Maintaining Social Licence for Government Use of False Social Media Personas

Authors: Cleaver, O. & Nicklin, G.
Published in National Security Journal, 12 June 2020

18 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; and the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014.

19 Judith DeCew, “Privacy.” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta, ed. (Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University Spring 2018 Edition). Available at

20 “Social Media Intelligence”, 2017.

21 Martin and Mount QC, 2018.

22 “Fundamentals of Cyber Security for Canada’s CI Community”. Public Safety Canada, 21 December. Available at

23 “Fundamentals of Cyber Security for Canada’s CI Community”, 21 December 2018.

24 “People care about privacy on social networking sites: Survey by international privacy commissioners”. Privacy Commissioner, 8 December 2011. Available at

25 “People care about privacy on social networking sites: Survey by international privacy
commissioners”, 8 December 2011.

26 “Immigration NZ, “MBIE use fake social media profiles”, 27 September 2017.

27 Edwards & Urquhart, pp. 279–310.

28 Ethics Number: 4000021116

29 There could be a potential bias in the results. Many respondents were recruited through the primary author’s own networks, and could therefore indicate the values and attitudes of her particular demographic.

30 Richards J. Heuer and Randolph H. Pherson, Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, CQ Press, 2010.

31 Email Communication: 01 September 2019.

32 MBIE (Immigration New Zealand) and Inland Revenue

33 “What Is Publicly Available Information?”. Privacy Commissioner, 2013. Available at

34 “Who Owns the Content on Social Media,”, October 28, 2019. Available at

35 Richard Parsons and Kieren Moffat, “Constructing the Meaning of Social Licence,” Social Epistemology 28, no. 3–4 (October 2, 2014), pp.340–63, DOI:10.1080/02691728.2014.922645

36 Alyson Warhurst, “Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Social Investment: Drivers of Tri-Sector Partnerships”, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, no. 1 (2001) pp.57-73.

37 “What Is Publicly Available Information?”, 2013.

38 It could also mean that legislation and policy are lagging behind practice, although the date of the Act is recent enough for social media practices to be included.

39 s67(f) taking any action to protect a covert collection capability AND s23 assumed identity may be acquired, used and maintained

40 “Integrity and Conduct,” State Services Commission, 2020. Available at

41 MBIE, “Procedures for MBIE Staff Using Social Media for Verification and Investigation Purposes to Support Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Needs,” (2018).

42 New Zealand Police, “Social Media Policy,” n.d.

43 New Zealand Police, “Covert Backstopping Policy,” n.d.

44 Of note is that parts of the procedure documents were redacted – the opposite of transparency.