New Zealand’s online notification platform for the firearm buy-back program has been shut down after a local gun owners association found a vulnerability that allegedly exposed the data of some 37,000 law-abiding citizens.
“We have advised the office of the Privacy Commissioner of the potential issue,” police said in a statement, sharing little additional detail and admitting they were informed of the problem by a “member of the public.”
Immediately upon being made aware of the issue, the platform was closed down and we are investigating the matter further
These people cannot be trusted with firearms or firearm data, the administration of the arms act needs to be removed from the #NzPolice asap #nzpol #colfohttps://t.co/so8GH18bzI pic.twitter.com/0WXMFyNmmO
— Barry Grump (@mrblowup) December 1, 2019
This ‘potential issue’ may have affected at least 37,000 law-abiding citizens – exposing the date they filled in their firearm hand-in forms, including names and contact details, bank account numbers and information about the guns they own – according to a local firearm owners association.
“They were able to screenshot and download information. This means that gang members or other criminal elements could have accessed this information before our supporters found the breach,” a spokesperson for the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners told Newshub.
This is exactly what we feared of an incompetent agency in charge of an online register
New Zealand banned all military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles, as well as high-capacity magazines in spring, after a self-avowed white supremacist from Australia killed 50 people in two mosques in the city of Christchurch and injured almost as many, in what became the deadliest terrorist act in the country’s modern history.