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
H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

All gun control bills share the same basic goal: a world in which fewer people own firearms. Some bills simply ban certain types of firearms or ammunition outright. Others place obstacles in the path of ...

Anti-gun Senators and Mayors Push Biden on Executive Gun Controls

News  

Monday, February 22, 2021

Anti-gun Senators and Mayors Push Biden on Executive Gun Controls

Following a year filled with the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread civil unrest, Americans are in no rush to enact further gun controls. According to data from a January Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans are satisfied ...

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

News  

Monday, February 22, 2021

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action applauds a decision by the Washington Court of Appeals today that upheld the state's preemption law and struck down a pair of local ordinances that restricted the ...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Florida Alert! H.R. 127 - Federal Gun Control Proposal

Much is being said about H.R. 127 By Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) 117th Congress and we have had many folks contacting us seeking information. 

Washington: Carry Ban Sent to the Senate Floor for Rapid Consideration

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Washington: Carry Ban Sent to the Senate Floor for Rapid Consideration

Yesterday, Senate Bill 5038 was pulled from the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate Floor where it can be heard at any time. 

Indiana: House Passes Right-To-Carry Bill

Monday, February 22, 2021

Indiana: House Passes Right-To-Carry Bill

Today, the House passed House Bill 1369 by a vote of 65-31 and sent it on to the Senate for further consideration.

Iowa Permitless Carry Self Defense Package Bill Introduced

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Iowa Permitless Carry Self Defense Package Bill Introduced

Today, House Study Bill 254 was introduced to greatly improve self-defense in Iowa.

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

News  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

On Sunday, President Biden used the three-year anniversary of the criminal attack in Parkland, Florida to call “on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons ...

Georgia: House Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Georgia: House Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill

Today, the House passed House Bill 218. The bill expands the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families, both within Georgia and in other states, and also ensures that Second Amendment rights ...

Never Enough: New Zealand Set for SECOND Gun Confiscation

News  

Monday, February 1, 2021

Never Enough: New Zealand Set for SECOND Gun Confiscation

New Zealand’s beleaguered gun owners are bracing for a second round of gun confiscations following a raft of new gun control measures enacted last summer that are set to take effect on February 1. Kiwi shooters will ...

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.