Safer Internet Forever

Internet securityTuesday, 10 February was Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is an international event, coordinated in New Zealand by InternetNZ Partner NetSafe. Safer Internet Day is celebrated worldwide to encourage the safe and positive use of the Internet and digital technologies such as
mobile phones, especially among children and young people.

You can read more about Safer Internet Day here: http://www.netsafe.org.nz/safer-internet-day/

Now, this post isn't about Safer Internet Day per se; and hence why this blog post didn't go up on yesterday. Instead, this is about what safety and security on the Internet means in a broader sense for where InternetNZ will be doing in 2015. 

For the first time in our business plan, we will have a new Portfolio as part of the Internet Issues Programme, dedicated to Internet Security. This isn't to say that we ignored security issues before - we've done plenty of security work under other guises. But the creation of this new portfolio underscores how important we see Internet Security as being to promoting the benefits and uses of the Internet and protecting its potential. That's because many of the big challenges and questions that are emerging about the Internet relate to Internet Security, and we want to ensure we do them justice.

We are going to be talking to our members and to the New Zealand Internet Community about these plans over the next few weeks, but here are some of our ideas as to what matters in Internet Security over the next 12 months:

  • We plan to continue our partnership with NetSafe, in recognition of the amazing work they do in helping New Zealanders remain safe online. Good work guys!
  • We're going to keep pushing for an "everyone" approach to building a new Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) function here in New Zealand, to complement the work that we already support from the New Zealand Internet Task Force. 
  • We want to look at the Electronic Freedom Foundation's plan to end global surveillance over the Internet in detail. This plan is aggressive and ambitious, and it may not be right for New Zealand or for InternetNZ - but it is the first international plan of its kind that we have seen, and we think it deserves some careful consideration. You can see the plan here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/01/effs-game-plan-ending-global-mass-surveillance
  • We want to continue working with ConnectSmart, to encourage more New Zealanders to think about their safety online and provide tools to do just that: http://www.connectsmart.govt.nz/ 

    ... and a number of other ideas. But this is what comes to our mind - what comes to yours? How should we approach Internet Security in 2015, and what else could InternetNZ be doing to help ensure that the Internet is as secure as possible? After all, without security, New Zealanders won't trust the Internet - and without trust, we won't get close to realising the full potential of the technology. 

    Thoughts most welcomed! You can expect to be hearing more from us on this from here.