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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China Suspected In New Zealand Government Computer Systems Hacking

Posted by Author on September 11, 2007

By HANK SCHOUTEN, The Dominion Post, Via http://www.stuff.co.nz/, New Zea;and, 11 September 2007-

Government computer systems have been hacked into by foreign governments, the country’s chief spymaster says.

Government departments’ websites have been attacked, information has been stolen and hard-to-detect software has been installed that could be used to take control of computer systems, Security Intelligence Service director Warren Tucker said.

In his first interview since taking up the post in November, Mr Tucker said there was evidence that foreign governments were responsible for the attacks.

He would not discuss what country was responsible but referred to comments by Canada’s security service about Chinese spying activities.

Russia and China have been implicated in attacks on the British parliament’s computer system.

Mr Tucker also noted the bungled attempt by Mossad agents from Israel to secure New Zealand passports in 2004.

China was accused last week of hacking into German Government systems and the Pentagon’s computer systems in the United States.

Mr Tucker said the SIS and its kindred agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, had responded to the cyber attacks by stepping up a security awareness campaign.

In some cases, departments did not even realise their computer systems had been breached.

Sensitive information had been stolen and attempts had been made to gain access to classified information.

In one attack, a department had been penetrated and a programme had been inserted to generate bogus but genuine looking e-mails. Mr Tucker would not name the department or elaborate.

But he said the SIS was stepping up its foreign intelligence gathering operations as part of a realignment of the service, which had just 166 staff when he took over but now has over 200.

“As we’ve stepped up our activities we’ve become more concerned about what we have found,” said Mr Tucker, who consented to the interview on condition that he would not be questioned about Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui.

Mr Tucker said the terrorist threat to New Zealand was low but rising – a reflection of overseas concerns about Islamic extremists and the radicalisation of some communities.

The service was engaged on issues of real concern to New Zealand. “The relatively small number of people we monitor are the sort of people you would want us to monitor and would be surprised if we didn’t.”

The SIS had also moved to boost its security vetting of people entering New Zealand and to speed up security clearance processes for people handling sensitive Government information.

The scandal last year when a Beehive messenger leaked a Cabinet paper about the Government’s plan to open Telecom to competition had had a bearing on the initiative.

Mr Tucker, a former director of the Government Communications Security Bureau, told The Dominion Post he believed there was a need for the service to be more open, accessible and more closely aligned to the core values of New Zealand, which were integrity, trustworthiness, being upfront and a willingness to admit mistakes.

It was important for the SIS to be seen as an integral part of the machinery of government, and that its work was seen as necessary and important and that the service was trusted.

– Original report from stuff.co.nz : NZ spies uncover cyber attacks

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