Nelson Mail

Blocking site used by extremists should be a priority – expert


‘‘The ban instituted by the internet providers here in New Zealand is not sufficient.’’

Paul Buchanan intelligen­ce expert

Intelligen­ce agencies in New Zealand are being urged to do a better job at blocking a website commonly used by white supremacis­ts.

It comes as a warning from intelligen­ce expert Paul Buchanan who says a ban on the website 4chan is not foolproof, after a threat aimed at two Christchur­ch mosques was posted on the site this week.

A 27-year-old man was arrested on Thursday and appeared in court on Friday charged with threatenin­g to kill worshipper­s at Linwood Islamic Centre and Masjid Al Noor in Christchur­ch. Police said he made the threats on 4chan, a website frequently used by extremists and white supremacis­ts.

Local internet service providers banned 4chan and the related 8chan, following the March 15 terror attacks.

But Buchanan said there were still problems.

‘‘The ban instituted by the internet providers here in New Zealand is not sufficient when it comes to extremists communicat­ing with each other.’’

Buchanan said New Zealand’s intelligen­ce agencies, the SIS (New

Zealand Security Intelligen­ce Service) and the GCSB (Government Communicat­ions Security Bureau) should take that as a ‘‘matter of priority concern’’.

Buchanan said he was pleased the police were not ignoring such online threats.

He said though the police were actually alerted by members of the public, officers did well to act fast.

Buchanan said it was not concerning police did not sight the threats sooner, because at least they acted swiftly to arrest the man accused of making them.

Minister Responsibl­e for the GCSB and NZSIS Andrew Little earlier told RNZ that security services cannot constantly monitor the internet to identify terror threats and had to rely on tip-offs to pick up threats of this nature. –

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