Kate Pearce - election statement

Kate Pearce

The internet has become the nervous system of our society. Its future becomes ever more our future, its failures, our failures. InternetNZ has a unique vision and mission that it would be my honour to serve, and I am standing for the InternetNZ council because I have skills, experience, and perspective to add that will enhance this mission.


Born in Christchurch, I’m a technical expert by education, an international security consultant by trade, and a communicator by choice. As a queer technical woman, not only do I believe that people like me need to see people like me in positions of influence and making a difference, I believe that people NOT like me need to see people like me in positions of influence making a difference.

I also believe strongly in community, and in providing opportunities to those who do not get a fair shake. Accessible community is where opportunity breeds, where futures are made, and where great things come to pass. I am involved with NZITF, recognized with an ISANZ information Security award, and a core organizer of BSides Wellington, an inclusive community event aiming to maintain the momentum and community anchoring that Kiwicon previously provided.

Three things I'll bring:

1. Security/Privacy expertise and credibility

As a security expert, I find my particular area of expertise being used ever more to whittle away the very things that have enabled the internet and its benefits to be realized. The internet is founded on being open and free, but in NZ we don’t take that to mean you can openly abuse and harm people with it. At the same time, the need for stability and oversight doesn’t mean it should be overtaken by vested interests – whether government, private, corporate, intelligence, or other.

My security expertise, experience, and influence enables me to discuss security and privacy related topics with a rare level of knowledge, credibility, and passion that I believe will be an asset to the Council and to InternetNZ.

2. Commitment to Diversity and Accessibility

I’m a strong believer in the power of enabling others to succeed, particularly those who are different, whose journeys are more complex. This ranges from supporting them in their own journeys through mentoring and support, to being an example to others of what they can do.

3. Innovation and Strategy

Professionally I work on very large scale issues, with research into the effects of new internet technologies which haven’t yet arrived. I work on solutions that are as much social and political as technical, building strategies that provide incremental benefit at each step while working towards addressing the greater challenge.

Three things I’ll aim to do:

1. Strategic foresight to bigger and long term issues

Encourage expanded initiatives on important issues concerning the openness and capturability of the internet in NZ. These will either extend beyond the scope of the .nz space, or extend beyond immediate timelines. Key examples at present could include Automation, IoT, and non .nz external internet infrastructure (app stores and other walled gardens). 

2. Member expansion and member value

Support and expand the existing work to both grow and broaden membership, ensuring an increasingly more representative viewpoint of NZ’s people and stakeholders. This will require identifying underrepresented groups (such as young people), and explicitly involving them. Additionally, I will investigate ways to provide explicit value to members, ensuring that InternetNZ is exhibiting value to all our members, beyond that we provide to NZ and the Internet more generally.

3. Financial Diversification

Support the diversification of funding sources so internet NZ will survive and thrive if conditions change. InternetNZ has access to people, technology and IP that few can match, all with a mission and a charitable status that enables it to explore new services. The exact nature of these sources will need to be carefully considered to align with our mission and charitable status. But, I believe we can explore diverse funding sources that will not only enrich new Zealand, but will ensure InternetNZ is here to advocate an open and uncapturable internet far into the unknown and unknowable future.

Professional Experience:

I have worked with clients across the globe and, in this role I not only tested the security of systems myself, I sat down with development teams as they built, worked with architects as they designed, and discussed with risk owners and boards as they decided. I have worked on some incredibly challenging and high-stakes projects (including medical devices and internet connected cars), published on new Internet protocols and technologies (Multipath-TCP, QUIC, HTTP/2), liaised with media on many different topics, and spoken at many different events across several countries (including BlackHat USA, APRICOT, Kiwicon, ACSC, and more).

Email: secvalve@outsidethesphere.com

Twitter: @secvalve

Linkedin: securitykate