Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Sorry, Not Sorry – Government Downplays Security Breach of “Buyback” Database

Monday, December 9, 2019

Sorry, Not Sorry – Government Downplays Security Breach of “Buyback” Database

New Zealand’s dumpster fire of a government-mandated “buyback” program has become even more of a hot spot of contention. Sources indicate that the sensitive personal information of gun owners kept in a police database became accessible to users of the buyback program website. The information includes names, addresses, firearm license numbers, and bank account details.

The database was established shortly after the government announced a ban on certain semiautomatic firearms and accessories, along with a mandatory “buyback,” early this year. Under New Zealand’s new firearm law, the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019, the possession of “prohibited firearms, magazines and parts” is now a crime, although affected owners have until December 20 in which to surrender their property to the police. Police obtain firearm license, bank account, and other personal information from owners as part of the buyback process.

The country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, confirmed that gun dealers were given access to the police buyback database. “[N]ot everyone would wish to return their weapons directly through police stations so dealers were created as agent authorities that could be part of the buyback process. As part of that they were able to access [the database].”

The buyback database is administered by an external provider, the German software company SAP. The breach was unrelated to hacking; instead, SAP admitted it made changes so that the site’s security profile “was incorrectly provisioned” and allowed access. Police Minister Stuart Nash indicated that these changes had not been authorized by the New Zealand Police.  

The government and police were reportedly not aware of the security issues with the site until a gun rights group, the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) raised the alarm in a December 1st public notice. Minutes later, the entire site was shut down

Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement subsequently advised that the data may have been exposed since November 27, and was unable to give “ironclad” assurances that the data had not been more widely disseminated. COLFO, however, released redacted screenshots of the website and advised that information had been downloaded before the site was disabled.

Going forward, the site will remain offline and the buyback will be implemented using pen and paper. The data breach is just the most recent of the problems surrounding the buyback program.

Pranksters were able to use online notification forms associated with the buyback to send police fake notices regarding firearms that would be turned in, causing “a huge waste” of police resources. Criminals, predictably, are refusing to turn in their weapons. Police met with gang leaders as part of a compliance effort for the gun ban and buyback program, but reported that the criminal fraternity (oddly enough) “had a different approach to law abiding members of the public, in relation to the return of guns.”            

When called upon to account for the damaging data breach, Police Minister Nash said he was “bloody annoyed” about it but flatly refused to be held accountable, suggesting that data breaches are to be expected in government operations (“400 data leaks occurred” with the previous administration) and that “it’s not my responsibility” to oversee a contractor delivering a government service. Asked to at least concede that the data leak had eroded whatever support the country’s gun owners had for the buyback program, Nash instead called out the gun rights community as the real problem: a “small group of radical gun nuts … called COLFO who are against this. They have always been against it. This is how the gun lobby works here and overseas.” Elsewhere, the police minister emphasized that the police were “doing a fantastic job on monitoring this buyback” program, and that the program “was going incredibly well.”   

Kiwi gun owners likely have different feelings about the program’s success (and the release of their personal data) than these dismissive and sunny pronouncements.

If nothing else, the data breach – and the government’s nonchalant reaction – give ample cause for concern regarding the next phase of New Zealand’s gun control law. The new firearm registry will be another such repository of sensitive personal information in the hands of the government, to monitor every legal firearm in New Zealand by collecting both personal information (the licensee’s name, address, date of birth) and the particulars of the firearm (identifying information and all transfers, sales and purchases).

TRENDING NOW
NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

News  

Monday, May 20, 2024

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

Today, the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association of America elected former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr as President of the NRA and Doug Hamlin as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO. The meeting ...

Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

News  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

It has become a tradition in recent elections for anti-gun Democrats to condescendingly refer to opposition voters as too stupid and bigoted to act in their own best interests. 

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Monday, May 20, 2024

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Although New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, anti-gun politicians continue to come up with more bad ideas. 

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Fairfax, Virginia – Today, NRA filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. v. Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

News  

Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

We have long been warning of the rule the Biden ATF has been preparing to redefine who is considered a firearm “dealer” under U.S. law.  The administration’s explicit objective was to move as close to so-called “universal background ...

NRA’s Political Victory Fund Endorses President Donald J. Trump

News  

Saturday, May 18, 2024

NRA’s Political Victory Fund Endorses President Donald J. Trump

Today, the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is honored to announce its full endorsement of President Donald J. Trump for re-election to a second term as President of the United States of America. ...

ATF Skirts Legal Formalities and Springs Another Gun Control Rule on the American People

News  

Monday, April 22, 2024

ATF Skirts Legal Formalities and Springs Another Gun Control Rule on the American People

On Friday, ATF provided the unpleasant surprise of yet another rulemaking to implement the noxious Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). 

NRA-ILA Announces Lawsuit Challenging Delaware’s New Permit-to-Purchase Law

Sunday, May 19, 2024

NRA-ILA Announces Lawsuit Challenging Delaware’s New Permit-to-Purchase Law

Fairfax, Virginia – May 19, 2024…Today, NRA-ILA announced a lawsuit challenging Delaware’s new permit-to-purchase law.

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Bill Rolled into Large Omnibus Bill and Passed in the Legislature

Monday, May 20, 2024

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Bill Rolled into Large Omnibus Bill and Passed in the Legislature

Last night, House and Senate Democrats incorporated language from House File 2609, a bill that banned certain firearm triggers, into House File 5247, a large omnibus bill that addressed a variety of issues un-related to ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.