Secure and controlled access to data repositories is the next step in sharing information across the New Zealand intelligence community, according to Security Intelligence Service director Warren Tucker.
“There has been steady if unspectacular progress over the past few years in the establishment of a secure computer-based network,” he told a Wellington intelligence seminar late last month. “The so-called New Zealand Intelligence Community Network is designed to perform this role.
“So far, the focus has been on establishing the secure connectivity between the various agency and departmental networks but the stage has now been reached where very real benefits are being achieved through secure analyst-to-analyst communication at the desktop.
“The next step will be to extend this beyond mere connectivity and to provide for a secure and controlled access to relevant data repositories.
“Experience elsewhere within government — especially from the e-Government programme and its supporting e-GIF framework, which specifically focuses on frameworks for interoperability — is that a further step, to focus on collaborative and aligned business processes, will bring further benefits.”
Tucker said all this was fully consistent with the wider drive toward “trusted State Services” and “networked State Services”.
The focus of his address to the Superstructure-sponsored seminar was cooperative intelligence.
He noted that the SIS domestically focuses on counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and counter-espionage. “To this I would like to see added counter serious organised crime, particularly trans-national organised crime. That is a discussion and debate we will have in the coming months as NZSIS undergoes the fundamental transformation and re-organisation on which we are now embarked.”
The SIS’ role was not confined to producing security intelligence reports, he said. Rather, it produced actionable intelligence. “We will assist, cooperate and collaborate with other agencies, such as the Police and Customs Service, to the fullest extent practicable in order to achieve public safety and security outcomes.
“We will facilitate and act as the gateway to our international partners for access to security-critical information and intelligence.
“An important example of this is the terrorism database operated by the US Terrorist Screening Centre, with which I signed a formal agreement for mutual access and sharing a couple of weeks ago in Washington DC.”
Tucker said the SIS could no longer rely mainly on stationing a set of “pickets” in the domestic landscape to alert it to indicators of security concern. “We must work closely and collaboratively with — in particular — the Police in order to gain a “rich picture” of understanding the local dynamics, issues, tensions and warning signs within communities.”
The Superstructure Group is a commercial organisation which specialises in IT solutions to intelligence and related agencies world-wide.