MP's Facebook hacked

BILL MOORE
Last updated 13:00 20/01/2014

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Nelson-based Labour list MP Maryan Street got an unwelcome surprise while on a parliamentary trip to Mexico last week - her Facebook page was copied and a fake message sent to her social media "friends".

But the message, which advised that they had won a big prize in Lotto, was not taken seriously and the offending page has been deleted.

Ms Street said she wasn't the first Labour MP to have had a Facebook page targeted in this way. She said the attack was "irritating" and the message was "spectacularly unconvincing".

"At least three of my colleagues have had it happen to them before - [their Facebook page] copied and used to sell products."

Ms Street noticed the problem when she was in Mexico and got advice on what to do when she got home on Saturday. Facebook had taken the page down yesterday.

"If it had been done with malicious political intent, it could have been a lot more damaging. This is one of the risks of social media but it does seem that most people who work with it are savvy enough to pick up when something has not been correct."

She said she used Facebook almost exclusively as a tool to post media releases, speeches, her comments in the House and other political messages.

MPs from National and New Zealand First were also in the delegation to the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, the parliamentary equivalent of APEC, with MPs from all the Pacific Rim countries attending.

It focused on the Asia-Pacific region and the issues of security and stability, human trafficking, immigration and disarmament.

Ms Street gave speeches on security issues and aid, both in her Labour portfolios.

The three-day forum was held in Puerto Vallarta, near Mexico City, and attended by 320 MPs.

"It's always good to network with other members of parliament in the region."

There were some difficult Pacific "hotspots" such as the Korean Peninsula and the difficulties between China, Japan and the Philippines, but the forum had shown "a real willingness" by all to maintain peace, security and stability in the region, she said.

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