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Nicky Hager on Surveillance and Privacy in the Snowden Era

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, January 30th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: Social issues, Spying - Tags: , ,

This talk will describe the development of mass surveillance systems during the past generation and New Zealand’s part in this story.

He will discuss Anglo-American intelligence history, digital electronics and the war-on-terror environment that together have led to a scale of spying that threatens the Internet as we briefly knew it.

Digital technology has of course also hugely changed how people live their lives. This talk will look at what privacy means and how we can protect it in this era of on-line lives and Internet surveillance.

30th Jan 2014 3:00pm

Castle 1 Lecture Theatre, Otago University

$10 at the door, or $20 for all 4 keynote events

Additional, but I’m afraid, largely out of date info here. (Just discovered that attendance is free)

30 comments on “Nicky Hager on Surveillance and Privacy in the Snowden Era”

  1. Tracey 1

    I am fascinated how some on the right consider slater to be the man fighting for truth while villifying hager.

    Hager produces work supported by evidence from corngate to hollowmen to army lies to privacy.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 1.1

      When it comes to the unpleasantness of having some third party reading through your personal correspondence without permission, Nicky Hager is certainly an expert.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1.1

        People supply him with their personal correspondences out of concern for what they are witnessing – and good on them. Hagar passes onto the public the parts of this correspondence that is in the public interest to disclose. This is a far cry from snooping on all and sundry. And a far cry from treating the public as the enemy.

  2. Craig Y 2

    Which reminds me- we’re long overdue for another book, Nicky!

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      “…Which reminds me- we’re long overdue for another book, Nicky..!”

      Given Mr. Hagers track record, it will be released a few weeks out from the election, contain lots of stuff from Edward Snowden, and be a slam dunk on John Key.

  3. karol 3

    Will there be a video or audio recording of the speech?

    • Bill 3.1

      From the linked info; ‘panels and keynotes only – NZ$20 — for those only wishing to attend the keynotes and panel events. Does not include any streamed events.’

      I think that reference includes Nicky Hager’s free talk. Not really clear on the streaming front though, is it?

  4. captain Hook 4

    The GCSB: too much time, too much money, too much technology and too many people. They are spying on everybody because they have nothing better to do. this is worse than orwellian when they dont even have a purpose.

    • Tracey 4.1

      Does anyone think this data wont be shared with selected corporates for marketing purposes

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Well thats not the real danger

        The danger will be the targeting of anti-mining, anti-dairying activists etc

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    I just watched the 2004 BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis about using fear in politics in relation to terrorism and feel rather speechless on the matter.

    This documentary makes a very good case against the existence of a wide network of terrorism – that such doesn’t actually exist. It conveys that all the court cases for ‘sleeper cells’ [that were ‘discovered’ and charged in America when the hysteria was high] – were either dropped or the charges minimised as to no longer really indicate they were sleeper cells at all.

    I note that this was made in 2004, I believe before the London bombings, and am wondering what the view of the reality of sleeper cells would be now.

    For those of you who haven’t come across it:

    A quick summary & online viewing option from Top Documentary Films. Com

    Info on where the documentary was aired/ banned (NZ not mentioned)

    A transcript of Episode One (with links to the other episodes – this link for those on dial-up)

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The surveillance state is targeted at the citizenry in anticipation of upcoming civil unrest resulting from GFC2, peak oil and climate change disasters. The tech also has some handsome payoffs in terms of industrial and commercial spying, plus juicy rich Pentagon contracts.

      The “terrorism” justification is peripheral, and largely, though not wholly, a smokescreen.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Bang on Colonial Viper. Bang on.

        It’s been in the back of my mind this is the real motivation but you are the first person I’ve heard say it.

        What it tells me is that we – the ordinary people – are going to be dispensable. We don’t count. It is an horrific scenario where the privileged few survive and the rest of us can go to hell. They are fully aware of the consequences of doing nothing over Climate Change but it suits their purposes to continue to effectively deny it is happening. Guess who is the worst example of do-nothing CC politics in particular? The USA.

        What’s worse for us in NZ is that John Key is in on the deal. That is why he is forever slipping off to Hawaii or the USA on “private holidays etc”. In other words he’s being updated on progress…

        • Anne 5.1.1.1

          And here is a great example of how the USA is operating on CC change. Hot off the press from Edward Snowden:

          Today’s NSALeak: the NSA spied on the Copenhagen climate change talks, and the US used the information to undermine them:

          http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/

          • Anne 5.1.1.1.1

            To make it crystal clear about GCSB involvement, here is the original:

            “analysts here at NSA, as well as our Second Party partners, will continue to provide policymakers with unique, timely, and valuable insights into key countries’ preparations and goals for the conference, as well as the deliberations within countries on climate change policies and negotiation strategies.”

            “Second Party partners” refers to the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with which the U.S. has an intelligence-sharing relationship.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/29/snowden-nsa-surveillance-_n_4681362.html?1391048276

    • David 5.2

      Another disturbing doco on this topic is on youtube, “The Shock doctrine”. Covers how govt’s use disasters whether man made or natural to subvert the democratic process. Well worth a look.

  6. aerobubble 6

    The debate is meaningless. We do not live in a nation of law. Privacy, secrets, have been leaked. The minister and committee member who signed the state secrecy oath, has gone into parliament and lied. And he did it in one sentence. He is still responsible to keep secret parts of the leaked Kitterage report, but as the new minister for internal affairs he is responsible for documents that are secret. So for Dunne to have declared he had no responsibility, and the pimple of a speaker laugh at how smart Dunne’s answer was, and let it slide, means the parliament has no idea what just transpired. That state officers can not decide what state secrets they can leak, and can declare to parliament about their responsibility to keep secret past secrets has ceased on becoming minister (quite the opposite).

    No, the fact is that its worse, since on becoming minister he would have to had re-sign the official secrets act. So Dunne left no doubt in my mind that he did leak, since he was unwilling to offer a denial. But worse, does not understand the official secrets act, whether for past documents, existing document he has to still keep secret, and future documents he will have to handle as a new minister (including the Kitterage report appendixes).

  7. Pasupial 7

    It was a pretty good speech, though necessarily fairly broad for a general audience. Some wonderful examples of doublethink speech; spying posts in embassies as “special collection”, “Target Implanted!” for successful execution of a compter hack. I particularly liked Hager’s characterisation of international trade negotiations as a “spying jamboree”. Also his reminisces of Assange were interesting (as he knew him before & during the development of Wikileaks); “He’s one of us – a reasonable human being”.

    If there was a fault, it was in how quickly the question session devolved into a platform for audience speechifying. But it’s hardly the only public talk that has ended up that way.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Thanks for the on the ground report

      • Pasupial 7.1.1

        I stopped putting my hand up after the first couple of questions (as they got longer and we all got more restless). But one thing I would have called Hager on is:

        How can a change of government lead to a decoupling of our spies from the global surveillance culture, when any legislation would have to be signed-off by the former head of the GCSB (Lt General Jerry Mateparae – our Governor General; with an emphasis on General)?

        Though I probably would have been less articulate in my phrasing…

  8. xtasy 8

    Nicky Hager makes and talks a lot of sense, and he deserves to be supported and commended for all this.

    But he is also a very “respectful” person, and somewhat timid, I fear, and that again is, what the ruthless forces that now control and dominate NZ society take advantage of. I see it every time I watch Question Time in Parliament, how Joyce and Key, and a few others (English is almost “moderate” and contemplating), ruthlessly manipulate, lie and pull the wool over people’s eyes. They are at the same time highly aggressive types, they shut critics up, they condone no dissent, they are little dictators in their own styles.

    It is big business, the farmers and a few other lobbies that control this country, and the media are controlled by them. All the serious talk about the GCSB and Snowden, that is only mentioned on side issue kind of news, and it does swiftly get swept under the carpet, not talked about, by most media, by the establishment anyway.

    So it fades swiftly from the minds of the ordinary population, who are mostly listeners and observers. So soon after, they forget, and they think, hey, I hear nothing, see nothing, there is NO “evil” after all.

    Hah, if only they knew how the powers in control work! They do not, they are naive, good believers, busy with 24/7 work and study, so they spend no time on what goes on.

    Yes, Nicky is right, has good points, but he should actually be more of a “leader” than just a talker. Without leaders on this kind of issues, the issues will subside and be ignored. That is what really bothers me. We need more advocates, critics, outspoken people, who challenge, take a stand and do not put up with any shit!

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Hager is playing his role and playing it well; I also think that there must be many different instruments in the orchestra to prevent relying too much on just a few talented soloists.

      • xtasy 8.1.1

        CV – I wish for, and expect a few “louder” instruments to be played also, I am waiting.

  9. Ron 9

    I note that yesterday there was a news item about Tony Abbott attacking the ABC because they had the temerity to report information that he disagreed with.
    Then surprise surprise Mark Textor pops up and called the national broadcaster’s collaboration with The Guardian news outlet as a “blow job”.
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2014/01/30/09/01/former-abc-boss-backs-pm-s-attack-on-broadcaster
    Now we have a former head of ABC and now working for Abbott think tank also attacking ABC and saying they will ‘pay for it’ Once again we have a right wing government trying to destroy their own Broadcaster. The same thing is happening in UK where Crosby Textor are working for Conservative Party and there seems to be a constant attack on BBC.
    Of course we don’t have to worry about National destroying our broadcaster TVNZ they have successfully done that years ago.

  10. Instauration 10

    Can the NZ Government assure that it did not have access to 5eyes sourced intelligence related to Petrobas during past exploration license negotiations? Can the NZ Government be perceived as an “honest broker” in any future trade negotiations with any multinational corporation or country if it has access to 5eyes surveillance information?
    Australia’s position regarding Timor Leste, spying and negotiations is unenviable.

  11. captain hook 11

    so what! I want to know just exactly how crosby textor is going to make the ABC pay for it?
    what the hell is going on. We are supposedly living in a liberal democracy but all we get is these powerful groups trying to destroy the very fabric of the polity for narrow interest groups and their objectives which seem to solely based on personal propensities. The world as they conceive it is a frigging nightmare of dweebs with money who want to tell everyone else what to do. Uggggghh.

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