Mega: Don’t expect privacy online
Sending an email is like physically sending a postcard which the postal system and postie can read, warns Mega CEO Vikram Kumar.
Speaking on TV3’s The Nation, Mr Kumar said surveillance agencies like the GCSB can already intercept data from companies like Telecom, 2degrees and Vodafone, subject to a warrant.
But under the Telecommunication Interception Capability and Security (TICS) bill, Skype, iMessage, Google Hangouts may also be forced to provide a backdoor to surveillance agencies.
The government can ask companies to provide a backdoor to intercept communications secretly, which Mr Kumar says could lead customers grow distrustful of all telecos.
“We’ll have New Zealand service providers now somehow having to convince customers in New Zealand and overseas that they don’t have a government back door.”Mr Kumar is worried that international companies will steer clear of New Zealand as a result of the bill, which expands telecommunications companies’ obligations to surveillance agencies.
“The question is what is the cost of that compliance going to be, and the way I see it is there’s billions of dollars that over the next few years where the New Zealand interest industry, the ICT industry, is going to suffer.”
He says New Zealand is missing out on an opportunity to become a privacy protected area as internet companies move away from the US.
“Now unfortunately all of that is going to Europe instead.”