New Zealand’s intelligence agencies are growing increasingly concerned about foreign interference and cyber attacks in the country. Acting Director-General of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS), Phil McKee, told the Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee that foreign powers are harassing ethnic communities who speak out against their actions. McKee also noted attempts at foreign interference against university academics, local government officials and the media. He stressed that increased public awareness can help counter such interference. Meanwhile, Andrew Hampton, Director General of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), stated that a rise in geostrategic competition in the region was increasingly challenging New Zealand’s interests. Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, but much of it can be prevented through “relatively simple” mitigations. The intelligence officials did not name the countries responsible for these activities. TikTok, owned by Beijing-based firm ByteDance, has been removed from all devices with access to the parliamentary network on the basis of unacceptable risks to security.
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