web analytics

Chorus of opposition to Key-Dunne spying Bill continues

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, August 7th, 2013 - 15 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.

15 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.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago