?    He  would  revel  in the   storyline   which   lies  behind  the  statement  of  GCSB  director-general  Andrew  Hampton  this afternoon  that he has  informed  Spark NZ  “a  significant  security  risk was identified”.

Hampton went on to say he would be saying no more:

“As there is an ongoing regulatory process I will not be commenting further at this stage. The GCSB treats all notifications it receives as commercially sensitive”.

So what  was  he talking about? Continue reading “‘Significant security risk’ stymies Spark’s Huawei 5G proposal”

This security statement should have come from one of our political leaders

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) tells us it has established clear links between the Russian government and a campaign of malicious cyber activity targeting overseas political institutions, businesses, media and sporting organisations.

The bureau  says  New Zealand organisations were not directly affected by these malicious cyber activities.

We are, however, seeing a range of activity in NZ that contains indicators which can be linked to Russian state actors. These incidents reinforce the need for NZ to have robust national systems to address cyber threats”.

Continue reading “This security statement should have come from one of our political leaders”