31 Aug 2018

Five Eyes pledge action against foreign interference

8:40 am on 31 August 2018

New Zealand and its security allies have pledged to take tighter collective action against foreign interference.

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Andrew Little said foreign interference is a risk to New Zealand. Photo: Supplied

Ministers from the Five Eyes grouping of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom met in Australia to discuss security issues, including foreign interference.

The Minister for GCSB and NZSIS, Andrew Little, who was at the meeting on Australia's Gold Coast, told Morning Report New Zealand is not immune to interference from foreign governments.

Interference in elections is evident in places like the US and France, he said.

Mr Little said he has seen the official report into Russian interference into the US election.

There was organised state-sponsored interference through artificial facebook accounts and disseminating provocative news, he said.

He said while there is no evidence of foreign interference in New Zealand yet, it is a risk.

"The broader issue of cyber security and online platforms and how they can be used and manipulated is real," Mr Little said.

He said there is a willingness now to want to share more information about what is being picked up by intelligence agencies.

"It is about the countries working together to confirm to a higher degree of probability that it is the particular state actors and with a level of certainty to call that out."