Government, through the Ministry of Economic Development, has set itself and other stakeholders a huge task in coming up with practical approaches to a slew of problems seen in the security of electronic information and transactions.
A report published this month poses 44 questions on everything from minimal bug-patching standards for retail computer equipment and New Zealand’s lack of a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), through to copyright and patent protection on digital assets, to the provisions of the Resource Management Act regarding dual use of electricity pylons for telecommunications.
The report questions whether the government should have a stronger relationship with InternetNZ at a time when governments’ involvement in internet governance is a controversial topic. It invites discussion on the responsibility of ISPs for objectionable, defamatory or copyright-breaching content stored on their servers, questions whether the Domain Name Commissioner (DNC) should be obliged to check whether requested domain names breach trademarks, and even suggests that online traders such as Trade Me might be made to bear some responsibility for the safety of goods offered through their sites.
Responses to this huge range of topics are requested by April 16.
The questioning “follows on from [MED] work on a Digital Strategy for New Zealand and [the work of] the State Services Commission through various e-government projects,” says the ministry.
In particular, much of it revolves around the “confidence” objective espoused in the Digital Strategy, that individuals and organisations should feel safe in using online channels and have sufficient protection to be able to trust the hardware, software and network and be sure the party at the other end is who they say they are.