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Dunne caves on GCSB spying

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, July 22nd, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: Spying - Tags: , ,

Predictably, Peter Dunne has caved. Vance and Small with the details:

Dunne backs expanded spy powers

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says he will support controversial legislation to expand spying powers.

Dunne said he was willing to vote for the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment bill after ”major amendments”. … Dunne said Key had agreed to a number of changes which included:

* specific legislation to add any agencies allowed to request assistance from the GCSB. The current proposed bill only required an Order in Council, which is not voted on by Parliament

* the watchdog overseeing the GCSB, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, must be informed when a warrant is put on the register relating to a New Zealander

* an annual report from the GCSB on the number of times it has assisted other agencies

* annual public hearing of Parliament’s closed door Intelligence and Security Committee to discuss financial reviews of the performance of the GCSB and the SIS

* an independent review of the security services in 2015, and then every five to seven years

Key had already conceded to establishing a set of guiding principles into the legislation and the establishment of a two person advisory panel to assist the work of the Inspector-General. …

But Labour leader David Shearer said the Government’s proposals were “tweaking around the edges” and did nothing to make him change his opposition to the proposed new law.

61 comments on “Dunne caves on GCSB spying”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    colour me surprised.

  2. Rich 2

    * Heated pavements in Ngaio?

    * Dunne to be ambassador to London / Washington / Suva?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      They have full copies of all of Dunne’s emails, txts, phone calls and other electronic correspondence. Finding pressure points is a walk in the park. It’s why Jimmy Carter says that the US no longer has a functioning democracy.

      • emergency mike 2.1.1

        Dunne’s ‘I don’t like this bill’ prevarication was clearly just for show. He and Key both knew it. A half-hearted attempt at trying to portray himself as a man acting on principles in the face of all dat political pressure. He got Key to make rubbish ‘concessions’, Key got what he wanted.

        All politicians (and some other people too) have dirt that can be used to make them tow the line. But how to get one’s hands on it… If only there was some way of storing everyone’s personal communications forever so they could be used to make them sing the company song or just STFU when our PM needed them to…

      • Jenny 2.1.2

        They have full copies of all of Dunne’s emails, txts, phone calls and other electronic correspondence. Finding pressure points is a walk in the park.

        Colonial Viper

        Indeed. This is why full spectrum surveillance of the population as illegally practiced by the NSA revealed by Edward Snowden is so dangerous to democracy.

        Secretive unaccountable organisations like the GCSB are being given incredible amounts of power to gather data on everyone. Automated systems will record, annotate, file and store all this metadata to be recalled at the press of few buttons.

        The sort of meta data snooping used against Vance to track her movements through parliament can now be legally used to track anybody’s movement through society.

        Journalists and news organisations can forget about protecting their sources from the state, who may be inimical to these sources. In most cases the state will be able to retrospectively track where they have been and from that determine who they have seen.

        The protections listed by Key and agreed to by Dunne are nothing but a sop to genuine public concern, doing little to rein in this secretive power, especially as to uncovering any further hidden illegal behaviour.

        Journalists are likely to be the first target for such abuses, there being nothing at all remaining to protect against it.

    • paul andersen 2.2

      yep , ambassador’s position for sure,

    • Rodel 2.3

      Rich-Yes. That’s probably it. Another key deal. Grudgingly admit that he might be good at it.
      Able to sway with whoever is in power.

  3. JK 3

    ” * the watchdog overseeing the GCSB, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, must be informed when a warrant is put on the register relating to a New Zealander ”

    Not that surprising, being Dunne – easily done-over ! But why didn’t he insist the New Zealander being spied on was also informed – not just the watchdog ?

    • Wayne 3.1

      JK,

      Think through the point you have made; it would rather defeat the purpose to inform the person surveilled! Any surveillance warrant, whether granted to the Police under the Search and Surveillance Act, or to anyone else (SIS), is covert.

      I can only presume you are actually against having any organizations like the SIS or GCSB.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        I presume you are in favour of judicial action by the executive which amounts to a verdict without trial.

        Scratch the surface of the self-styled called lovers of freedom and what do we find?

        • Wayne 3.1.1.1

          Remember the GCSB surveillance of NZers can only be part of a Police or SIS warrant, effectively to provide technical expertise to the Police or the SIS. The GCSB will not get an independent power to surveill NZers.

          Police warrants are judicially granted, though SIS warrants are granted by the PM. According to public records there are about ten SIS warrants per year.

          • Murray Olsen 3.1.1.1.1

            Police never bug anyone unlawfully, cough, cough, well, except for Tuhoe “terrorists” and others we don’t know about yet. GCSB never act unlawfully, except against fat German “criminals” that Key had never heard of, and the other 80 or so. Your post doesn’t really make me feel any better. I’d bet that within a year they’ve pushed beyond the limits of the new law.

            I am against having those organisations, yes. I can’t remember a single case where they’ve done any good. They missed the Rainbow Warrior, they destroyed Sutch, and who knows what else? Get rid of them.

            • infused 3.1.1.1.1.1

              They’d do that anyway if they wanted to. Stop kidding yourself.

              • Murray Olsen

                Exactly why I suggest getting read of them. Comprehension doesn’t exactly seem to be your strong point, does it?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1.2

            Dr. Mapp, if the GCSB isn’t collecting our metadata for the NSA, who is?

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2.1

              It’s a good question; it’s quite possible that as a “2nd party” intelligence partner to the US, it does not collect mass information about New Zealanders. France and Germany on the other hand are “third party” intelligence partners, and their populations are fair game.

              “Boundless Informant” data also appears to support the position that NZ is one of the least surveilled countries by the USA.

              • Poission

                NZ is also a base for the manufacture of tax havens, they would not want that information in general population in the NSA.The competing US based “company” would be very perturbed.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1.3

            Dr. Mapp. you missed the point of my comment. Of the eighty odd cases where the GCSB broke the law, not one has led to a prosecution, let alone a successful one.

            Dewes and Green presented evidence to the select committee that their house has been repeatedly burgled, their mail interfered with, and that the police response has been unhelpful at best. Theirs is an example of verdict – even sentence, without trial.

            In the UK, the “security” services are implicated in the maintenance of worker “blacklists”, again an example of sentence without trial.

            When the GCSB burgles someone’s house (email, metadata, etc.) can you think of a single reason the homeowner, given the capability, should not assault and restrain them? What would you do if you found a burglar on your property? Ask them if they’re from the government?

            Get off your knees, Dr. Mapp.

          • RobertM 3.1.1.1.4

            Yes but how many police warrants a year will be issued under the new formal system with recognizes the police right to access GCSB data and meta date. Presumably they will increase.
            The issue with warrants is how long will they remain in place and how open will the information sought. How much will they give the Police the right to trawl thru New Zealander’s background and internet use and writing over the last 15 years. It seems past approval for access to GCSB meta data has been close to a General Warrant and the Dunne shot gun remarriage to Key is actually licensing General Warrants and a partial police takeover of the analysis of NZ GCSB data from the Canadians who usually study it.
            The Veitch submissions arguing for a merger of NZ’s 9 intelligence bodies most minor offshoots of Police, Serious Fraud, Defence, MFAT and the PM’s department overlooks the fact that most are economic analysts or tech experts and very few real intelligence or military analysts actually exist in NZ and the actual reality of doing work and analysis is handing the job to the Police as Cath Wallace and Sue Bradford want.
            Increasingly it becomes clear HR, the former Cabinet Sec and the Privacy Commissioner are probably right. Presumably Hong Kong and Chinese Police are very keen to deal with a neutral NZ Police analysts rather than pro Western Canadian ones.

  4. Shane Gallagher 4

    Just whilst we are on the topic – can anyone explain why Mike Williams, the well-known Labour stalwart, thinks the GCSB Bill is “understandable” and probably a good idea? This was on Nine-to Noon on RadioNZ this morning. Who else in Labour do you think is of the same mind? 🙂
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2562920/politics-with-matthew-hooton-and-mike-williams

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Basically everyone. Very few people are making the case for civil rights in this country. Which is amazing since we have seen the misuse of official surveillance in society time and again in the last few years.

  5. emergency mike 5

    Mr Principles makes his principles very clear. Big surprise.

    So much for Hairdo’s ‘chance to shine’. Let’s get back to reality now eh folks?

    • rob 5.1

      Obviously Key has something over him
      Hopefully he will be looking for a new role late next year
      Here was his chance to show some backbone and tell Key to
      F*** off.

  6. Rosetinted 6

    Groucho Marx – “Those are my principles and if you don’t like them!….Well I have others’.
    Such accommodation – he could take in the whole of government if the earthquake toppled the beehive. Room for everybody here! Don’t leave me in lonely isolation uncomfortably hatching a great big principle.

  7. Wayne 7

    Mike Williams statements on Nine to Noon, taken together with the changes announced this afternoon will certainly put pressure on Labour. Though of course not the Greens who oppose GCSB and the SIS on principle. As do many commenters on this site.

    I guess Labour can say the review is not quite the review they wanted, but that is going to be hard to explain to middle New Zealand.

    However, I do appreciate that Oppositions often oppose Bills simply because Governments propose them.

    Still, Labour will have to ask itself whether middle NZers will be impressed that the PM has shown flexibility and therefore will gain general credit (and not just on this issue). Or will Labour say that no-one would determine their vote on this issue, and that remaining opposed to the Bill burnishes Labour’s credibility as a determined opposition. And therefore prepared to fight to win.

    Tricky issue for Labour. You may recall how well John Key did by cutting a deal with Helen Clark over the anti smacking bill. Standing alongside her made him look like a potential Prime Minister. In contrast David Shearer has not had that opportunity, and now can’t get it (and neither would John Key be keen to give him such an opportunity, since he knows how valuable it is for an Opposition Leader).

    • Anne 7.1

      middle NZers will be impressed that the PM has shown flexibility and therefore will gain general credit (and not just on this issue).

      That’s the positive spin, now for the negative … John Key does a deal with Dunne in order to get his vote. He makes a few more ‘cosmetic’ concessions – and a vaguely worded promise there will be an independent inquiry into all the security services maybe in 2015 or maybe later – and in return he will ensure none of those emails are leaked, and National won’t stand anyone in Ohariu in 2014?

    • North 7.2

      Wayne…..fuck off and watch X-Factor. You’re a spittley, atrophy inducing bore, as always.

      • Transient Viper 7.2.1

        Yeah, your comment is much better thought out and written than his.

        • Murray Olsen 7.2.1.1

          Out of the two, North’s was at least sincere. We can get apologetics for NAct by opening the Herald.

    • muzza 7.3

      Wayne, are you pleased of the direction NZ is going in, wayne?

      Middle NZ – Yup, kied to , kept in the dark, like mould!

      With people like Wayne, seeking to assure them!

  8. Wayne 8

    Well, the Labour reaction clearly indicates continuing opposition to the Bill. Judging from the reaction, there is nothing that the Nats could do that would now get Labour’s support, possibly even a total agreement with Labour’s position of a couple of weeks ago!

    But in my view there is some risk for Labour with swinging voters. However, I appreciate the activist base of Labour, having demonised John Key so much in this term, would never want to see Labour do anything that might hint of compromise. After all how do you sup with the devil!

    • ‘demonised’..?..hardly..!

      ..all his own handiwork..really..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Huginn 8.2

      Interesting posts, Wayne. Thanks for the strategic analysis.

    • lprent 8.3

      I haven’t followed the last couple of weeks of debate because I’ve been either been trying to get off on holiday, on holiday, or recovering from it

      But the nearest I ever saw for an actual justification for the GCSB bill was the raising of the cost issues for the police and/or the SIS to gain similar technical capabilities to intercept communications. The only problem is that it subsequently appears that while it was raised, it was never actually costed.

      It would have been (in my opinion) a hell of a lot cheaper and certainly less legally corrupting than this bill to have simply gotten the police and/or SIS the technical capabilities to go with their existing legal abilities with the providers of communications services. They aren’t that hard to get using simpler means than getting an external body with a completely different mandate to do it for them on legally dubious grounds and in a remarkably inefficient manner for the task.

      Of course for either of these bodies to actually do it themselves would have required an actual legal authority from the courts or the relevant ministers to do so. This is something that seems to have been completely absent from their prior requests to the GCSB to do the same task. The theory of inferred authority being passed elsewhere is just a way of doing and end-run around the courts and ministerial responsibility.

      I also get the impression that much of the reason that the reason that police seem to prefer using the GCSB is because they prefer to not have the “evidence” or the methods on legally dubious cases visible to the public gaze in the courts. Because that is certainly what has been coming through in the court cases involving the security forces recently and is the reason for the spate of quite dubious suppression orders and closed sessions in court related to how evidence was collected.

      In fact I’m seriously starting to think that deliberately and automatically making such things public and searchable would be the most effective way to force such sessions into the “star chamber” style of justice that they appear to be. It is certainly looking preferable to be rather than being silently complicit with the courts steadily getting less about justice being seen to be done that with simply securing a conviction to stop some police looking like fools for authorising cowboy operations.

      Basically I can’t see any particular justification for the GCSB bill except for covering up any future embarrassment for silly dicks in the police abusing the courts processes and embarrassing the minister in charge of the security forces. So yes, I think that John Key is directly responsible for this silly bill, and I’d prefer if he didn’t use the law making process to do silly changes to stop himself being embarrassed. And if it passes with one vote then I suspect that it will be reversed and the actions taken under it’s auspices made public.

      • Jenny 8.3.1

        And if it passes with one vote then I suspect that it will be reversed and the actions taken under it’s auspices made public.

        lprent

        I will be waiting for the Labour Party announcement that with the support of the Green Party on gaining the majority in the house, this bill “will be reversed, and the actions taken under it’s auspices made public”.

        No doubt, such a statement would be greeted with even more howls of unseemly outrage and fury from the opponents of democracy than the announcement of the Labour Green intention to institute a single buyer for electricity.

  9. unclemuzza 9

    Well I’m surprised if no one else is, call me naive but I genuinely thought Dunne had a higher ethical ceiling than this. What a sell out.

    • felix 9.1

      I can’t recall a single event in his 150-year-long parliamentary career where he has displayed a predisposition to ethical behaviour.

      Plenty of posturing and lip service, but that’s all.

  10. johnm 10

    The spineless Jelly fish strikes again! Heads over to the nearest feeding station. No wonder NZ is in the sh@t it is in, including banker w$nker Key running the show! :-(I give up go ahead aided aand abetted by the well orf f$ck over the place 100% I don’t care anymore! 🙁

  11. Yes 11

    Nz is moving fast into a good space. It’s a dunne deal. There was nothing wrong with the bill and the slight tweaking is normal process. If the left had the treasury benches they would of dunne nothing

    • muzza 11.1

      Yes, do you consider yourself to be a NZ’er, do you live in NZ?

      Can you elaborate on this so called, “good space”?

      I’m sure you will enjoy the “good space”, when the grid lands on you, as it will, just like everyone else, because you’re not special, which is why you post on this site!

  12. North 12

    dirty deal dunne…….ambassador to where…..bow-tied detritus…….talk about bludgers…….destestable troughing scum……..spit on you !

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    Well before the law is repealed I think we should find out just how much right wing US money goes to Act, the nact’s,and pressure groups like sensible sentencing. Find out what Alan Gibs is really doing at those weekends down on the farm and what did Lord Ashcroft really say to Key and how big was the cheque? What did Sky city give for the favourable treatment – and publish the lot.

  14. Paul Campbell 14

    Just this afternoon he was on the radio all “this is just not good, I can’t vote for it”, and tonight on TV1 he just gave a knowing smile, leaving the announcers rather non-plussed

    I thought we had laws and stuff about the buying of MP’s votes – even with ambassadorships or cabinet posts to be provided later

  15. Tanz 15

    Par for the course. Can we have the old voting system back now?

  16. bad12 16

    ‘The Hairdo’, along with all the usual ”i have won major concessions from the Government” waffle had this to say about why He will back the spying legislation,

    ”This was a case of willing buyer willing seller”, unquote, i kid you not,

    i have to wonder what price Dunne got from the Slippery little Shyster we have as a Prime Minister for His vote, slightly more than 30 pieces of silver i would imagine,

    My belief is that Dunne is planning one last hurrah and will stand again in the Ohariu electorate in 2014, anyone want to put money on National not contesting that seat as the price of ‘the Hairdo’s’ support for the GSCB Legislation…

    • McFlock 16.1

      yeah, just saw that on delayed news. “when you’ve got a willing buyer and a willing seller, you can do a deal”.
      The Hair just sold another little piece of our freedom.

  17. Mary 17

    Bad move by Dunne. Opposing the bill wouldn’t have necessarily axed his chances with Key in 2014 because if Key needs him then Key needs him. But supporting the GCSB bill means he’s risking his electorate seat which on top of the asset sales debacle might just be enough to annoy the people of Ohariu to get rid of him. Keeping the seat for someone in Dunne’s position should be paramount so by supporting the GCSB bill he’s taking the support of the electorate for granted. He should be making a stand against the GCSB bill in order to retain his seat. That way he can still go with National or Labour in 2014, but the crucial thing for him is to keep onside with his electorate because without that he’s toast. Dunne’s strategy, if he’s got one, is flawed because he’s wrongly focusing on allegiance to one political party for his political future instead of the electorate that keeps putting him there and without which he’d be out of there. Dunne’s strategists should be shot.

  18. Jenny 18

    Through his actions Peter Dunne has become the single most corrupted personality in our political history.

    • Jenny 18.1

      That this bill can only be gotten through the house with blackmail and pressure. (Following the threats to fully disclose Dunne’s dirty laundry to the public, and his evident distress at this possibility). Is surely the greatest reason that an announcement should be made that this bill will be repealed at the soonest opportunity.

      Blackmail and pressure of MPs through the threatened use of privileged information, is a direct attack on our democratic system.

      • Mary 18.1.1

        Peters will ask Key a series of questions in the House which Key will answer by denying all wrongdoing then we wait in hope that the truth will come out. A nice back up plan if Dotcom’s information doesn’t quite cut it.

  19. Santi 19

    Anyone but the blind could see it: Dunne was always to prop Key. Inevitable.

  20. Huginn 20

    Yes, inevitable.
    This was what was behind Key’s deliberate and contemptuous lack of engagement as Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee meeting.

    Key and Dunne had already come to an agreement. They were just spinning us along.

    Key keeps spy bill ticking along
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10894454

  21. AsleepWhileWalking 21

    Disappointing. He seems to have forgotten that “no” is a legitimate option.

    • Jenny 21.1

      “No”, is not an legitimate option if you are a weak individual who can’t abide having their personal indiscretions plastered all over the public domain.

      It would take a much stronger personality than Dunne to stand up to that sort of public humiliation. Selling out the democratic rights of the rights of his fellow New Zealanders was the cost of saving himself from embarrassment.

      Throw in a sweetener like a sinecure ambassadorship, and it’s a Dunne Deal.

  22. Venezia 22

    How predictable of Peter Dunne. The political opportunist from start to finish. He wouldn’t know the meaning of ethics and never has done.

  23. ruup 23

    Peter Dunne is one sad,sad F**K

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