There is still no sign of Justice Minister Tony Ryall's team of advisers on electronic crime. Even if Ryall does meet his own promise to name such a team by the end of the week, though he may still struggle to reach his September deadline for passing new legislation.
"We hope to pass legislation before the end of the year," says Ryall, but an election must be held by early November, therefore Ryall must draft, introduce and pass any bill by the time parliament rises at the end of September.
Of five major legal firms specialising in IT that Computerworld contacted, none have been approached by the minister's office to take part in the team, although all are willing to be involved in the process.
Ryall's team will advise him on how to update New Zealand's legislation to cope with issues like electronic transactions; computer crime — such as hacking and cracking — and e-commerce. Ryall plans to introduce legislation in three stages: first tackling theft in an electronic environment, as outlined in Computerworld on April 5, then looking at the issue of hacking and finally making sure New Zealand's legislation can cope with issues like digital signatures and Internet pornography.