Spy agency silent on five-nation project to declassify security data

GCSB not commenting on report there are moves to declassify security threat information to help private sector

The Government Communications Security Bureau won't comment on a story on an Australian web site reporting that New Zealand is in five-nation talks to declassify security vulnerability and threat information to assist the private sector.

IT News reported earlier this month that the initiative between New Zealand, Canada, Britain, Australia and the US seeks to open up a wealth of security intelligence held by government agencies to help organisations better secure themselves.

The group wants to convince intelligence agencies to declassify vulnerability and threat data while censoring the sources and methods through which the data is obtained, IT News says.

It quotes former White House security advisor Howard Schmidt, who it says had worked on the project, as saying governments find this information and say they have to classify it, though that is not necessarily the case.

"We should turn this whole world of intelligence and law enforcement upside down when it comes to cyber," Schmidt says. "It should be that if you have something that affects critical infrastructure, you should have 24 hours to come up with why it should be classified. If not, give it to private industry."

In response to inquiries from Computerworld, GCSB says it doesn't comment on its operational matters.

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