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Chorus of opposition to Key-Dunne spying Bill continues

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, August 7th, 2013 - 14 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, national, Spying - Tags: , , , , , ,

Yesterday Opposition parties filibustered, and successfully delayed the passage of the Key-Dunne spying Bill (linked article includes clips of some of the speeches). This buys more time to protest, and to put pressure on MPs.

We have never before seen in New Zealand such a broad and ongoing chorus of opposition to government legislation as we are seeing with this Bill. Just yesterday alone…

The Law Society ripped off Peter Dunne’s fig leaf (sorry!!), renewing their objections to his modified Bill:

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. …

“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.

New Zealander of the Year Dame Anne Salmond spoke up yet again:

Govt must heed Kiwis’ unwillingness to live in spy state

… In Nazi Germany, critics were silenced with the argument, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” It has been sobering to hear this repeated in 21st century New Zealand. …

In the contemporary world, there are many spy states. According to many commentators, galvanised by a fear of terrorists and al-Qaeda, the United States is heading in this direction. In such states, governments gain extraordinary powers. Democratic rights are stripped away while the risks to security are often outweighed by the harm caused to innocent citizens.

Until recently, I had thought New Zealand governments were largely immune to such temptations. Over the past few months, however, a trail of links between an American corporation (Warner Brothers), the US Government, its intelligence agencies and the GCSB, the Prime Minister’s office and Parliamentary Service has been uncovered by New Zealand lawyers and journalists.

In this shabby saga, which began with an illegal raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion, a report on the GCSB has been leaked, and an MP and a journalist have been spied on. There has also been a massive breach of trust between Parliament and its citizens. …

The GCSB has been involved in some of the worst of these debacles. In the process, serious questions have been raised about whether a proper degree of independence exists between this agency and those who are charged with ensuring that it does not exceed its legitimate powers. Quite clearly, on a number of recent occasions these checks and balances have ignominiously failed.

In such a situation, it is indefensible to try to ram through a bill that gives the GCSB almost unlimited powers to spy on Kiwis, under political supervision.

Any legislation regarding the security agencies must have the support of the Law Commission, the Privacy Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission, and most New Zealanders, since their rights are at stake.

The two MPs who hold the balance of power on this matter are implicated in the Kim Dotcom/GCSB saga. In any other governance situation, they would be required to declare a conflict of interest and step aside from decision-making.

The great majority of New Zealanders abhor the idea of living in a surveillance society. In a democracy, it is the duty of Parliament to reflect their wishes.

Industry professionals voiced their concern:

IITP chews telco Bill

New Zealand’s Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) has joined Microsoft and Google in criticising the Telecommunications (Interception and Security) Bill.

IITP CEO Paul Matthews told Computerworld New Zealand today that it had reservations about the Bill sponsored by National MP Amy Adams, which if passed by Parliament may force any network to be open to scrutiny by the Government Communications Security Bureau.

“The Institute of IT Professionals supports and recognises the role that the Government Communications Security Bureau plays in national security. However, we also believe this role needs to be balanced,” he said.

“A number of IT industry parties voiced concern at the expanded role the GCSB will have under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill during the law and order select committee hearings this week. These include concerns over the protection of privacy, the potential to stifle innovation, and possible conflicts with laws in the US and we share many of these concerns.

“Passing this law with a razor-thin majority against the wishes of the industry and most New Zealanders is not a good way forward. The government needs to consult more widely to ensure a greater industry consensus before this bill is passed into law. As New Zealand’s independent representative body of IT Professionals, we are very happy to participate in a broader consultation.”

Principled right-wing commentators (and I note that this emphatically does not include the poodle bloggers Farrar and Lusk/Slater) spoke up too. Here’s Colin Espiner:

Free press more important than GCSB

Not bothered by all the fuss down at Parliament over spying? Surely if you’ve done nothing wrong, there’s nothing to worry about, right? Events of the past week have provided the perfect example of the folly of this argument. Governments monitor the movements of people they are interested in, or who have pissed them off. Whether they have done anything wrong is secondary.

The unseemly haste with which the Government trampled over privacy and skirted the law in its hunger to discover who was behind the leak of a damning report into the activities of our intelligence services reveals a growing disregard for one of the cornerstones of Western democracy – a free press. …

It is in this fairly toxic environment that the Government wishes to pass the GCSB Bill, which will make it much easier for our intelligence services to spy on New Zealanders – and for the Defence Force to use the technical capabilities of the GCSB to track people without having to rely on others to do their dirty work. …

It’s a bit rich for the Government to assure voters they should trust our intelligence agencies and officials to take care with their personal information when the experience to date has been precisely the contrary.

Even the ludicrous “ACT on campus” are displaying more integrity than their putative leader:

Saying No to the GCSB and TICS

ACT on Campus Vice President Guy McCallum has today voiced concerns over the controversial spying legislation in an article written for Otago University’s magazine, Critic.

“As a member of ACT, which has supported a government wishing to expand the surveillance powers of intelligence agencies, I’m often asked the question: do I support the GCSB or TICS bills?

“No, I don’t. …

“It is incumbent upon all of our political leaders to oppose these bills. Not just because they will lead to the most obvious of places – state tyranny – but because politicians should be standing up to anyone who claims that such immoral and perverted powers are necessary.”

And on and on it goes.

National MPs are a lost cause.

John Banks is a lost cause.

But Peter Dunne – you can still end this mess.

14 comments on “Chorus of opposition to Key-Dunne spying Bill continues”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    The only thing Peter Dunne is yet to decide is whether or not he’ll put:

    “Willing seller, willing buyer. Once bought, stays bought. Vote Dunne for deals.”

    on his billboards next year.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Key doesn’t want to have a bipartisan National Security bill, as he knows best, he knows how to implement Novopay, he knows that stopping foriegn investors buying property is racist and that sending tainted baby milk formula to China makes us their best friend. Key is a dipstick.

  2. Ennui 2

    We can object all we wish but the passage of this Bill will happen regardless. This reflects two of the thorny issues that are much larger than the Bill per se:
    1. Our position as an imperial vassal to the commercial and political mores of “empire”. Our politicians are merely local satraps and lapdogs and dance to the tune of their imperial overseers. What makes anybody suspect an incoming “left” government would act any differently?
    2. The practice of democracy in NZ is so thoroughly compromised (as demonstrated by the governments inability to regard basic principles of process in their hurry to force any number of issues). Even with a change of government what makes anybody think that any of our current generation of politicians has any commitment to democracy, or the intellectual background to step aside from sectarian interests and actually practice democratic principles (as opposed to “we have the votes, fekk you”)?

    • Rosetinted 2.1

      Ennui
      +1
      I wonder how many people took part in the Constitution Conversation? Changes have to be made to the way that this country is run for us to have a working democracy.

      If we get our way (we being the politicians and their backers) and join TPP with its sweeping sovereign-standing retrenching, we will probably be lost. Unless we went alone like some South American country that is trying to do things for itself against the mainstream. Could we join a group of non-aligned countries? I haven’t noticed much high minded independence in our nation. In fact someone recently said that we have a lot of deference to people with power.

      We would annoy the right wing faction of native-speaking English who might decide to run a short attack against us to bring us into line. We could then possibly become a practice ground for testing of advanced weapons.

      Or have a battle that left unexploded mines and depleted uranium as in Iraq, finally spoiling our once beautiful, human-free country. We could then be seen as a useful place as a repository for all the nuclear waste in the world which would solve a lot of problems for them. The citizens could huddle in Auckland, and the rest of the North Island could be an exclusion zone, and the south contain the main dumps.

      That’s a Dr Strangelove scenario. It could happen because in the minds of the death-dealers at the top of large defence forces nothing is too terrible to contemplate if the scenario keeps them in power and their desired property and comforts safe.

      • Ennui 2.1.1

        Rosetinted, ultimately your scenarios cannot be dismissed even if extreme, because they are about the use of power above principle. Democratic principle is supposed to be a check on this, but listening to our PM it is obvious that he is entirely dismissive of anything apart from “power”. And those whose interests are more “international” than “local” would I have no doubt no hesitation in recourse to coercive discipline for we peasants.

        • Rosetinted 2.1.1.1

          The USA is still seen as most powerful country and hegemonic in the world. Their move away from principled democracy has continued since McCarthyism and the naked lies and grasp for power and privilege that was behind it. Then Reagan was all for it and became President. On it rolls, and now it is frightening. It was only wanting to look better in principles than Russia that kept the erosion in check I think. Now Russia is not the foe it was, the effort to at least appear to be good, is not required.

          Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States
          When the budget was signed into law on 28 October 2009, the final size of the Department of Defense’s budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than President Obama had requested.

          [3] An additional $37 billion supplemental bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was expected to pass in the spring of 2010, but has been delayed by the House of Representatives after passing the Senate.[4][5]

          Also the valuable armaments industry, lots of money for doing destructive things.

  3. vto 3

    Dame Anne Salmond makes an indisputable point here…

    “The two MPs who hold the balance of power on this matter are implicated in the Kim Dotcom/GCSB saga. In any other governance situation, they would be required to declare a conflict of interest and step aside from decision-making.”

    Shoddy crappy law-making riddled with conflicts of interest.

    What an absolute sham.

    Peter Dunne should be ashamed of himself.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      +1 to all of the above.

      Our parliament has lost its legitimacy.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Shame is not sufficient for them to do the right thing; overwhelming public and community pressure is needed.

      • Rosetinted 3.2.1

        Petr Dunne – shame? He is less that gene.

        • yeshe 3.2.1.1

          Exchanged it for the hair gene .. willing buyer, willing seller and all that. He is a spineless and weak coward of a hair do and nothing more. And maybe tomorrow I might say what I really think !

  4. exitlane 4

    Its likely a forlorn hope but will the media and the Opposition take the delay to investigate and expose the NZ connection to Snowden’s leaks ? Such as ..
    1. does the GCSB have the use of the XKeystore program -with which a low-level analyst can hack anyone any time with a few keystrokes – and without a warrant

    2 does the NSA fund the GCSB as it does the UK spy agency?

    3 do NZ telcos facilitate NSA access to its undersea fibre-optic cables of all New Zealand data – as Aussie and UK telcos have been exposed as doing?

    • yeshe 4.1

      Interesting how all these matters can involve Kim Dotcom — he is easily master of the internet, master of encryption, and prior to the raid, I think, was even considering his own cable to NZ. Is this an intrinsic part of the heavy handed plan to destroy his business and discredit him, as he could easily defeat their purposes for himself ? Is it about this as much as Hollywood copyright ? Is this why the bill is so urgent ??

  5. Sable 5

    Kim Dotcom is a test case of sorts by the tyrants to see how far they can go in violating peoples democratic rights. If they can get away with this there is nothing to stop them treating the rest of us the same way.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
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    5 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
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    6 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
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    1 week ago