Written By: notices and features - Date published: 1:57 pm, May 7th, 2013 - 7 comments
Categories: defence, democracy under attack, human rights, law, national - Tags: big brother, GCSB, no right turn, Spying
For the short version, as @lyndonhood commented: “Admittedly it will be easier for the GCSB to act within their legal boundaries if they don’t have any”.
For the long version see the excellent I/S at No Right Turn…
Last year, we learned that the GCSB had illegally spied on Kim Dotcom. Last month, we learned that he wasn’t the only victim: they had illegally intercepted the communications of 85 other New Zealanders. Today, the government released its response to that unlawful behaviour, in the form of the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill. But rather than subjecting them to stricter controls so they can’t run amok again, John Key wants to give them more power.
The full bill is here [PDF], and its a shocker. Some highlights:
The latter I think says it all: this is a bill written by the spies, for the spies. Whether New Zealanders want to be spied upon has not been considered. There is some good stuff buried in there – the idea of “incidental intelligence” perfectly captures what we thought was the situation regarding police co-operation, and the position of the GCSB director has been put on a sounder statutory footing (though amusingly, their statutory performance reviews cannot consider “any security operations undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken” – that is, their actual performance). But the guts of it is a naked power grab by the spies, which would allow them to spy on you, me, and everyone. All in the name of “national security”, of course. Who are we being kept “secure” from? It’s top secret, of course. And we pay $50 million a year for this bullshit.
This bill is not fit for purpose. It – and the present GCSB – needs to be scrapped. We do not need a spy agency empowered to spy on everything kiwis do on the internet (sorry, “gather and analyse intelligence about information infrastructures”). We need some security geeks to ensure the government keeps our private information secure, and that’s it. as for the rest, it should be de-funded and consigned to the dustbin of history.