One of National’s favourite lines of attack on any significant lefty policy is that it will “scare off investors”. Capital flight! End of the world! And so on and so on. So how about this then?
Google warns of backlash to spy bill
Google has warned that new spy laws introduced by the Government could result in communications companies quitting New Zealand or scaling back their operations.
The company has joined a list of critics, from Telecom and Kim Dotcom’s Mega to the Law Society, in raising concerns about the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill, which is in front of Parliament’s law and order select committee. …
In a written submission, Google, the United States internet giant, said the “significant additional costs, time and challenges” imposed by the proposed law change could discourage local and international communications firms from making new services available in New Zealand and could lead to some existing providers quitting the country or scaling back their offerings.
Google recognised “interception tools are necessary for the effective maintenance of law”. But the tools given to security agencies should be “proportional” and a lack of transparency in some processes set out in the bill “would likely raise public fears of unjustified intrusion into their privacy”. …
Imagine the impact on the New Zealand economy if Google and telecommunications companies decide that the tiny New Zealand market simply isn’t worth the effort.
Somebody needs to ask Key what his government’s response to this threat is. He needs to have an answer, it is completely irresponsible to proceed without one.