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Hager, fear & the surveillance state

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, August 12th, 2014 - 82 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, election 2014, Spying, telecommunications - Tags: ,

With Nicky Hager’s latest book about to be unveiled tomorrow, I have been thinking about his research interests, and his approach to investigative journalism.

nicky-hager

In his 2012 Bruce Jesson lecture, “Investigative Journalism in the Age of Media Meltdown”, Hager said this about investigative journalism:

Investigative journalism includes, for instance, the public service of investigating truthfulness in politics and of seeking facts when the truth is disputed, twisted or hidden. It can also involve a different kind of truth: trying to discover and illuminate what is right and wrong. In essence, it is about investigating and challenging the activities of the powerful,

In short, investigative journalism, for Hager, is about speaking truth to power: something that is done in the public interest, and in order to help democracy to thrive.  If they powerful are allowed to perform their activities unchallenged, they will become increasingly autocratic, dictatorial, and anti-democratic.

In his 2013 speech at the Auckland Town Hall Meeting on the GCSB Bill, Hager talked about the way the surveillance state stifles public debate and dissent, aided by creating fear in the general population. [Daily Blog transcript of the speech].

Most people will not be spied on by the state security services.: the GCSB, the SIS and police and other systems  However, the fact that it is becoming increasingly possible for all of our activities to be monitored by state security services.  Because of the secrecy involved in these spying services, we don’t know when we are being spied on.  This creates a sense of fear: something that can contribute to people avoiding speaking truth to power.

Speaking-Truth-to-Power

In his town hall speech, opposing the changes to the GCSB legislation, Hager talked of both the extent and limits of the US-NSA-led, 5 Eyes surveillance network,

I want to talk about how far and how wide it has gone – but also how far and how wide it hasn’t gone first. 

[…]

And so the thing I want to say tonight, even though it sounds a little bit counter the meeting, is that most people in this room are not going to be spied on by the GCSB and most people out there throughout society – and there will be [people who are] – but part of us trying to reduce the harm and the hurt of something like this, is not to spread unnecessary fear – because they attack peoples sense of self and their confidence and their ability to be involved in politics [audience claps].

[…]

But I’d like to also just before we run out of time put [it]in a larger context because what’s going with this GCSB Bill is just the tip of an iceberg of what is happening – it is not happening in isolation – what we’re really talking about is that we’ve moved into the digital age. We’ve moved into a time where people live much more of their lives online.

They store their lives online. They communicate online. Compared to using a telephone a generation ago – people’s privacy and their selves are vastly more exposed than they were in the past – and at the same times as people have exposed themselves more digital technology has given previously unimaginable powers to intrude into that.

[…]

On top of that, different kinds of mass surveillance tools have come out. The ‘War on Terror’ which allowed a vast expansion, resources, the GCSB doubled in size, it’s overseas allies more than did that, and just like the American intelligence agencies which moved from spying on the Russians to spying on Americans – surprise, surprise we discovered the same thing had happened here – that they moved those great big Cold War resources to use against domestic targets as well.

So that’s the context in which we see what’s going on, and it’s all happened invisibly and secretly and the GCSB Bill we should realise is not the end of the world and the only issue on it, it’s like a jump, on a curve which has being going up and up over the last couple of decades –

[…]

… this is the idea that one of the ways that ordinary people can control centralisation and excesses and abuses of power is by leaking information, by fighting back in that way, and what Edward Snowden is doing at the moment is something that just doesn’t happen every year, it doesn’t even happen every decade

[.. it] is the perfect opportunity for us to change things.

Whether by accident or design, information is mow being made public about the alleged spying activities of former Labour MP, Bill Sutch. The focus is on KGB activities during the cold war.

The activities of the GCSB and SIS are an important election issue.

Green Party Policy: abolish the GCSB, review the SIS  and consider whether to abolish it, and abolish the Intelligence and Security Committee Act.  They will replace the later with independent security and intelligence watchdog.

Labour Party Policy: Real the recent amendments to the GCSB and TICS laws.

Internet Party:

Immediately repeal the GCSB Bill and TICS Bill passed last year, and make intelligence sharing agreements fit for our future.

I can’t find a policy statement on this for the Mana Party.

Keep calm vote left

82 comments on “Hager, fear & the surveillance state”

  1. john 1

    Ironic that the Greens will disband the GCSB, when a major part of their job is protecting government and individuals from having their information being hacked into by overseas criminal gangs.

    • Macro 1.1

      ” a major part of their job is protecting government and individuals from having their information being hacked into by overseas criminal gangs.”

      This can be achieved without all of their other obnoxious activities.

      They need to go and the whole thing started afresh. What we have now is fetid and rank, and a complete clean out is required.

      • john 1.1.1

        When we have New Zealanders fighting for terrorist organisations overseas, I’m VERY happy that the GCSB is keeping tabs on them.

        We’ve just had Aussies taking their kids over and celebrating their 7 year old boy protographed holding a decapitated soldiers head as a trophy – with a promise that he’ll bring the war back to Australia and make them pay.

        There are nutters around. That we’re keeping an eye on just 88 of them is a good thing.

        The questions should be, is the net wide enough?

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          you really are a fearful little shit when it comes right down to it, aren’t you.

          • john 1.1.1.1.1

            That’s funny coming form the side that’s paranoid about the GCSB spying on them.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              um – you missed the bit where it turned out that the gcsb was actually spying on NZ citizens, there was a bit of a scandal about it. And it was only under the last national government that the SIS was caught burglarising activists’ homes to place bugs. And then there’s the Urewera raid fuckup.

              The number of NZ terrorists (on the other hand) is much less than 88, and probably rhymes with “fear-o”.

              • john

                If you stop covering your eyes and ears and going “na na na na na” you’ll notice that already there have been Kiwis fighting in Syria and working with Al Qaeda linked groups.

                If you think there are none, that’s just a measure of your naivety.

                • BLiP

                  If you stop covering your eyes and ears and going “na na na na na” you’ll notice that already there have been Kiwis fighting in Syria and working with Al Qaeda linked groups.

                  DOX or GTFO.

                  • politikiwi

                    Would you be satisfied with a press release from the National Party saying it is so?

                    That’s all the evidence they need on Planet Key!

                    😛

                • vto

                  Have you also noticed that the Israeli army called on kiwis to go and kill Gazans for them?

                  Did you also know that Ghandi and Mandela were similarly branded terrorists at the time and people exactly like you John, here in NZ, believed the label? Wake up man and do some thinking. And reading. You are as ignorant as those who believed Mandela and Ghandi were terrorists, because the gummint told them so

                  • john

                    Yeah – the Aussie terrorist who just got his 7 year old boy to hold up a severed Syrian head as a trophy and put the picture on the internet might end up being another Mandela or Ghandi.

                    Better give them all the benefit of the doubt just in case.

                    • vto

                      keep believing John, keep believing

                    • john

                      And you keep your head in the sand.

                      If you don’t want to be naive and ignorant, try familiarising yourself with major current events.

                      Sydney Morning Herald yesterday on 7 year old Australia boy holding severed Syrian head –

                      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/barbaric-nature-of-isil-on-display-with-photos-of-boy-holding-decapitated-head-says-prime-minister-tony-abbott-20140811-3dh8q.html

                      (content may disturb)

                    • vto

                      The Syrian’s head was that of a soldier. That is not terrorism.

                      The child abuse matter is a separate matter which you can ask the Israeli government about – they just killed hundreds of children and shot at schools on numerous occasions. Ask them John – they are the experts at committing acts of terrorism, as you define it.

                      I have to admit though it is amusing to see a grown adult still believing in good guys and bad guys.

                      keep believing John, keep believing.

                    • john
                      • the guy gets his little boy to hold a severed head.

                      -he’s wanted for executing Iraqi government officials

                      • he’s been previously convicted as a terrorist in Australia.
                      • he has done jail time in Australia for his role in the 2005 Pendennis plot.
                      • he recently sent Fairfax a list of terrorist attacks he would carry out when he comes back to Australia.

                      And vto thinks he’s not a terrorist.

                      That’s well past being just naive or ignorant.

                      That’s totally idiotic.

                    • vto

                      Did you not read what I just wrote?

                      edit: betcha you still believe a lone gunman shot JFK

            • meconism 1.1.1.1.1.2

              When I went through US customs on the 27th of February 1985 I was asked what HART was by the guy sitting at the computer terminal. A computer terminal no -one could turn on these days. I told him what it was, an anti apartheid organisation and asked him how he knew that I belonged to it. His reply; You paid subscriptions and they paid tax on income received.

              • Murray Olsen

                My question about that is whether our government was giving the seppos access to that information, or whether they spied on us to get it. Neither option is great.

        • politikiwi 1.1.1.2

          You’re clearly persuaded by the “it’s keeping us safe” argument.

          Have you considered:
          — What is a terrorist organisation?
          — Who makes the decision about what organisations end up on that list? On what evidence is this based?
          — Are these methods of surveillance actually effective in stopping terrorism? (I’ll give you a hint: The vast majority of reports written by bodies affiliated with the US government – in some cases hand picked by Obama – have found no compelling evidence that these massive data collection programmes have stoppped a single terrorist attack (the Boston Marathon bombing for instance). The 9/11 commissions report said that the intelligence agencies had all the information they needed to “join the dots” on the 9/11 attacks but failed to do so because they had too much data to look at. Are you sure that more is always better?)

          Further: How far are you willing to let this unchecked State power go? Are drone strikes to kill New Zealanders who have never stood before a court and had evidence presented against them OK with you?

          Does the US President have carte blanche to declare any person, anywhere on earth, worthy of execution without trial?

          And further still: Are you comfortable with the State building the infrastructure of tyranny which, at any time, may be placed under the control of a far more menacing regime? Because once these things are built, they’re there to stay – no matter who is in charge or what you might think of them.

          (At the risk of being in violation of Godwin’s Law) I bet no one in early 20th century Germany thought it would be a bad thing to keep a list of who was Jewish. Look how that turned out.

          • john 1.1.1.2.1

            So if the GCSB keeps an eye on a handful of dodgy characters, it will end in holocaust?

            The police are allowed to spy on people they suspect of crimes, or collaborating to commit a crime.

            It’s idiotic to make an exception for those whose crimes will potentially be far more serious.

            • politikiwi 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Feel free at any time to post all of the usernames and passwords to your Facebook/Twitter/bank accounts/email accounts/etc.

              Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, right?

              I’d continue the discussion if you’d actually raised any valid points in defence of your position. But as you have simply been scared into being compliant with the State it’s clear you’re not capable of free thought, and I bid you good day sir.

              • john

                That’s the stupid thing.

                People sign up to facebook not only knowing all their details, but being able to pass them on, AND SELL them to anybody they want, including all their photos.

                Then the same people claim to be concerned about their privacy with government agents.

                • McFlock

                  there you go again, making shit up…

                  • john

                    There you go again – being naive and totally ignorant.

                    “what rights have you handed over to Facebook?

                    Specifically for photos and video uploaded to the site, Facebook has a license to use your content in any way it sees fit, with a license that goes beyond merely covering the operation of the service in its current form. Facebook can transfer or sub-license its rights over a user’s content to another company or organisation if needed. Facebook’s license does not end upon the deactivation or deletion of a user’s account, content is only released from this license once all other users that have interacted with the content have also broken their ties with it (for example, a photo or video shared or tagged with a group of friends). ”

                    Ditto with twitter. See
                    “Facebook terms and conditions: why you don’t own your online life”

                    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/9780565/Facebook-terms-and-conditions-why-you-dont-own-your-online-life.html

                    • McFlock

                      fb don’t have bank acount details or passwords for anything else I do.

                      I don’t share that shit with them, but the govt can get them whenever.
                      So yeah, at 4:51pm you’re making shit up.

                    • john

                      The GCSB only had 5 new interception warrants issues last year.

                      They are particularly on the outlook for ships breaching our offshore fishings regulations, drug dealers, organised crime, and terrorist.

                      Presumably you’re just a paranoid nobody, so you don’t need to worry about your high finances being looked at (but obviously you still will).

                    • McFlock

                      and alleged copyright violators. Big threat to national security, that. 🙄

                    • john

                      A serial criminal with convictions to prove it, who has repeatedly made his living by ripping people off, currently charged with ripping off tens of millions of dollars, is a great candidate to be spied on.

                      The police intercept communications for crimes significantly less than that on a daily basis.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                      for someone who suddenly gets his knickers in a twist about antisemitism, you’re sure quick to round up the usual suspects – like copyright violators.

                    • john

                      For someone who claims to be worried about their bank details, you seem to be quick to attack the government department responsible for keeping them safe from cyber attacks.

                    • McFlock

                      the government department that broke the law and spied on people it was specifically outlawed from spying on?

                      Yeah, nothing wrong with that, just as long as it’s someone you don’t like, eh…

                    • john

                      As the police were legally allowed to spy on Dotcom it is not hugely significant.

                      If the police had the same capability there would be no issue, except the big waste of taxpayers money from doubling up on equipment and staff.

                    • McFlock

                      oh, this would be the police who illegally shared the siezed data with an overseas agency?

                      Might even be the same unit that fed false information to a court in order to boost an agent’s street cred?

                      But it’s cool, you’re terrified of copyright violation. No worries.

                    • tricledrown

                      John cyber attacks such as 5 eyes suppressing democracy

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You’ll say anything to support your #team. That much is clear. Excuse their law breaking, deny the harm you do. Ethically challenged.

                • politikiwi

                  There’s a chasm of difference between a private company, such as Facebook, and the State. Off the top of my head:
                  — Facebook can’t revoke your passport.
                  — Facebook can’t put you in prison, indefinitely, without charge or trial.
                  — Facebook can’t send a drone to fire missiles at you (and anyone with the rotten luck to be in your vicinity).

                  I’m glad your comfortable that you’ll never have anything to hide from anyone, that you’ll always be compliant with the wishes of the State, that you’ll never be involved in a case of mistaken identity, that circumstances will never result in your being identified as a threat (even if you’re not), that you’re comfortable with extra-judicial assassination, that you don’t believe in the right to a fair trial.

                  I’m not. And history has shown over and over and over again that we should not be comfortable with ubiquitous surveillance. What you’re really saying is that “this time it’s OK”, but you’ve got no evidence for that conclusion except that “they” have told you it’s OK.

                  If you’d thought this through, you would have been able to respond to my initial questions. You didn’t respond because you don’t have the answers, and you haven’t got the answers because you haven’t thought about it. I urge you to do so, because this is not a system worthy of the faith you have in it, John. Not for a moment.

                  • john

                    I’d have to be over the top loopy paranoid before I started worrying about the NZ government dropping a missile on me.

                    Or taking my passport.

                    Or putting me in prison without charge or trial.

                    A vastly bigger threat than that are terrorist bombings.

                    In contrast to what you are worried about, far more Kiwis have been killed or injured in Bali, New York, London, Kenya, Jarkata, Morocco etc

                    There have been around 200 terrorist attacks around the world so far this year, in around 20 different countries – that’s one a day. In the UK, M15 has foiled 34 different attacks since the 2005 underground and bus bombings.

                    The risk to me ius very small, but personally I’d I think it would be totally irresponsible for the government to not have surveilance on known nutters in NZ.

                    As for the risk of something bad happening to me because of govt surveilance – I spend more time worried about getting a paper cut than worrying about that.

                    • vto

                      “I’d have to be over the top loopy paranoid before I started worrying about the NZ government dropping a missile on me.

                      Or taking my passport.

                      Or putting me in prison without charge or trial.

                      A vastly bigger threat than that are terrorist bombings.”

                      If you believe what you have just written then yo have just confirmed the naivety that you so often display. You need to go learn some history. What a waste of space.

                    • politikiwi

                      “I’d have to be over the top loopy paranoid before I started worrying about the NZ government dropping a missile on me.”
                      It doesn’t have to be the New Zealand government: One New Zealander has already been killed in a US drone strike without conviction or trial, and the evidence (if there is any at all) has never been made public. At the very least that should be ringing alarm bells as it sets a precedent of overriding the rule of law. Spy master John Key is comfortable with New Zealanders being killed without trial. Are you?

                      “Or taking my passport.”
                      Seen the size of the no-fly list lately? That’s in the US, sure, but this is the example we are emulating. Additionally it’s almost impossible to know if you’re on the list, and if you are there’s no process for being removed.

                      “Or putting me in prison without charge or trial.”
                      Rendition. Gitmo. US black sites. UK government complicity in imprisonment and torture of “terror suspects.” Are you sure you’ll never be mistaken for one? That you’ll never be remotely interested in anything which could conceivably be viewed as aiding and abetting a “terrorist organisation” (given the definition of this is not published and may include groups such as Greenpeace)?

                      “A vastly bigger threat than that are terrorist bombings.”
                      You really are scared aren’t you. THE BIG BAD TERRORISTS ARE COMING!!! UNCLE JOHN WILL PROTECT US!!!
                      Two points on that:
                      — When was the last time there was a terrorist attack on New Zealand soil which was not the act of a foreign government?
                      — Why is it that at the height of the IRA bombings – in which there was about one a week (if memory serves) – was there never anywhere near this level of surveillance? Why is it necessary now and it wasn’t necessary then, when there was a clear, present and undeniable threat?

                      “As for the risk of something bad happening to me because of govt surveilance – I spend more time worried about getting a paper cut than worrying about that.”
                      God forbid something bad would happen to you, John! But what about the rights of other people to live free of surveillance? What about my right to read whatever I want to read, without the title resulting in my being flagged as a terrorist? What about my right to speak my mind without the fear that I’m being listened to? What about my freedom to have dissenting opinion? What about my freedom to associate with whomever I like? Are those freedoms no longer relevant? Are those freedoms you would have everyone surrender just so you can sleep better at night?

                      Still haven’t addressed my original questions, by the way…

                  • Murray Olsen

                    There is no way to get the scared little people of the right to understand any of our concerns about the surveillance state/planet, because they are incapable of empathy. They frame all their thoughts around themselves and those like them.

            • tricledrown 1.1.1.2.1.2

              Yet as you say only a handful of people spied on 5 a year John!
              Your leader John Key claimed the same numbers but he also claimed to know all the names on that list but suddenly Brain Fade cannot remember KDC,As did Johnathan Coleman but bot their body language and obfuscation was very evident of compulsive lying e en the public of New Zealand don’t believe. John just Key!

              • john

                You’ve got it wrong – there were 5 new interception warrants by the GCSB last year (on top of existing warrants)

                The police also spy on hundreds suspected criminals, and were getting help from the GCSB, with many of them.

                We should simply enlist the GCSB experts and their equipment as police, then loan them back to the GSCB (rather than they other way around), then there would be no legal issues.

                It’s totally ridiculous that spying on a criminal can depend not on the criminal act they are involved in, but on the current status of their residency.

                • McFlock

                  Indeed. The state intelligence services should work for law enforcement. What could possibly go wrong with that /sarc

                • tricledrown

                  So 5 eyes doesn’t exist

                • tricledrown

                  So are you John Key or just average john or john doe show me the money!
                  so are you saying that their is no undocumented spying going on.

                  • john

                    There’s undocumented spying everywhere – particularly google and facebook.

                    And whether you know it or not, it’s likely that you’ve agreed to it, sometimes just by using their sites.

                    Emails and searches are scanned and adverts are targeted just to you. That info is also on-sold to third parties. They have the right to onsell your facebook photos, and any other personal information there – anything they want.

                    And if you’re on facebook, you’ve agreed to that.

                    • tricledrown

                      Pull the other one john obfuscating means your admitting that you were lying!
                      you have just admitted that its ok to lie so its ok to spy.
                      why not try and spin everyone making an ass of yourself .
                      your toiletrolls have had a bad day not listened to orders and you have been sent in to shore things up now you should pull the chain as you have failed you are damaging our democracy proud of that!

          • john 1.1.1.2.2

            politikiwi says “Are these methods of surveillance actually effective in stopping terrorism? ”

            MI5 in the UK stopped 34 terror attack between 2005 and 2012.

            In Australia, they stopped planned terror attacks on the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Holsworthy Army Barracks, amongst others.

            Australia has jailed 21 terrorists over the years whose plots have been uncovered by surveillance.

            And on more than 50 occasions they have stopped Australian terrorists travelling to overseas terror training camps.

            You’d have to be naive to look fact that there’s dozens of terrorists in Australia, and think that nothing could possibly be going on here.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.2.2.1

              🙄
              you’d have to be naive to think every dickhead talking big is a genuine threat to safety. They need to become tory cabinet ministers before they can do real harm.

              • john

                When you have people with plans, weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and explosives, not to mention photos of themselves and their children holding severed heads, you’d have to be a naive dickhead to think they’re not serious.

                • McFlock

                  just as long as they stay clear of glasgow airport, the bad guys’ll be fine.

                  You know how to win the war on terror?
                  Stop being a chickenshit idiot.

                  • john

                    Yeah right. Amazing plan. That will stop them.

                    • McFlock

                      actually, yes.
                      Terrorism is about producing an effect: the clue is in the name.

                      You don’t need the GCSB to check under the bed for you every night.

                    • john

                      So you think not being chickenshit will stop terrorism.

                      What utter simplistic nonsense.

                      So far this year there have been 200 terror attacks in 20 different countries that you think wouldn’t have happened, if people simply hadn’t been scared.

                    • McFlock

                      You really are hard of reading.

                      We’re not a global power, we’re not in a global or regional hotspot, and we have pretty good arms/hazmat and border controls.

                      And if you think the US is safer by hiring low-paid folks to grope airline passengers, you’re a fool.

                    • john

                      Time for you to go to bed McFlock – you’re posts are becoming idiotic.

                      Australia has dozens of terrorists – over 20 in jail right now. And another 50 stopped from going to terror training camps.

                      If you think there won’t be any here you’re living in a cocoon.

                    • McFlock

                      Isn’t it funny how the closer a country is to the US, the more “home-grown” terrorists it has.

                      Think about it a bit, john-boy.

                      btw – can you get the GCSB to look under my bed? I’m afraid of terrorists attacking me in my sleep.

                    • tricledrown

                      McFloclk their must be a good story unfolding in Nicky Hagers book for the unrelenting propaganda machine is in overdrive.

                    • McFlock

                      funny.
                      apparently the book involves informations about citizens gathered by the security services being abused by the government and supplied to bullshit merchants for smear campaigns.

                      Makesjohn’s fear of terrorists a bit disproportionate.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Police deal with serious people on a daily basis. You’d rather hand responsibility over to John Key and the Five Eyed Drone.

                  The problem is US foreign policy, the solution is to deny civil liberties and tax cuts, right John?

                • tricledrown

                  None of this would have happened if George W hadn’t fucked up we johnny !
                  Now you are trying to intimidate with emotive propaganda john sucking up to the blind faith that the govt does everything right without openness and transparecy the very freedoms you spooks claim to be defending .
                  Sadam Husseiin ‘s own words!

    • Thomas Beagle 1.2

      As of a few years ago, approximately 90% of the GCSB budget was spent on spying on other countries in Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of the US. I don’t know how that’s changed in the last couple of years.

      The GCSB had a minimal role in protecting NZ govt communications and legally had no role in protecting non-govt NZ communications until the GCSB Bill was passed in 2013.

      The real problem is that you can’t have the same body responsible for both spying and protection. The best form of protection is to encourage the use of good encryption everywhere – but that takes away from their spying ability. What are the GCSB going to do?

      • Matthew Hooton 1.2.1

        If there is to be a GCSB budget, what do you think it should be spent on? 90% in our region makes sense to me.

        • Murray Olsen 1.2.1.1

          You missed the reason, Horton. “…on behalf of the US.” No doubt that makes sense to you as well. The US can pay for its own spies. That makes sense to me. FJK.

          • politikiwi 1.2.1.1.1

            In a response to a FOIA request, the GCSB refused to confirm or deny whether they receive funding from the United States.

            Given that response, and the fact that GCHQ receive significant funding from the NSA, it’s safe to assume the GCSB do, too.

            If the GCSB work for those who pay the bills, then there’s every chance they don’t work for us.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    I have mentioned earlier about the Kitchin stories in the DomPost and Sunday Star Times.
    Fairfax Australia is printing similar stories- Which labour Mp etc .

    Too much of a coincidence ? Of course not . I bet Kitchin hasnt been near the Metrokhin Files at Churchill College at Cambridge.

    Im sure MI6 has provided abridged versions to us Kiwis and Aussies. And the releases of selected material are all part of the MI6 psyware against the KGB/FSB

    As well checking the detail says the original handwritten documents are NOT available, only typewritten ( in Russian) and EDITED transcripts can be accessed.

    AS with all these types of secret records, the first job is to remove any reference to the Royal Family, however innocent or incriminating.

    Of course, wiki leaks of US State department cables show that the US has ‘informants’ too in Wellington political circles, amoung which is political busybody and contsant US Embassy visitor DPF.

  3. BLiP 3

    Making the situation even worse is the fact that the Minister responsible for the spying agencies, John Key, has done little else in the portfolio other than lie about what’s going on . . .

    Iain Rennie came to me and recommended Fletcher for the GCSB job

    I told Cabinet that I knew Ian Fletcher

    I forgot that after I scrapped the shortlist for GCSB job I phoned a life-long friend to tell him to apply for the position

    I told Iain Rennie I would contact Fletcher

    I haven’t seen Ian Fletcher in a long time.

    I did not mislead the House (13)

    I have no reason to doubt at this stage that Peter Dunne did not leak the GCSB report

    I called directory service to get Ian Fletcher’s number

    the new legislation narrows the scope of the GCSB

    the GCSB has been prevented from carrying out its functions because of the law governing its functions

    because the opposition is opposed the GCSB law ammendments, parliamentary urgency is required

    the increasing number of cyber intrusions which I can’t detail or discuss prove that the GCSB laws need to be extended to protect prive enterprise

    it was always the intent of the GCSB Act to be able to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of the SIS and police

    National Ltd™ is not explanding the activities of the GCSB with this new law

    cyber terrorists have attempted to gain access to information about weapons of mass destruction held on New Zealand computers

    the law which says the GCSB cannot spy on New Zealanders is not clear

    it totally incorrect that the Government effectively through GCSB will be able to wholesale spy on New Zealanders

    we self identified that there was a problem with the GCSB spying on Kim Dotcom

    the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was an isolated incident

    The advice I have had in 4 years as a Minister is that in no way ever has there been an indication of unlawful spying

    the Ministerial Warrant signed by Bill English did not cover anything up

    I wasn’t briefed about the raid on Kim Dotcom’s home.

    first I heard I heard about Kim Dotcom was on 19 January 2012

    first I heard about the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was in 17 September

    I did not mislead the House (14)

    I won’t be discussing Kim Dotcom during my Hollywood visit.

    The Human Rights Commission couldn’t get its submission on the GCSB legislation in on time.

    it would cost too much to for the police and SIS to carry out the spying on New Zealanders that this new legislation will permit

    critics of the GCSB legislation, including the Law Society, the Human Rights Commission, and the Privacy Commission, are all uninformed

    no, I did not mislead the House (15)

    I do not know how Mr Henry is conducting the Enquiry

    no, I did not mislead the House (16)

    the Henry Enquiry had permission to view Ministers’ emails

    no, I did not mislead the House (??)

    we do not spy on journalists

    the passing of phone records to the Henry Enquiry was an error on the part of a contractor

    I wasn’t aware that my own Chief of Staff was instructing Parliamentary Services to hand over information concerning journalist Andrea Vance

    National Ltd™ has never tried to impinge on the role of the media

    I had nothing to do with information on a journalist being handed over to the inquiry into the leaking of the GCSB report

    the terms of the enquiry made it clear to everyone that it was only the phone records of parliamentary staff and ministers that were to be provided

    I have the utmost respect for the media and the role it plays in New Zealand’s democracy

    the Henry Enquiry did not access a journalist’s building-access records

    the Henry Enquiry did not ask for phone and email records

    no, I did not mislead the House (17)

    the Greens are opposed to the GCSB and the SIS even existing

    the GCSB needs to spy on New Zealanders because there are al-Qaeda terrorists in New Zealand

    John Minto is in the Green Party

    the GCSB needs to spy on New Zealanders because of the terrorist threat, even though official reports released over my signature say there is no risk and the SIS has the matter in hand

    the GCSB Bill does not give the GCSB the power to look at the content of communications as part of its cyber-security functions

    no, I did not mislead the House (18)

    • Tracey 3.1

      gosman likes facts, so thanks for obliging.

      Key is worried about hagers book. On prime news he called hager an extreme left wing conspiracy. Soper, unusually for him, then pointed out hager also upset clark over corngate.

      • Anne 3.1.1

        You bet he’s worried about the book.

        My best guess it’s essentially “The Hollow Men Part 2”. This time however it concentrates on John Key and his associations with the US government, the British government and charts the principle political events of the past 5 or more years and what – plus who – lay behind them.

        Since Nicky Hagar has an international reputation as a first-class investigator, I shouldn’t be at all surprised if Edward Snowden has either directly or indirectly furnished him with the relevant data.

  4. karol 4

    Nicky Hager will be talking at the Christchurch Readers Festival. 30th August.

    “Secrets, Spies and the Free Press”

    What are the limits of freedom of speech? Are any topics forbidden to writers? And when are writers justified in revealing secrets?

    Luke Harding’s computer was hacked and his work erased while he wrote about Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency; Nicky Hager has championed the right to access private information for the public good; and Richard King’s book On Offence argues that free speech is meaningless unless it includes the freedom to offend. Chaired by Joanna Norris, editor of The Press and chair of the Media Freedom Committee.

    Hager bio with the Festival Programme.

    Hager will also be talking at “People Power” on 29th August – talking with Mairi Leadbeater about her book and experiences.

  5. john 5

    McFlock says “But it’s cool, you’re terrified of copyright violation. No worries.”

    I lose more to copyright violators than I do to any other type of criminal. I’d could have my house cleaned out of every single thing in it by burglars once a year, and they still wouldn’t be as damaging to me and my staff as copyright violators.

    The livings of thousands of Kiwis depends on stamping out criminals like Dotcom – there’s $2b at stake just in the film industry.

    • McFlock 5.1

      If everyone paid the exhorbitant sticker price the MPAA charges, maybe.
      KDC’s only “crime” was that his business model was one that worked in the new environment that the corporate shills can’t understand

      Besides, I have difficulty believing your story: the only intellectual property you’ve demonstrated here has been a desert.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        if john was not personally impacted he would care less about kdc. That is how the right rolls

        He has never taken cash for a job, or paid cash to someone, never claimed a bit more on an insurance claim than actually happened, never exceeded the speed limit or run a red light…

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 5.2

      You can’t own much.

      Seriously how many of those who downloaded whatever it is you sell:

      1. Would have bought it in the first place
      2. Didn’t go on to buy it if it was any good
      3. Bought it because the very ability to download it and the distribution and publicity that engendered exposed it to audiences that it would not have been exposed to
      4. How many have bought the item and are simply format shifting which is actually legal in NZ
      5. Howe many of those downloading are little kids who will likely never ever listen to what you produce but can say I’ve got 28,000 songs, movies, assorted shit on my computer

      Downloading has some impact on sales both good and bad but it’s nowhere near what the industry purports.

      Amongst people I know I would say their accessing of Netflix would likely have a greater impact or ordering from Amazon etc before stuff even arrives here.

      You can’t have been burgled previously. If you think the sense of invasion and threat and loss and fear on your family and children following a burglary is anything like someone downloading copyright material you’re a Muppet.

      Spose your’e still antsy about blank cassette tapes and VCR’s and taping TV programmes as well.

      The irony being of course that the biggest exploiter of illegal (at the time) copyright was Sony when they produced the ipod walkman.

      In fact so many people copied music illegally to their ipods that the law was changed to allow it.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 5.2.1

        lol I was thinking Apple and ipod but my mind was obviously still in the days of mix-tapes for the girlfriend and the boys in the rugby team.

        One of the vagaries of having a decent stereo system and a large tape and record collection was that people wanted copies.

    • tricledrown 5.3

      so john what about the likes of banks who have been short changing customers and countries with libor and ponzi schemes like Merrill Lynch exec”s none of them have been jailed or indicted!
      They are in the right Club the Illuminates!
      KDC is not in that club so he will face penalties for doing the same sort of thing as what John Key did at Merrill Lynch!

  6. framu 6

    another day, another comments section getting fucked up by john

    hes just the angry version of pete george – and is a serious waste of space, time and bandwidth

    • karol 6.1

      Interesting the unexplored slippage from “terrorists” to copyright laws.

      This is one of the problems with the NZ surveillance services that needs to be fixed: mission creep.

      Of course we need state services that protect the country from physical attacks. And this needs to be done with effective oversight, checks and balances.

      However, the shift of the GCSB’s mission from physical security to “economic security” is a major problem. As in the KDC case, it is being used to protect corporates’ business interests, and a foreign corporate at that. Some of this power is being used to undermine NZ sovereignty, and against the interests of the majority of Kiwis.

      The current and future state of copyright laws, the TTPA, etc – all a major concern for NZ sovereignty and democracy.

      • framu 6.1.1

        A close connection of powerful business interests and govt is one of the 14 steps to fascism isnt it?

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  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
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  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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  • An equitable way to support business
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  • Hard News: Together Alone
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  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
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  • What about renters?
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  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    23 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago