Yesterday Key played the
reds under the beds terrifying terrorists card to try and justify his spying Bill:
Key terror claims under fire
The Government intensified its sales job on the GCSB Bill yesterday, with the Prime Minister claiming some New Zealand citizens have had al-Qaeda training in Yemen. …
In an apparent bid to emphasise the need for effective spy agencies, Mr Key yesterday said on More FM that some New Zealanders had travelled to Yemen to attend al-Qaeda camps and were under surveillance.
He refused to give further details but, asked later in the day, said he had signed warrants for surveillance of “a small number” of people who were in Yemen.
… It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve broken the law at this point.”
One is a “small number”. Two is a “small number”. 88 is a big number:
The bill was written after the Kitteridge report found 88 cases in which the agency might have spied unlawfully on New Zealanders on behalf of agencies such as the police and SIS.
So who were the other 80-plus (non Yemeni visiting) Kiwis who have been spied on? That’s right – the government won’t tell us. But the examples of people who we believe have been spied on recently are Kim Dotcom and two journalists, Jon Stephenson and Andrea Vance. Journalists. The government sees them as the enemy:
NZSIS has special protocol for spying on journalists
The country’s internal intelligence agency has a special protocol for spying on journalists, the Prime Minister’s office has confirmed.
The revelation of the protocol came in a letter which effectively confirmed journalists as valid targets for NZSIS surveillance.
Presumably there is some tiny but “real” risk of terrorist action in NZ. But it doesn’t justify the broad powers of the Key-Dunne spying Bill (as terrorism expert Professor Robert Patman just stated on Morning Report). Recent experience and the government’s own protocols show that these spying powers will be used on activists and journalists that the government of the day doesn’t like. The 88 who have been illegally spied on already call bullshit.