I’ve just heard a clip on the radio from yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference where Key says that we would all be very scared if he had control over the GCSB. That might be an insight into his vision of dictatorship on Planet Key, but it’s also wrong. Key is the only democratic control on our spies and he has extraordinary oversight. Every warrant the spooks need – which is “some” per year according to the GCSB’s annual report – has to be approved by Key.* The legislation says that he has to exercise “control” over the spies. Is he exercising that role properly, or is he just signing whatever the GCSB puts under his nose?
*(the spying on Dotcom, we’re told, would not have required a warrant had it been legal because it didn’t involve installation of bugs or hacking of computer systems)