Trust requires onshore, NZ-owned services and infrastructure

The ubiquitous use, across government, the health, and the education sectors, of technologies proprietary to foreign corporations creates an unfixable breach of trust. So does holding citizen data (which the government holds in trust for the people of Aotearoa New Zealand) overseas compounds that breach. 

These entities, particularly those originating in the US, which are predominant in our government's IT procurement, are fundamentally untrustworthy - even the onshore services they run - due to the US Patriot Act and US Cloud Act.

To have a hope of achieving legitimate trust, even among informed users and developers of digital technlogy, the government must shift its preference decisively towards digital technologies developed and hosted onshore in Aotearoa NZ, and, where it outsources to commercial vendors, managed by NZ-owned businesses - where the details of cost and chains of responsibility are fully transparent to all here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Otherwise, those services - and any government that would willingly foist them upon its citizens - cannot be seen as worthy of trust.

All of our tamariki, for instance, go to either Microsoft or Google Schools. They are indoctrinated into using tools designed for US corporate employees as soon as they can read. There are superb alternatives to these tools that could be entirely locally sourced and managed, with great savings in cost, and great improvements in inclusivity (e.g. anyone can translate them into the native languages of our Pacifica communities and their home lands) and cultural context. Moreover, they would reduce our international commercial liability and massive risks to our volunteer school boards. I have described this situation in more detail.

Why the contribution is important

This trust issue affects all of our tamariki, all our businesses, and our entire digital industry. The current approach undermines the privacy of citizens, our shared culture, and removes opportunities from our domestic digital industry, handing it instead to monopoly players from overseas, who pay no where near enough tax here and who are dismissive of our way of life and hostile to our interests and sovereignty.

by DaveLane on November 08, 2021 at 02:21PM

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