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Key explains the need to spy on us all

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, July 29th, 2013 - 28 comments
Categories: john key, Spying - Tags: , , ,

One of the many criticisms of John Key’s spying Bill — to enable further GCSB spying on us all — is that it isn’t needed. It’s a disproportionate response to a non-existant threat, or worse, a sell out to America using “threat” as a cover story.

Well rest easy citizens consumers, because PM Key has laid those fears to rest. Here he is, in his own words, explaining why this violation of our basic human rights is absolutely necessary:

Meanwhile, Mr Key said the question of who owns the metadata that each person generates online, including when they email, text, or use a search engine, is more about “who can access data and under what conditions”.

“I’m not quite sure it’s really an ownership issue. It’s who can actually see the information,” he said.

However, when pressed over who has rights over such metadata, Mr Key said: “Well, I think in certain circumstances, the Government, if it’s collecting that data for the purpose of trying to understand whether something untoward is taking place.

“For the most part, the individual obviously owns it, because you understand through your own phone bills or your own emails who you communicate with, what, where, and how and why. But obviously there are circumstances, and this is where the touchstone is or where the dilemma is, what is the demarcation line between the right of the Government or its agencies to look at information vis-à-vis the privacy of an individual.

“And my view is that we’ve got the balance about right, because the alternative here would be either we don’t collect this data at all.”

The last sentence is particularly masterful is it not – “the alternative here would be either we don’t collect this data at all” – genius. I trust that this answers any and all carping criticism of Key’s spying Bill, and the clear and present need to sell our privacy down the river. I love Big Brother.

28 comments on “Key explains the need to spy on us all ”

  1. Richard Christie 1

    what is the demarcation line between the right of the Government or its agencies to look at information vis-à-vis the privacy of an individual.

    There is no “right” of the government to this, he’s simply making it up as he goes along.

    • blue leopard 1.1

      +1

    • UglyTruth 1.2

      Government agencies do not need anyone’s permission to gather information about people because the right to privacy is a fiction of law, it is not a right but a convention.

      The fact that some people think that this information belongs to them is irrelevant. Information cannot be owned because it doesn’t have the quality of exclusive possession.

  2. Tracey 2

    isn’t either usually followed by an “or” somewhere?

  3. happynz 3

    Key’s stock in trade – weasel words.

    I’m not quite sure it’s really…actually…Well, I think in certain circumstances…if…For the most part…because you understand…obviously there are circumstances, and this is where the touchstone is or where the dilemma is, what is the demarcation line…And my view is that we’ve got the balance about right, because the alternative here would be either we don’t collect this data at all.

  4. Tracey 4

    and BM says we have nothing to worry about. I feel so much better now.

    BTW didn’t Key fail to oversee the GCSB during the spying on 80 NZers? Why will he now be better at it?

  5. Zorr 5

    What’s that citizen? You like the colour red? You must be a subversive!

    It’s kind of funny when politics catches up to the role-playing games I used to play… funny or disturbing… it’s hard to tell whether to laugh or rejoice that we have finally reached our dystopian future >_>

  6. tracey 6

    Its a bizarre take on reds under the beds. Even online people are called commies or pinkos who express views contrary to this govt but oh the outcry if the right lurching gets called facist

  7. Sable 7

    I seem to remember people like Hitler and no doubt other dictators making similar “vague” disclaimers when spying on their own people before the mask came off and their real intent became apparent.

    • Rob 7.1

      You seem to remember Hitler in pre World War two Germany and “no doubt” other dictators making similar vague disclaimers.

      Sable, really , are you sure about that, or have you just made this shit up

  8. Tracey 8

    “Der Spiegel reported that it had seen documents and slides from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicating that US agencies bugged the offices of the EU in Washington and at the UN in New York. They are also accused of directing an operation from Nato headquarters in Brussels to infiltrate the telephone and email networks at the EU’s Justus Lipsius building in the Belgian capital, the venue for EU summits and home of the European council.

    Citing documents it said it had “partly seen”, the magazine reported that more than five years ago security officers at the EU had noticed several missed calls apparently targeting the remote maintenance system in the building that were traced to NSA offices within the Nato compound in Brussels.

    Less than three months before a German general election, the impact of the fresh disclosures is likely to be strongest in Germany which, it emerged, is by far the biggest target in Europe for the NSA’s Prism programme scanning phone and internet traffic and capturing and storing the metadata.

    The documents reviewed by Der Spiegel showed that Germany was treated in the same US spying category as China, Iraq or Saudi Arabia, while the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were deemed to be allies not subject to remotely the same level of surveillance.

    Germany’s justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, called for an explanation from the US authorities. “If the media reports are true, it is reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war,” she was quoted as saying in the German newspaper Bild. “It is beyond imagination that our friends in the US view Europeans as the enemy.” ”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/30/berlin-washington-cold-war

  9. Tracey 9

    Public concerns about union membership were heightened by events both real and imagined. In 2012 the workers from the Port of Auckland successfully defeated an attempt to lock them out and reduce their job conditions. The success of the unionised workplace had to be seen as a major threat to NZ and NZers despite so few NZers belonging to unions in NZ. Nzers needed to be convinced that unions were a danger to economic recovery and prosperity a line which has been steadfastly trod since the late 1970’s. Figures such as Brownlee and Key fanned the flames of fear by wildly exaggerating the possibility that the Hobbit would leave NZ because of the unions. They knowlingly lied to the public about the issues around the Hobbit and vilified Helen Kelly along the way. Three decades of myth and manipulation made it all too easy to believe the unions were at fault. Even after the facts came out many still believe and express that belief, that the Hobbit was going offshore and the unions were to blame. They believe the government “saved” the Hobbit..

    As the union scare intensified, particularly in the 1990s, its political climate turned increasingly conservative. Elected officials from both major parties sought to portray themselves as staunch supporters of business and therefore the “ordinary ” NZer. Few people dared to criticize the questionable tactics used to vilify unionists. Membership in unions dropped as it became clear that such associations could lead to serious consequences,especially if not joining had the carrot of extra pay in difficult economic times. Dissenting voices from the left side of the political spectrum fell silent on a range of important issues.

    In judicial affairs, for example, support for free speech and other civil liberties has remained upheld. This has meant governments have had to turn more and more to legislation especially in relation to workplace conditions.

  10. Defending democracy (freedom, civilisation, blah blah) is the rationale US and NZ leaders give for the post 9-11 war on terror (and every war that proceeded it).
    Spying is part of warfare.
    What democracy?
    They need to spy on us to stop us rising up and doing away with global capitalism which is systematically destroying humanity/nature.
    Fortunately for our survival they won’t succeed.

  11. Anne 11

    However, when pressed over who has rights over such metadata, Mr Key said: “Well, I think in certain circumstances, the Government, if it’s collecting that data for the purpose of trying to understand whether something untoward is taking place.

    What utter tripe. So, the government has to collect metadata on every man, woman and child in order to understand what’s going on. A dead giveaway. It’s not about trying to find out if something untoward is taking place it’s about keeping the plebs (us) under control. In other words… snooping for gen which can be used against political opponents to discredit them. That’s the main game here!

    • UglyTruth 11.1

      The game (as far as NZ’s involvement is concerned) began at the end of WW2 with the UKUSA agreement. The old enemies, the Nazis, were gone (or at least out of sight), and new enemies were being created. Russia was assisted into the nuclear age via Lend-Lease, and communism became the threat du jour.

  12. Martin 13

    How about a webcam in his toilet!?!
    then we’ll see how keen he is.

  13. Jenny 14

    Edward Snowden has said that, “A computer is a television that watches you”.

  14. Jenny 15

    As was explained to us at the Mt Albert meeting by the assembled experts. And moved David Cunliffe to say this law cannot stand. This bill is all about legalising the collection, storage, transmission dissemination and sharing of metadata on every single New Zealander by our secret police forces, including DCSG, SIS, the Police, Military Intelligence services. With this legislation these agencies will be legally free to share it amongst themselves and even pass it on to private corporations, and the secret spy agencies of foreign powers.

    Didn’t get that job or that promotion?

    Are you on a government black list?

    You are not allowed to know.

    What is on your file?

    The answer is everything.

    Is all the information held about you correct?

    You are not allowed to know. You are not allowed to see it. You are not allowed to challenge any errors. Only those who have access and who may be inimical to you personally, can contribute, alter, edit or transmit it. You are not allowed to know who these people are. Even to identify them is a criminal offence.

    As Kim Dotcom exlplained, it is not just meta data. If it takes their interest. With a push of few keys they can mine the metadata collected about you, to zero in on all your private information, or anything else about you, either publicly or privately known, which has all been collected and stored, alongside and within the metadata.

    Orwellian?

    Yes.

    But, nowhere in the legislation is the word metadata found.

  15. Jenny 16

    David Shearer the leader of the Labour Party on becoming the government has promised to “review” the legislation and possibly even rewrite it.

    What’s to review? What’s to rewrite?

    The broad spectrum surveillance and collection and secret dissemination and transfer of metadata on every single New Zealander needs to be kept illegal.

    There is no middle ground.

    John Key; “because the alternative here would be either we don’t collect this data at all.”

    David Cunliffe; “based upon what we have heard here tonight. I personally, and I am sure my caucus colleagues would be of the view that this legislation, must not, will not, and cannot stand.”

    Peter Dunne; There will be a review of the Act

    David Shearer; “We will be having a review.”

    There is no alternative, there is no middle ground. Key admits it Cunliffe does. You either collect metadata, or you don’t.

    Anyone who claims otherwise, is a sullen, scheming, machiavellian liar who will use a “review” to ensure that metadata spying on all New Zealanders illegal and legal continues with minimal if any interruption.

    Will a review stop the corruption?

    Will a review identify the guilty?

    Will a review identify the wronged?

    Until David Shearer promises to reveal the identities of the 88 New Zealanders illegally spied on, so that we can all judge the validity and the need for this legislation, then his promised review will be nothing but a cover for Business As Usual.

    • lprent 16.1

      As has been pointed out before by several people. They are two different types of review. One is an operational review to see how the GCSB has been conforming to its brief. The other is a review of what should be in its brief, a process that last happened when I was 15 in 1975.

      Until you can demonstrate that you understand that you understand the detail and can actually talk about reality, I suspect no one will bother dealing with you ranting about it.

  16. Observer Tokoroa 17

    @ Rob

    Hi Rob. Why do you dislike New Zealanders so much and call their views shit? Do you have a chip on your shoulder towards them?

    We can only hope you neverget your hands on the mass spying levers your idols Dunne and Key have so miserably and unwisely thrust up us.

    The three of you are a rambling shambles – and very undermining of fellow Kiwis. It’s sickening Rob.

  17. Mr Interest 18

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbp6umQT58A

    This is the story of your enslavement…

    …how it came to be
    and how you can finally… be free
    Like all animals, human beings want to dominate and exploit the resources around them.
    At first we mostly hunted and fished and ate off the land…
    but then something magical – and terrible – happened to our minds.
    We became – alone among the animals –
    afraid of Death…
    and of future loss.
    And this was the start of a great tragedy – and an even greater possibility…
    You see, when we become afraid of death…
    …of injury and imprisonment…
    …we become Controllable…
    and so… valuable…
    …in a way that no other resource could ever be.
    The greatest resource for any human being to control
    is not natural resources or tools or animals or land
    but
    other
    Human
    Beings.
    You can frighten an animal, because animals are afraid of pain…
    in the moment.
    But you cannot frighten an animal with a loss of liberty…
    …with torture or imprisonment in the future…
    …because animals have very little sense of ‘tomorrow’.
    You cannot threaten a cow with torture, or a sheep with death.
    You cannot swing a sword at a tree and scream at it to produce more fruit…
    …or hold a burning torch to a field and demand more wheat.
    You cannot get more eggs by threatening a hen…
    …but you can get a man to give you his eggs by threatening him.
    This ‘Human Farming’ has been the most profitable…
    …and destructive occupation throughout history….
    Human society cannot be rationally understood until it is seen for what it is…
    …a series of Farms…
    …own HUMAN Livestock.
    Some people get confused because governments provide healthcare..
    …and thus imagine that there is some ‘benevolence’ at work.
    Nothing could be further from …the reality.
    Farmers provide ‘Healthcare’ and …’Irrigation’…
    …and training
    to their ‘Livestock’.
    Some people get confused because we are allowed certain liberties
    ..and thus imagine…
    But farmers plant their crops a certain distance apart to increase their yields…
    …and will allow certain animals larger ‘Stalls’ or ‘Fields’
    if it means they will produce more meat…
    …and milk.
    In your country…
    …your ‘Tax Farm’…
    …your farmer grants you certain freedoms – not because he cares about your liberties…
    …but because he wants to increase his profits.
    Are you beginning to see the nature of the cage you were born into?
    There have been 4 major phases of Human Farming…
    The first phase, in ancient Egypt, was direct and brutal human compulsion.
    Human bodies were controlled but the creative productivity
    of the human mind
    remained beyond the reach of the whip, and the brand, and the shackles.
    Slaves remained woefully underproductive and required enormous resources to control.
    The second phase was the ‘Roman model’
    wherein slaves were granted some capacity for freedom, ingenuity and creativity
    – which raised their productivity.
    This increased the wealth of Rome – and thus the tax income of the Roman Govenment
    and with this additional wealth, Rome became – an Empire,
    destroying the economic freedoms that fed its power…
    …and collapsed.
    I’m sure that this does not seem entirely unfamiliar…
    After the collapse of Rome, the feudal model introduced the concept of ‘livestock ownership’
    and taxation.
    Instead of being directly owned, peasants farmed land that they could retain
    as long as they paid off the local Warlords.
    This model eventually broke down due to the continual subdivision of
    and was destroyed
    during the Enclosure Movement, when land was consolidated
    and hundreds of thousands of peasants were kicked off their ancestral lands
    because new farming techniques made larger farms more productive
    with fewer people.
    The increased productivity of the Later Middle Ages created the excess food
    required for the expansion of towns and cities.
    which in turn gave rise to the modern Democratic Model
    of Human Ownership.
    As displaced peasants flooded into the cities, a huge stock of
    cheap human capital became available to the rising industrialists..
    and the ruling class of Human Farmers quickly realised
    that they could make more money
    by letting their ‘Livestock’ choose their own occupations.
    Under the Democratic Model, direct slave ownership has been replaced
    by the ‘Mafia’ Model.
    The Mafia rarely owns businesses directly
    – but rather, send thugs around once a month
    to steal from the business owners.
    You are now allowed to choose your own occupation
    – which raises your productivity –
    and thus, the taxes you can pay to your masters.
    “Value this time in your life, kids”
    ” ’cause this is the time in your life when you still have your choices”
    “and it goes by SO fast!”
    “When you’re a teenager, you think you can do anything… and you do!”
    “…your 20′s are a blur”
    “…30′s, you raise your family, you make a little money…”
    “…and you think to yourself… – what happened to my 20′s?”
    “…40′s you grow a lil’ pot belly, you grow another chin!”
    “…the music starts to get too loud…”
    “…one of your old girlfriends from highschool becomes a grandmother…”
    “…50′s you’ll have a minor surgery – you’ll call it a ‘procedure’”
    ” – but it’s a surgery…”
    “…60′s you’ll have a major surgery, the music is STILL loud but it doesn’t matter”
    “because you can’t hear it anyway!”
    “…70′s You and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale…”
    “you start eating dinner at 2 o’clock in the afternoon..”
    “you have lunch around 10, breakfast the night before!”
    ” – then spend most of your time wandering around malls”
    “..looking for the ultimate soft yogurt muttering “How come the kids don’t call? -How come the kids don’t call”?”
    “In your 80′s you’ll have a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand,”
    “but who you call ‘Mama’..”
    “Any questions?..”
    The great challenge of the Democratic Model
    is that increases in wealth and freedom
    threaten the ‘Farmers’!
    The ruling classes initially profit from a relatively ‘free’ market in capital
    – and labour,
    but as their livestock become more used to their freedoms – and growing wealth
    they begin to question why they need ‘Rulers’ at all…
    Ah well… Nobody ever said that Human Farming was easy!
    Keeping the Tax Livestock securely in the compunds of the Ruling Classes…
    …is a three phase process.
    The first is to indoctrinate the young
    through government “Education”.
    As the wealth of democratic countries grew, governments schools were
    universlly inflicted
    in order to control the thoughts – and souls of the Livestock.
    The second phase is to turn citizens against each other
    through the creation of ‘Dependent Livestock’.
    It is very difficult to rule human beings directly through force…
    …and where it can be achieved, it remains cripplingly underproductive
    – as can be seen in North Korea.
    Human Beings do not breed well or produce efficiently in direct captivity.
    Ah, but if Human Beings believe that they are ‘free’,
    then they will produce much more for their ‘Farmers’.
    The best way to maintain this ‘illusion’ of freedom is to put some of the Livestock…
    …on the payroll of the Farmer.
    Those ‘Cows’ that become dependent on the existing hierarchy
    will then attack any other ‘Cows’ that point out the violence, hypocrisy and immorality
    of Human ownership.
    “Officers positioned ‘Grant’ face first on the floor with one officer near his head…”
    ” – a second near his back and a third officer standing nearby.”
    “There appeared to be a brief struggle, then a 2 year veteran Bart officer stands, ”
    “…draws his weapon”
    “and fires.”
    [observing crowd shrieks]
    Freedom is Slavery.. …and Slavery is Freedom.
    If you can get the ‘Cows’ to attack each other,
    whenever anybody brings up the reality of their situation,
    then you don’t have to spend nearly as much controlling them directly.
    Those ‘Cows’ who become dependent upon the stolen largess of the ‘Farmer’
    will violently oppose any quesioning of the vitrue of human ownership.
    …And the intellectual and artistic classes – always and forever dependent upon
    the ‘Farmers’, will say to anyone who demands freedom from ownership
    “You will harm your fellow Cows”.
    The ‘Livestock’ are thus kept enclosed by shifting the moral responsibillity
    for the destructiveness of the violent system
    to those who demand real freedom.
    The third phase is to invent continual external threats so that the frightened
    Livestock cling to the protection of the Farmers.
    This system of Human Farming is now nearing its end.
    The terrible tragedies of modern Western economic systems
    has occured, not in spite of, but because of past economic freedoms.
    The massive increases in western wealth throughout the 19th Century
    resulted from economic freedoms
    …and it was this very increase in wealth that fed the size and power of the State.
    Whenever the Livestock become exponentially more productive
    you get a corresponding increase in in the number of ‘Farmers’
    …and their dependants.
    The growth of the state is always proportional to the preceeding economic freedoms.
    Economic freedoms create wealth…
    …and the wealth attracts more thieves and political ‘parasites’
    whose greed then destroys the economic freedoms.
    In other words, freedom metastasizes the cancer of the State.
    The Government that starts off the smallest will always end up the largest.
    This is why there can be no viable and sustainable alternative
    A society without political rulers – without human ownership
    – without the violence of taxation and statism.
    To be truly free, is both very easy – and very hard.
    We avoid the horror of our enslavement because it is so painful
    We dance around the endless violence of our dying system
    because we fear the attacks
    of our fellow Livestock
    But we can only be kept in the cages we refuse to see.
    Wake up.
    To see the farm is to leave it.

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