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Law Society – GCSB Bill still flawed

Written By: - Date published: 6:13 pm, August 6th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: accountability, law, Parliament, Spying - Tags: , , ,

A timely press release from the Law Society. Here it is in full:

GCSB Bill remains flawed despite proposed changes

Proposed changes to the GCSB Bill represent minor improvements but do not address the fundamental flaws in the bill and the legislation should not proceed, the New Zealand Law Society says.

Austin Forbes QC, convenor of the New Zealand Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee, says the Law Society has looked at the amendments proposed by the majority of the Intelligence and Security Committee, and has a number of concerns about the wording and scope of the changes.

“For example, the report from the majority of the Intelligence and Security Committee proposes the inclusion of a new set of principles underpinning the performance of the GCSB’s functions.

“While the idea of a set of guiding principles is potentially a step in the right direction, the Law Society is not convinced that the proposed wording of the principles provides adequate or effective safeguards,” Mr Forbes says.

Further changes by way of a proposed Supplementary Order Paper have been announced by the Prime Minister and the Hon Peter Dunne, but that SOP has only just been made publicly available today.

“The proposed use of the SOP procedure to make still further changes, but without making the detail of those changes available to the public, reflects the unnecessary urgency which has accompanied the GCSB Bill itself.

“This is in the face of mounting public concern and a denial of adequate public debate over the potential loss of personal and data privacy and increased levels of surveillance of both communications and metadata,” Mr Forbes says.

The concerns the Law Society expressed in its submission on the bill have not been significantly mitigated by the proposed changes.

The Law Society is also concerned about the use of the SOP procedure to introduce significant amendments to bills after completion of the select committee process.

The GCSB Bill is now before the House and there is no opportunity for further public submissions or informed debate about the proposed changes, because of the process adopted.

Peter Dunne, your last fig-leaf is ripped away. Please do not vote for this travesty.

23 comments on “Law Society – GCSB Bill still flawed”

  1. Anne 1

    Peter Dunne, your last fig-leaf is ripped away. Please do not vote for this travesty.

    Whistling in the wind Anthony. Dunne isn’t listening. He’s more concerned about his political/personal future than he is about doing the right thing.

    May I take this opportunity to thank you for your posts in the past few weeks. It’s been wonderful to have someone of your calibre keeping us fully informed. Between you and karol and mickysavage we must be the best informed kiwis in the land – at least as far as the GCSB fiasco is concerned.

    • r0b 1.1

      Cheers Anne – but most of what I do is just repost the work of others….

    • muzza 1.2

      Well said Anne, have to echo the sentiments, re well informed, the efforts are appreciated, and enjoyed.

      Re Dunne, sadly, I suspect that there will be no turning back for him, I really don;t see it.

    • IrishBill 1.3

      “Peter Dunne, your last fig-leaf is ripped away.”

      That conjurers a horrible mental image.

    • Mary 1.4

      Yes, it’s either that or Dunne is incredibly thick. There’s no other explanation.

    • Waffler 1.5


    • Chooky 1.6

      Yes thankyou mickysavage…and iprent!…This is a much better, more informative, read a lot of the time…..than the major daily newspapers…and you can answer back!

  2. geoff 2

    Good. Now get him on Campbell Live and have John tear him a new one.

  3. red blooded 3

    Dunne believes he can waffle and smirk his sway through this and then sit down for a cuppa with Keye. The people of Oharihu need to stand up and be counted. Do they really want to continue to be represented by this spineless sponge? Can they honestly say that they respect and trust him? What do they think he actually believes in?

    This cynical maninpation of our democracy is a farce and people who are represented by Dunne and Banks need to stand up and be counted in the next election. If this doesn’t get them to reexamine their consciences, what will?

  4. Sable 4

    Wonder if anyone will vote for Dung after this? Little creep.

  5. Minibus 5

    If the controls were in place originally there wouldn’t be so many stuff up’s. The problem at the moment is that they spied on some of us (it could have been anyone you know) and their privacy and human rights were abused. The 88 that have been abused should be informed and compensated depending on the level of abuse, i.e. if there personal privacy was intruded upon and released to the public for discrimination, which is the case in one situation I know of, it would constitute a gross disregard of privacy and neglect of basic their human rights, and that is the problem. Sure the bill will change this and controls put in place to prevent it happening again. But what happens to those that orchestrated the abuse, nothing, that’s why there should be an enquiry into the extent of the abuse and this is what John Keys is dodging. It is because it all lands on his shoulder and what we are seeing with Dotcom is just the tip of the iceberg.

  6. red blooded 6

    “Sure the bill will change this and controls put in place to prevent it happening again”

    Do you really believe this, Minibus? Key hasn’t even tried to sell it this way. There’s a big difference between this statement and his palava about smoothing out inconsistencies and making good use of technology and expertise. Basically, he has said that he wants the agency to carry on what it’s been (illegally) doing for years. In his eyes the solution’s simple: make it legal!

  7. mindy 7

    What would Mork do?

  8. Rodel 8

    Cunliffe’s speech among others,including Cosgrove and Goff was brilliant. He said something like, “If people break the speed limit laws , you don’t just change the law by raising the speed limit and say, “there, everything’s legal now.”
    Like the cartoon in today’s Press (Not a Nisbett) . Woman concluding a phone conversation…says goodbye to her friend…and adds ” goodbye to you too Mr Key”

    • infused 8.1

      Pretty poor comparison.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        OK its not Shakespeare but it makes the point.

      • Chooky 8.1.2

        @ infused

        On the contrary …it is a very apt analogy by Cunliffe…shows how it makes a mockery of the law….you wouldn’t get the traffic cops doing something similar to what John Key is doing ( eg Oh you have broken the speed limit…oh never mind, we will just raise the speed limit to over the legal speed you just broke!) ….If it was followed all around NZ , we wouldnt have any laws left!.

        Cunliffe has shown it is a very shonkey breaking of the law order to get oneself off the legal hook for illegal spying practice.

    • Chooky 8.2

      @ Rodel

      The telephone good byes from my Mother , in her eighties , are rather ruder and from her part sound like they have come out of the Uraweras !….I await to see her dragged off by the NZ Army…

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    It’s not just Dunne’s fig leaf.

    How can anyone now pretend NZ is a democracy?

    How can any National MP now pretend they “represent” their constituents?

    Our country’s law making system has been unmasked as a charade.

    If those with the power to rule have no moral compass, they are pushing society into a dark abyss.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Important to talk to as many people as possible about what is going on.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      How can any National MP now pretend they “represent” their constituents?

      But they do – they’re just not NZers.

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