Super-cyber security NZ-UK alliance

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 16:01 15/01/2013
DANIEL GALVIN\ Fairfax NZ

William Hague Press Conference

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Britain and New Zealand are creating an alliance to defend the internet and cyberspace, the two countries foreign ministers announced in Auckland today.

"We will work closely together, and with our key allies to coordinate responses to incidents affecting our government and private sector networks," Foreign Minister Murray McCully and British Foreign Secretary William Hague told a joint press conference.

McCully said it was the first time ever that the same British foreign secretary had made two visits to New Zealand, while Hague said he was going to Christchurch tomorrow to visit the "red zone" because "that is what friends do".

Hague touted a new super-cyber security organisation he wants to create known as the Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Centre.

It would look at using skills internationally with the two men stressing that their governments had agreed to work closely, and with allies, on developing a vision for the future security of cyberspace, which they termed "one of the greatest national, global and strategic challenges of our time".

Cyber intrusions were an increasing challenge.

"New Zealand and the United Kingdom are already working closely together to confront the growing threats to our cyber security, and it is vital to our wider, shared economic, security and defence interests that we do so."

The two said they did not under-estimate the challenge of working on an international consensus on how to protect the internet.

They will also "share situational awareness information and intelligence" so both countries can detect and respond to "foreign cyber intrusions on networks of national importance."

Hague said he would visit Christchurch as it was important to show support of the city.

Britain had sent help at the time of the earthquakes.

"It is very import for New Zealand's friends to show support of what is happening in Christchurch," he said.

British people remained deeply interested in what was happening in the city.

"Visiting Christchurch is part of the bilateral relationship."

Both countries agreed on combined diplomatic posts. New Zealand's embassy in Afghanistan is in the British Embassy in Kabul and today New Zealand has agreed to host a British representative in the New Zealand High Commission in the Solomon Islands.

McCully said it was a case of "returning the favour" for Kabul.

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