Final draft of telco security legislation released

The Government has today released the final draft of a Bill that will modernise telecommunications security legislation.

The draft Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill was released by Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams after Cabinet approved it today. The Bill will be introduced to the House later this week.

The Bill will replace the current Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004, following a review that started in 2011.

There are two parts to the Bill. The first part relates to obligations for telecommunications companies, and is focused on modernising the existing interception capability regime.

The changes will not in any way alter the authority of police or intelligence and security agencies to intercept telecommunications, or reduce the checks and balances on how these agencies can access and use private communications information. These matters are dealt with under separate legislation.

The second aspect of the Bill introduces a formal and transparent network security regime. The proposed changes will mean network operators will be obliged to engage with the Government through the GCSB on network security, where it might affect New Zealand’s national security and economic well-being.

“Updating the legislation will ensure New Zealand’s telecommunications companies have a clearer understanding of how to meet their interception obligations while ensuring network infrastructure remains secure, as we move to an increasingly online world,” Ms Adams says.