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Does the NZ Government really need the security Amendment Bill?

Patrick Budmar | July 15, 2013
The New Zealand government is currently considering a government bill that would give more power to the country's foreign intelligence agency to spy on citizens, but is the move justified?

"We continue to see the technology abused after the fact as well." From a security perspective, Benson said old threats do not go away but some do get replaced with new threats.

A security vendor such as Trend Micro is naturally involved in investigating these new threats from a security perspective, and Benson admits that there have been a number of significant changes to the threat landscape over the last few years.

"This has resulted in technology change, changes in the way we use technology, and the increasing interconnectedness of our lives," he said.

As for what issues may be influencing the bill, Benson said there increasing activity and progress by nation states in the development and use of information for state or economic advantage.

"There is also increasing use and availability of advanced tools for use by non-nation states and individuals," he said.

Then there is the growing shift of organised crime away from more physical means, such as dealing in drugs, and into information technology based crime, such as ransomware and blackmail.

"In a way, this has now become a very lucrative industry," he said.

"So we need legislation and capabilities to address this, particularly where the criminals don't particularly care which jurisdiction the victims are in."

Finally, Benson sees the economic value of a country is increasingly being defined based on the intellectual property they develop, maintain, and protect.

"There are increasing levels of economic espionage, such as Class 2 Information Warfare, that are often sponsored by well-funded, unfriendly nation states," he said.

Benson is quick to point out that this is not an indictment on China, just that all nations are investing heavily in "cyber warfare," and in turn, are increasingly looking at proactive detection.


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