NZ’s Watergate

Fran O’Sullivan quotes the principal Assistant United States Attorney on Watergate:

“When people cannot get together for political purposes without fear that their premises will be burglarised, their conversations bugged, their phones tapped … you breed distrust, you breed suspicion, you lost confidence, faith and credibility.”

The illegal acquistion of a year’s worth of e-mails from the then National Leader, Caucus and staff, is something which the Parliamentary Service must ensure never happens again. The variety of sources of e-mails quoted more and more rules out that these were in anyway leaked. It is obvious someone has copied one or more entire personal mail files over, and this could not be done by any MP or political staff member,

National should insist to The Parliamentary Service that enhanced security features are put in place, so they can use e-mail with confidence. Based on what I can see, I would not be confident current e-mails are not also able to be illegally accessed.

Some things National should insist on:

* Full audit trail of every access to a persons’s e-mail file
* IP tracking of where accesses were made from for each user
* Easy Tracking of every forward, delete, copy, print
* Encryption
* Ability to prevent e-mails being printed or forwarded without passwords
* Automatic password prompts after non use for a time
* Random checks on all IT staff and contarctors to ensure all file accesses have been in relation to helpdesk calls

Probably much more than that. A security consultant should be hired to draw up a plan, and the Speaker needs to insist it be implemented asap.

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