So, the GCSB has been systemically breaking its own law by assisting the SIS and Police to spy on New Zealanders – a clear violation of the GCSB Act and, potentially, the Crimes Act. Key leaked the report revealing this while he was overseas so it would be ‘old news’ by the time he gets back. Now, he’s offered his ‘solution’ – make GCSB’s illegal actions legal, make it legal for the GCSB to spy on you.
Why’s that a problem?
The SIS and the GCSB are split and have different powers and capabilities for very good reasons. The SIS can spy on New Zealanders under very strict circumstances, the GCSB has pretty much a free reign to spy but only on foreigners. This split of roles is replicated in other countries – the CIA and NSA, for instance, can spy only on foreigners or Americans overseas in exceptional circumstances.
What Key is proposing to do is to unleash the powers and capabilities of the GCSB against New Zealanders, which is what they have already been illegally doing. Tools and powers that are intended to discover and spy on external threats to New Zealand and gain us advantages in trade will (and have been) instead turned on protesters and political dissents – as you know, the SIS spends a disturbing amount of its time spying on Kiwis who have done nothing but legally oppose the policies of the government of the day.
It’s almost funny. Here’s a government that’s making everything from party pills to sunbeds illegal (to a surprising lack of cries of Nanny fucken State from the Right) but when their spies are caught illegally spying on New Zealanders, then they rush to make a illegal legal.