Surveillance Law Drives SDN Test From New Zealand – Reports

The long-standing project, which includes Google among its sponsors, transferred to Australia after failing to get relief from a law requiring operators to notify the government of any network changes.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

February 27, 2015

2 Min Read
Surveillance Law Drives SDN Test From New Zealand – Reports

A tough surveillance law cost New Zealand a Google-sponsored SDN test, according to reports.Victoria University in Wellington, the Reannz research network, Google and the Energy Sciences Network at Berkeley, California, were collaborating on an SDN research project for several years, according to a report by Rob O'Neill on ZDnet.But New Zealand's new Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Act (TICSA) requires network operators to notify security agencies of changes to their networks. That's impractical for SDN, where network changes are constant and made on the fly, notes ZDnet.So after seeking relief from agencies involved and failing, and facing penalties of up to NZ$500,000 (US$378,167) per day, the companies picked up house and moved to Australia.Want to know more about SDN? Visit Light Reading's SDN Technology content channel.TICSA is "denting innovation and scaring off overseas investment," writes Juha Saarinen at The New Zealand Herald:Good intentions aside, TICSA introduces a layer of bureaucracy and delay for network operators who want to be nimble and fleet-footed, but face ten to twenty days of waiting as the [New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre] ponders on whether or not to approve of network configuration changes...We've missed the boat now because changing TICSA would take a long time. By then, SDN/NFV will be established business, earning some other country than New Zealand billions of dollars and kudos.Protecting against crime and terrorism are important goals, but they need to be kept in balance with the needs of running an economy (and a society, and generally living life). New Zealand is paying a high price -- too high! -- for security legislation that makes it difficult to compete in a hot, emerging marketplace.— Mitch Wagner,  , West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected].

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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