InternetNZ has taken issue with the recommendations that emerged from last week’s meeting between representatives of the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ countries -- the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand –- saying its recommendations, if adopted, could sacrifice the online security of all New Zealanders. It is calling for a broader debate than one led by law enforcement.
Attorneys general and interior ministers from the Five Eyes countries met to discuss online threat and ways to tackle illicit material at Australia’s Gold Coast on 28 and 29 August, after which they issued a Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption, a list of recommendations designed to “encourage information and communications technology service providers to voluntarily establish lawful access solutions to their products and services that they create or operate.”
InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter, said: "One recommendation the Five Eyes put forward could possibly break end-to-end encryption - and this is really worrying for New Zealanders.
"Encryption provides important protection for all of us. We need encryption for things like online banking and booking travel safely. We need it to keep ourselves safe and secure online. Without it no one will have trust in the Internet.
He said there were alternative solutions to keeping New Zealanders safe without breaking technologies that are designed to do this, and called for a wider discussion of the issue.
“To find these solutions - the right people need to be in the room. "It’s vital the government discuss these topics with a wide range of people and organisations - the tech sector, law enforcement, small and medium businesses who depend on safe online services, human rights, privacy advocates and more," Carter said.
InternetNZ says it had issued two discussion papers “to get this discussion kickstarted.”
The first, Encryption: what it is and why it's important, “explains what encryption is, how it is used across the Internet, how it is used for good and how it is used for bad.”
The second, Encryption: ways forward that protect the Internet's potential, “sets out what we think New Zealand needs to do in order to front foot this issue and not get left behind.”