As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ down the river



It should read ‘never stop spying’.

As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped

The ability for US intelligence agencies to access internet data was used as a bargaining tool by a Telecom-owned company trying to keep down the cost of the undersea cable from New Zealand.

Lawyers acting for Southern Cross Cable quoted a former CIA and NSA director who urged the Senate to “exploit” access to data for an intelligence edge.

The value of intercepted communications to the US was raised during negotiations last year which could increase internet costs 15 per cent.

…so while those extremely expensive Spark rebranding adverts with their hipster fucktards imploring  you to ‘start’, this very same company was flogging our privacy off to the NSA so they could keep their own costs down.

This is the clause Telecom use to explain how they just screwed every Telecom user…

A Telecom spokesman cited the company’s contract with residential customers, which tells them it will pass on their information without permission if it believes it is legally required to do so or if it is necessary “to help maintain the law”.

…we have a Prime Minister who has lied to us about mass surveillance and private companies secretly exploiting our privacy.

Right after you cancel your Telecom account, go and vote out National.


    • Yes Suzanne and by law after the newest TICS and enhanced GCSB legislation that thousands of people protested in the street against around a year ago.

      There is a big difference though between allowing “lawfull intercept” capability on networks in this country vs aiding and abetting a foreign intelligence agency to tap our main international undersea fibre optic cable, in a way that allows ALL data traffic/calls to be hoovered up permanently for later analysis in bulk which doesn’t require a warrant to collect or consultation with our legal system.

  1. Most Kiwi’s would suggest that there are numerous complicit entities, in general, who have gorged themselves to detriment of the majority, over the last two terms of Government.

    Great idea to start a list with Fizzle oops, Spark!

    How about Australian owned banks and media next?

    • Vector Communications provides high capacity fibre connectivity throughout the Auckland region. Our services are based on SDH, Ethernet or OTN technologies as required. The facility has diverse paths from the wider Vector Communications network and directly to the Takapuna Southern Cross cable station. We also offer connectivity to the Whenuapai Southern Cross cable station.

      We have a winnahh. Bobs your uncle for connecting to both ends of SX cable

    • Thats was eventually linked to old broadband modems that had an open port that could be hi jacked to stream data back out as a DOS attack. This was why it only affected Xtra not other telcos and wasnt connected to nude celebs

      • If Telecom/Spark actually cared enough about security to have a proactive approach, they would have signed a service level agreement with the provider of these subsidised (presumably DLINK or Thompson) routers many years ago requiring regular firmware updates from the manufacturer, and made an attempt to push them out to customers automatically over TR-069 protocol or sent email notifcation about the availability of them to those with locked down routers.

  2. I want to see – I demand to see – Telecom re-Nationalised without compensation to its present owners. Any Party that is willing and and has the will to do that will immediately get my vote.

    Telecom – and the Post Office at large – should never have been privatised, and ought never have been in the Government’s gift to sell. That was straight out robbery from the Common Weal by Fat Cattists and their government stooges, citing the crackpot Chicago School of Economics ‘theories’ to legitimate the theft.

    The present owners and shareholders of Telecom are all of them receivers of stolen goods. As such, they not only deserve no compensation for re-nationalisation, they ought to recompense the public at large for the outrageous gouging and profiteering perpetrated by Telecom ever since its transfer from public to private hands.

    A publicly owned monopoly might not be so desirable, but a privately owned one, as Telecom was and largely remains is far worse. Bear in mind, too, that the 11+ billion dollars Bell-Atlantic and Ameritec during their ownership took out in profit, left this country for good; in the meantime they re-invested hardly a cent of those profits in the organisation.

    Quite how the milking a strategic (State) asset of billions of dollars – to be taken off shore and never seen again, mark you – is supposed to have benefited New Zealanders and the New Zealand economy, I have never been able to fathom. I’m certain that Treasury didn’t know either, whatever that outfit thought it knew.

    It looks as though nothing, but nothing, has changed in the last nigh-on thirty years. There is nothing against foreign investment in New Zealand, but it has to be high quality investment. The sort of ‘investment’ which simply mulcts the infrastructure, industry and wealth of this country to oversea interests is such poor quality investment from our point of view as to amount to no investment at all, but simply theft.

    To be sure, a high quality investment in New Zealand would require something from New Zealand and its people – a decent level of reciprocity is called for and essential. A high level of benefit has to accrue to both sides of the deal. The sort of Cargo Cult mentality that had informed the ‘policy’ – policy, be damned – of successive governments and the lobbying by the likes of the Business Round Table, simply just won’t cut it.

    Who was it, way back in 1988 or thenabouts, wrung his hands about how essential it was to flog off New Zealand’s wealth and assets, for fear otherwise of New Zealand’s turning into ‘a funny little country in the south-west corner of the Pacific’? Who was that Fat Cat Clown? After thirty and more years of appalling maladministration look what New Zealand has become:…

    … a funny little country in the south-west corner of the Pacific.

    • Filthy fucking neo liberal pirates. By God they should thank their lucky bloody stars Im not in charge – I would have pressed charges against them for racketeering , fraud , and theft of the public purse – and then promptly after that frozen their assets and immediately re nationalized all plant involved under reclamation of stolen national assets.

      Following this I would have rounded on those in this country who advocated these treasonous policies and had them all before the courts after an inquiry had established their collective guilt.

  3. It is no coincidence that Yahoo, the company with the reputation for the best compliance with NSA and Telecom/Spark are inextricably combined.
    Some may have seen the usual heavily retreaded Yahoo claim that the corporation was extorted into complying with NSA the other day. That furphy gets dragged out everytime the issue of NSA penetration of Yahoo linked services hits the media. It is just deflection and in no way excuses Yahoo alacrity in implementing NSA’s illegal demands.

    All email goes through Yahoo’s offshore mail servers.
    There is no sensible reason for Telecom to stick with Yahoo – which has had its password/login database hacked so many times Yahoo email security resembles a swiss cheese, other than Telecom/Spark like Yahoo, being a willing victim of NSA intrusion.

    And therein lies the problem for users. Now that the most blatant holes sorry ‘mistakes’ in SSL and WiFi encryption have been discovered and somewhat reluctantly repaired, the only way NSA and GCSB can get past strong encryption and into the substance of net communications, is if the large communication providers leave more subtle back-doors in their security protocols.
    The problem with that is that not only are the ‘good guys’ looking for systemic flaws, organised groups of profit seeking hackers are doing the same.

    Yahoo no sooner makes a safe possie for the good ol boys to read everyone’s email from, than a mob of central european wide boys discover and exploit the hole as well.
    The result of this is us the user – the sucker who is funding all this bullshit by paying hugely over the top tariffs for Telecom/spark services, then gets screwed.
    The user is subjected to a credit card/trademe/phishing scam which seems real because the criminal gang has been able to access enough real data about us from hacking our email, to make their approach appear genuine.

    For all John Key’s lies about GCSB being like norton anti-virus only bigger, the activities of the security services have actually severely damaged internet security not enhanced it.

    • You have made many good points here.

      I’ve always been dissapointed at the lack of initiative in our politicians to engage local talent into fixing problems within our country. If Telecom was still state owned, forward thinking politicians could propose the hiring of programmers and project managers from our many very capable polytechnics and universities, to develop an open-source and secure email frontend webmail system for xtra’s snowballing trainwreck known as yahoo mail. Additionally such an initiative could provide paid work experience for the graduates, as well as keep costs down for Telecom with the pay rates being entry level and the software licenses minimal.

      Mega mentioned over a year ago they were working on a paid webmail service that would use the same cutting edge in-browser end to end encryption technology that their filestorage cloud uses currently. It would have probably been hosted in NZ as well. So far nothing from them, and no updates on their company blog last time I looked… There are other providers of secure email within New Zealand and Australia, and one which struck me as being a good offering is after a days research of their policies and technology approach. They do however use a server based in a New York datacenter accessed over a private VPN of their own. Everything is a compromise anyway with these things…

  4. Far out. That’s pretty bad.

    I’m a Telecom / Spark customer.

    But I live in a tiny town and I have a web based business. The alternatives in my location? Not reliable enough for my business.

    And I’m not moving.

    This sucks.

    • Lara.

      I recently swapped from Telecom/Spark onto Vodafone rural broadband plus homephone.

      Its $95 a month for 30gb + $20 for each 15gb topup extra in that month! (they have just upgraded this package from its former 15gb to the new 30gb for the same price).

      Recommend the change.

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