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Key’s credibility and the Snowden leaks

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, March 8th, 2015 - 71 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, election 2014, Globalisation, john key, journalism, national, Politics, same old national, us politics - Tags: , ,

John Key Delivers Public Services Speech

The Sunday Star Times this morning has published further articles based on the Snowden leaks.  They deserve to be read in full.

They include this one which details the setup in Waihopai (aka Ironsands), the fact that it is one of many bases throughout the world using American technology, linking into an American network and being in all ways except personnel working in the base American.  The amount of data collected is everything basically that is sent through satellite.  Key’s keenness to tap the Southern Cross cable is readily understood as this would give Five Eyes pretty well complete access to the country’s internet and phone traffic.  The article includes this map showing areas covered by the network with New Zealand fully included.  If Waihopai does not pick up local data then clearly the Australians must be doing this.

Intelsat monitoring zone

The linguistic summersaults that the GCSB must have gone through to explain how to soak up the Pacific’s data even though many New Zealanders may be living or holidaying there is set out.  Apparently the GCSB formed the view that the governments of Cook Islands and Niue may be targeted, but not their citizens since they are entitled to hold New Zealand passports.  Can someone explain this in a way that is comprehensible and also explain how this still allows the hoovering up of all of these nations’ data?

Which satellites are targeted?  It seems all that are within reach.

And why is this important?  Andrea Vance sets out a credible explanation why we should be very upset about what is happening.  Her analysis is way better than that of John Roughen or Fran O’Sullivan who essentially thought we should not worry about it and failed to address the burning question of whether or not John Key has been lying to us.  Vance does however repeat the meme that no one is concerned which is interesting because many people I know are incensed by what has been disclosed.

She says this about the current quality of safeguards:

But to prevent abuse of the immense power offered by bulk data collection, robust oversight mechanisms are crucial. Yet, they barely exist here. Despite recent vague promises to be more open, spy agencies remain in the shadows. More than a year after her appointment – and two years after an overhaul – watchdog Cheryl Gwyn released her first report but says she didn’t have enough information to determine if the agencies operate differently after an illegal spying scandal. The responsible parliamentary committee is equally toothless and Chris Finlayson, minister in charge, has dismissed public deliberation over spy legislation as “chit chat.”

And in a thinly veiled criticism of Roughen and O’Sullivan she says this:

Key, probably quite correctly, assesses that the public care more about snapper than spying. The initial revelations from the Snowden archives actually galvanised his support. It gives Key the confidence to vilify journalists, like Glenn Greenwald and Hager. That is bolstered when other media outlets slavishly report his pre-emptive strikes, even before scrutinising their investigative work, or the evidence. But the absence of debate about surveillance is not healthy. This is where abuses go unnoticed and thrive. And it’s Orwellian when Key shuts down pertinent questions with: you don’t understand the detail, and the journalists are wrong.

Why IMHO this issue should have an immediate political effect is that it it is bordering on the impossible to reconcile things that John Key said last September to what these disclosures show.

I discovered this transcript of an interview given by Key just before the 2014 election.  It was classic Key.  He was totally reassuring and dismissive at the same time.  He said things with such authority that it was impossible to doubt him, or so you would think.  But with the revelations of this week it is difficult not to conclude that Key was being disingenuous at best.

Some of the things Key said that day need to be repeated:

“What I can say is, absolutely without doubt, New Zealanders are not subject to mass surveillance by GCSB and they never have been. What I can say is, yes, there are databases that New Zealand intelligence agencies might be able to access but the information that would be in that database would be for legitimate and legal reasons. So there’d be a particular reason why a person’s in there – for instance, there could be a person of interest because they’re in a foreign location fighting for rebels, or they could be incidental to what’s going on. But there never has been any mass surveillance and New Zealand has not gathered mass information and provided it to international agencies.

Pretty conclusive huh.  He said later on:

“There’s no mass collection either. Not of New Zealanders.”

Was this an attempt at establishing some wriggle room?  Besides it can only be true if we exclude all New Zealanders in the Pacific.

“If incidentally somebody contacts somebody of interest, that may be in there, or there may be different rules in different countries that allow a certain amount of information to be gathered which would  of course around the cohort of nations around the world include some New Zealanders but there is no mass surveillance. Never has been. GCSB doesn’t have the physical capability to do that and that was the whole point and that was the whole point of the business case looking at the mass cyber protection, was to look if it was even technically to do it. It’s impossible to do something we don’t have the capability to do.”

Clearly the GCSB has the capacity to conduct mass surveillance.  It was instituted in 2009 when Key was in charge.  And it is almost impossible to reconcile what Key said with what we now know.

Key’s line that Kiwis do not care about the interception of their data has a strong sense of irony.  You only have to think back to an incident where John Key hounded a journalist who had inadvertently taped his conversation to John Banks in a busy cafe and why he had the police obtain search warrants against various news media outlets in an effort to get the tape.  So privacy does matter to the PM but only his own, not that of others.

Rather than abuse reporters and question their understanding while at the same time refuse to outline his Key should come clean and explain to the people of New Zealand and the Pacific what is going on.  And why it is necessary for Five Eyes to store huge amounts of our data and what safeguards we have against the abuse of this information.

71 comments on “Key’s credibility and the Snowden leaks”

  1. billy fish 1

    I, for one, look forward to full disclosure on all information relating to what was known when in the Sabin debacle. After all, as our leaders say, ” you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide”

  2. Colonial Rawshark 2

    Yes, John Key has been lying to us about intelligence and military matters, but this is not about a rotten John Key – it is about an entire rotten ediface of elite ‘first class citizens’ who have security clearances, work in this system and have full access to everyone elses lives.

    We only have to look at the US/UK example which shows us that authorities involved with the FVEY system mislead, obfuscate and outright lie to their citizens, their elected officials and their judiciary as a routine matter of course. If in a given circumstance any truth is being told to us by the security and surveillance state – it is the exception to the norm, and it is communicated to us for their own reasons (e.g. when it was leaked that Ed Snowden was nothing more than a “high school drop out”).

    Everything we have seen from the Snowden material (and also from others like Bill Binney, Thomas Drake and Chelsea Manning) confirm this dire state of affairs of what is effectively an unaccountable and very well funded ‘state within a state’.

    The anti-democratic rot which has set in, in the US has now been widely and liberally spread around the rest of the FVEY nations, including to NZ.

    We need to be involved in this spying because of the Islamist terrorist threat we are told. But it has been shown that these mass surveillance systems were never geared to be able to pick up and prevent terrorist threats in advance (hence why they always fail to).

    Hence: another lie.

  3. vto 3

    John Key’s credibility?

    He has none.

    As is 100% proved again just now over this.

    John Key is a liar.

    liar
    liar
    liar

    And he will lie to NZ again. And again and again. John Key lies to the NZ public. It is what he does.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.1

      Oh I agree; however this is not about one man but it’s about an entire sub-system of the state which routinely lies. It is also plausible that as an elected official Key hasn’t been told the full truth by the intelligence services either.

  4. billy fish 4

    Thought exercise and not trolling. If, in the information being released by Greenwald et al , National was replaced by Labour and Key replaced by Clark would you still be as annoyed? I know I would. I ask as a sod off to trolls who verbatim regurgitate the ” they all do it ” line.

    • Personally I’d be more incensed. I expect the Nats to cuddle up to the US and support authoritarian measures. Labour should be far better (and I can also acknowledge that they haven’t been in the past!)

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        So would I. Historically Labour has always had a more independent international role while National are always more obsequious to the Americans.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.2

      It’s what’s happening that I object to, not who’s doing it. Clark also wanted to be a trusted part of the club, although she had limits that FJK doesn’t. I suspect this just meant that the squirrels and the toy soldiers just lied to her more. The GCSB and our RNZAF in particular are really part of the US defence establishment.

  5. billy fish 5

    [Fixed for you – MS]

    • Once was Tim 5.1

      how bloody magnanimous of of you – for the rest of us, what exactly was it that’s been fixed?
      ….. or why I can’t be a dedicated follower of fashion – or The Standard, OR the Labour Party any longer for that matter.
      Does my arse look fat in these bellbottoms?

      sorry, I meant “phat’

      [Chill out. Billy fish apologised for spelling Clark as “Clarke” and mentioned he was on his mobile and was not able to change it. I fixed the spelling for him. The comment and change were totally uncontentious – MS]

  6. Chooky 6

    Andrew Little and David Shearer and the NZ Labour Party, as they are on the spy committee , should be holding John Key Nactional to account for the sake of ordinary New Zealanders

    ….but I wont hold my breath!

    ( remember Andrew Little excluded other activist more experienced MPs on this issue from the committee….ie Greens Turei and Norman and NZF Winston Peters)

    • saveNZ 6.1

      They should stand up to National on this issue. Completely by saying NO. That will bring them votes and restore some credibility on this issue.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        Labour regards itself as close allies of the other FVEY nations so sorry, none of that will be happening. Instead we might get a series of fairly soft equivocating statements that ‘safeguards must be improved’ or some such.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Thanks MickeyS for providing those details

    It does appear that Key is dancing on a pin with his semantics. he rules out mass “surveillance” ( which appears to be the technicality of using of software to extract specific persons details from their database of everything)

    Then he rules out’mass collection’ which is what they are doing so they are doing the ‘surveillance’

    A typical Key shambles. But a masterclass on confusion marketing plus he will then deny ( and get away it) something he has previously said.

  8. tc 8

    Keys credibility is a construct of RWNJ’s, media sycophants and the DP devices.

    Key is a snake oil salesman who squirms about using keyspeak when cornered, which isn’t often enough for my liking as that’s when the facade cracks so of course the MSM shills back off.

    Key failed the credibility test over Tranzrail.

    Matty peddling the T word as a scare diversion tactic is a sure sign they’re concerned.

    • Clemgeopin 8.1

      “Matty peddling the T word”

      Can you explain what you mean please? Who is Matty? What is the T word?

      EDIT:
      Got it. Hooton and Treason.

      He is wrong. Here the T word is actually being committed by the government against the people, freedom and democracy if warrant-less mass surveillance is taking place on behalf of Uncle Sam.

  9. Colonial Rawshark 9

    If you want to understand how corrupt and dishonest this whole transnational system of spying is, look at even the first 20 minutes of this interview with Thomas Drake, a former senior executive manager at the NSA.

    I repeat again – this is not about one man John Key, and we are making a big mistake if we overly focus on Key. In these intelligence matters he is little more than a temporary front man. He’ll be gone one day and there will be another front man doing much the same, possibly with nicer sounding words, but just the same nonetheless.

    • tc 9.1

      Agreed, the club will roll on with a new salesperson out front. Abbott will get rolled and Turnbull will continue the course.

      Key may walk if it all comes home to roost (scf, gscb, sabin, blind trusts share trades, skycity etc) leaving them squabbling over who gets to carry on the clubs dirty deeds.

      George carlin nailed it ‘…..it’s a club and you and I ain’t in it….’

  10. Lest we forget…..
    PM Key: “I’ll resign if the GCSB conducts mass surveillance ”

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11111384

    • tc 10.1

      The other 5eye partners do it so each PM can take the Krusty the Klown recommend excuse he gives to his audience ‘ remember kids, don’t blame me I didn’t do it’

  11. Hone 11

    I’m amazed that the same people who were so againest nz becoming a nanny state when Helen Clark was pm, think showers and light bulbs are fine with this, not a sound from them, but isn’t storing and sending everyone’s data to the US to keep check of the whole of the Pacific and NZ the ultimate nanny state, it won’t surprise me at all if it turns out the NSA are working on smart TV’s as in the 1984 book to watch us at home.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    The purpose of an Empire is to accumulate wealth, usually through monopolies.

    If Tonga gives fishing or mineral rights to those outside the Empire (China or Russia, for example), the Empire’s corporations want to know every detail. If there is little to be earned, they leave it alone. If it is a bonanza, they force the interloper out via “trade agreements”, World Court deicisions, TPPA, and, if necessary, a coup d’etat.

    The Empire’s spying is to ensure we remain slaves, working for the wealthy who own the Empire’s corporations and control its politicians.

    God help Fonterra if they develop a unique, highly profitable, product or service. The corporations of the Empire will take them over or crush them.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      The purpose of an Empire is to accumulate wealth, usually through monopolies.

      Also to hinder (or even eliminate) the natural development of both rivals and potential rivals.

      God help Fonterra if they develop a unique, highly profitable, product or service. The corporations of the Empire will take them over or crush them.

      Yes, they will get our leaders to implement ways where Fonterra can be bought out as per Genesis, Mighty River Power, etc. Golden handshakes all round for the boys.

    • tc 12.2

      Fonterra is part of the empire and will do as told like all blue ribboned servants.

      • AmaKiwi 12.2.1

        OK, use the example of Kim Dotcom.

        • tc 12.2.1.1

          KDC is not part of the establishment and they are already attacking his ‘unique encryption’ which they can’t break and hampering his revenue capture.

          Fonterra is and has had its ownership blurred onto the NZX in a move architected by weldon and other boys club members to clip a ticket they weren’t previously.

  13. Paul 13

    Nothing to fear, nothing to hide, Mr Key?
    Let’s see all your texts and phone calls to Cameron Slater and Jason Ede, then.

  14. mary_a 14

    Key – ” But there never has been any mass surveillance and New Zealand has not gathered mass information and provided it to international agencies.“

    Tell that one to NZ residents Kim Dotcom and his family, you filthy lying toerag!

    • Murray Rawshark 14.1

      The Dotcom case doesn’t disprove what Key said. Athough Dotcom is quite massive, he’s not a mass of people. The 200,000 Kiwis spied on in the Pacific are a mass. Key is a liar and the GCSB break the law. Disband them.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        we know they break the law, Key had to change the law to make it legal to do what they had done illegally in the past…

  15. nadis 15

    I think the Southern Cross cable argument is a red herring. Why would the NSA require a collection point at the NZ termination point when it is already in the public domain that they monitor it at their end? Why duplicate the effort?

    Key acknowledged GCSB does tap the cable at our end but for cybersecurity reasons – i.e., the ability to track nefarious entry into NZ.

    Other claims here may be true but I don’t think the Southern Cross one is.

    • McFlock 15.1

      Redundancy in case of technical failure comes to mind.

    • tc 15.2

      Also some of the chips and firmware being introduced now do logging within their clock cycle.

      So regardless of how or what you run on top of it logging is carried out as part of its silicon DNA, if it’s running it’s logging.

      So it’s potentially Game over with all the chips emanating from a few sources built into ISP grade routers and govts in the club rubber stamping all this anti terrorism laws.

      • Colonial Rawshark 15.2.1

        “Fibre optic signal splitters” (also known as “prisms”) is how they do the mass surveillance part of it. They take a full copy of the entire data stream going through the fibre optic cable for real time deep packet inspection and let the original data stream go on its merry way. Apparently the Narus devices which do this (Narus Insight Semantic Traffic Analyzers I think they are called) can take in and reconstruct 10 Gbit/s of data – enough for 1.25M thousand character emails per second.

        This set up is what Mark Klein revealed about the NSA secret room at the major AT&T switching centre. Other sources like Bill Binney have also talked about it.

        https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/how-it-works

        http://rt.com/usa/bill-binney-nsa-leaks-546/

  16. Tracey 16

    So, does this mean that NZ spies on Aussies in Australia, and Australia spies on NZers in NZ so key and OZ PMs can say that they don’t spy on their own?

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      And no doubt a dozen other work arounds and “secret interpretations” of the various laws and regulations that we don’t even know about.

      It’s a secret state within a state which our elected officials can barely touch.

      • Tracey 16.1.1

        yeah…

        to Roughan, Vance and Fran O’Sullivan – if no one cares why has this topic tied Key up in such knots since last year (and earlier – Fletcher appointment lies) … He has used up alot of polling, soundbites and advice on this one topic…

  17. Whateva next? 17

    Watching citizen four explains a lot.
    Surveillance equals control and the information is gathered not for citizens safety but financial and political power.
    Extraordinary courage shown by so few.

  18. Sabine 18

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/03/07/nsa-global-spy-stations-revealed-sniff-it-all-collect-it-all-know-it-all-process-it

    Regarding this global network of surveillance stations, the Sunday Star-Times reports:

    Quote:
    Altogether, these bases can snoop on the entire world, friend as well as foe.

    The leaked documents do not talk about “Waihopai”. They use the station’s secret Five Eyes code name Ironsand (“IS”). It’s not clear why Waihopai is Ironsand.

    An NSA map shows it is one of a global network of oddly-named satellite interception stations. These stations are the eyes of the Five Eyes alliance.

    Australia has a base near Geraldton, a small port city on the west coast of Australia. Its codename is Stellar.

    The British station in Oman has the codename Snick. Britain’s Kenya base is known as Scapel. Britain also spies on satellites from Carboy, a station in Cornwall, and from a base in Cyprus called Sounder.

    The American equivalents of Waihopai are Jackknife in Washington State on the Pacific coast, Timberline in West Virginia and Coraline in Puerto Rico in the

    Credibility? the man has no credibility, never had any never will have any.
    We had a stooge implanted, and for the sake of rising house prices the “so called Middle Class” voted for him again, and again, and again. Lack of guts i guess.

  19. Sabine 19

    Also, NZ has no rights. Middle NZ in order to preserve what is theirs, and to not be the poor other voted away any rights to privacy and freedom they ever had.

    Sadly Middle and Upper NZ have no more guts than honest John.

  20. Tracey 20

    Key refuses to gve guarantee kiwis overseas are not being mass surveilled… forget the pacific, let’s ask him about Australia

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      He refused to acknowledge the question: “what does that even mean?“, he asked, querulously.

      According to Key, who seems to know the law, we don’t even have the right to know whether our government collects everything we do, and sends it to the NSA. The same NSA that can be found boasting about it to one another.

      The only sane response is for service providers to encrypt everything, and failing that, for citizens to do the same.

  21. Whenever New Zealand doesn’t want not “to store huge amounts of our data” for Five Eyes it will be without its current United States relationship.

    That needs some new thinking. It will not do to be sitting in a foreign relations vacuum when the huge US blow-back that would follow occurs. Nor will it work to string together a foreign policy from a list of protest slogans.

    Foreign Minister Murray McCully himself introduced a constructive new starting point when he proposed that New Zealand is “uniquely placed to mediate the growing regional rivalry between the United States and China”(http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/20120402. See also blog ref 2 below)

    Maybe its time to start getting serious about constructive alternative foreign policies.

    A few suggestions for some ideas:
    1. Cold War 5-Eyes Node or Global Broker? – NZ after Snowden
    http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6999

    2. New Zealand relations with US & China: Ally, Wiggler, or Constructive Broker?
    http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6534

    3. A Way Through Cybersecurity Thickets – Open Letter to the New Zealand Government
    http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6810

    • Could you kindly substitute this version, which includes a couple of corrections/improvements, for my previously sent comment? Without, of course, this note to yourself! Many thanks, JG

      Whenever New Zealand doesn’t want Five Eyes “to store huge amounts of our data” we will be without our current United States relationship.

      That needs some new thinking. It will not do to be sitting in a foreign relations vacuum when the huge United States blow-back that would follow occurs. Nor will it work to string together a foreign policy from a list of protest slogans.

      Foreign Minister Murray McCully himself introduced a constructive new starting point when he proposed that New Zealand is “uniquely placed to mediate the growing regional rivalry between the United States and China” (http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/20120402. See also blog ref 2 below)

      Maybe its time to start getting serious about constructive alternative foreign policies.

      A few suggestions for some ideas:

      1. Cold War 5-Eyes Node or Global Broker? – NZ after Snowden
      http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6999

      2. New Zealand relations with US & China: Ally, Wiggler, or Constructive Broker?
      http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6534

      3. A Way Through Cybersecurity Thickets – Open Letter to the New Zealand Government
      http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6810

      • McFlock 21.1.1

        It’s essentially buffer-state syndrome: maintaining enough distance from all players to maintain our independence, while staying close enough that no major power can confront us without cost.

        We are a moderate regional power in a corner of the earth that’s “nice to have” but not essential for trade or resources – yet. Although China in particular is positioning itself to step into any vacuum should the US falter. But there’s no reason to think that any other major player would be any less uncomfortable to have as a bedfellow than the US is.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1.1

          “Yet”.

          Speaking of realpolitik.

          There may come a time when this is one of the few remaining habitable regions.

          • John Gallagher 21.1.1.1.1

            All the more reason to be getting new international conversations going that help develop shared understandings of problems and how best to deal with them.

            New Zealand could, if it prioritised developing as an independent neutral international solutions broker, situate itself to promote such conversations far more effectively than as an insignificant side-kick to another, major global power.

            A blog suggesting some ways of developing such conversations from this part of the world:
            Making Wellington a diplomatic village for the Asia Pacific region – and beyond?
            http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6936

            • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.

              Schiller.

              It is in the interests of a large country to give shelter,
              And in the interests of a small country to give service;
              If both would achieve their purposes,
              Both must submit.

              Lao Tsu.

              Solutions abound, and Schiller was right.

              • And Lao Tsu was also right.

                Today more than ever Way(s) that work need to be found.

                Village-connections blogs seek to bring out ways that are locally-grounded and can reach through to global levels, from New Zealand to the wider world. The Internet offers many new possibilities that have yet to be explored and well understood.

                If you have the time, have a look at some of the blogs. If you feel inspired to do so, make some comments.

        • John Gallagher 21.1.1.2

          What I would like to see discussed is how New Zealand policymakers can use their imaginations to look at how the country can be situated to offer services beneficial to all that all might find very “nice to have”, and even come to see them as essential.

          Fundamentally, the value of having neutral brokers to facilitate dialogue and provide safe havens is widely recognized. Without neutral Austria, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland the Cold War would have been much more likely to have become a Hot one.

          There are no such neutral dialogue centres in the Asia-Pacific region and a small, geographically-remote New Zealand that does not face potential rivals across land-borders could with a little imagination usefully look into leveraging this geopolitical situation.

          Wellington has a number of embassies whose staff could be building up productive, shared understandings of a number of significant issues. Perhaps MFAT officials and others from Victoria University of Wellington could encourage and help facilitate such conversations. The Diplosphere people have already begun to open these up (see http://www.diplosphere.org).

          Two blogs for anyone wanting to look further:

          1. Making Wellington a diplomatic village for the Asia Pacific region – and beyond?
          http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6936

          2. Neutral venue for safe secure data services?
          http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6482

    • tracey 21.2

      Did McCully point to any examples of how NZ has mediated between US and China rivallry?

      • No, he was bravely floating the idea for the first time from anybody at his level in politics. I think pioneers merit support for worthwhile suggestions, so that all may benefit from their ultimate acceptance. We can all end up much the worse off, unnecessarily, if such proposals are not taken seriously and worked up as needed to be effective.

        There are quite a few blogs on village-connections.com that seek to map out this new territory. Any one wanting to look further can use the search engine for words like “broker” and “Snowden” on the village-connections.com website.

        Comments, better ideas or ways of doing things, or criticisms are most welcome either here or on the website

        • tracey 21.2.1.1

          and yet it is nearly 3 years since he suggested that was a role we can play…

          I am very reluctant to label McCully “brave” or a “pioneer” on his words alone. spoken 3 years ago.

          • John Gallagher 21.2.1.1.1

            It doesn’t matter too much how either of us label him, but I wish to commend him for going out on a limb at the time. He got smacked down by an opposition spokesperson at the time (see the short interview at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2514510/mccully-says-nz-uniquely-placed-to-deal-with-us-and-china).

            What is important to me is that what he said was well worth saying, and what is even more important now is to build on that to open up more productive conversations.

            Many New Zealanders do not want their country to be integrated into global dragnet spying systems, so it is important to look into what else can be done if that involvement is brought to an end. New Zealand could instead, for instance, get cyber-diplomacy conversations going in Wellington as a capital city with a number of embassies.

            Some suggestions for anyone wanting to look further, including new cyber-diplomacy to help forge new global protocols:

            1. Cold War 5-Eyes Node or Global Broker? – NZ after Snowden
            http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6999

            2. A Way Through Cybersecurity Thickets – Open Letter to the New Zealand Government
            http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6810

            3. From the Edward Snowden case to a new Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere?
            http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6765

            4. Fulfilling the promise of new technology unencumbered by security agendas
            http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6795

            • tracey 21.2.1.1.1.1

              I admire your outlook. However this man is an integral strategic and other part of an Government which has eroded our privacy and democracy for some time.

              Leaving that aside how do you see NZ mediating between USA and China? What form will it take, what will it look like? Is it about behind the scenes chats or something else?

              Some politicians would dine with the devil if it suited them. i would count McCully as one of them base don my experiences of him.

              • Much of what this government has done is an outcome of the sort of links all governments of either major party have had with certain large and powerful others since world war 2 and before that.

                The useful challenge is to define new ways of relating well to all without so prioritising the expectations and interests of the few in the first place, and putting in place ways of relating well to all by helping them to relate better to one another. It’s not primarily about parties or personalities that lead them.

                Once there is a New Zealand political consensus about developing as an independent solutions broker, a start can be made on listening to the various parties on various significant issues, and encouraging conversations between them. New consensus increasingly based on a better shared understanding of possibilities, problems and what win-win solutions might look like can probably come about more readily in this more quiet, remote antipodean part of the world – this can be much more difficult in more conflicted and distracted places.

                New Zealand has already been engaged by China to help engage in environmental diplomacy , and Obama has encouraged it to help work towards a nuclear-free world (see “Antipodean surprises at Beijing & Washington conferences – & new challenges”
                http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=5214)

                Such offers can be cynically dismissed and will be by some. But they can also be taken at relative face value and worked on, including by prioritising relevant resources for suitably trained diplomats and academic infrastructure.

                Much more could also be done from Wellington and other parts of the country to support our delegation on the United Nations Security Council to work as a more effective “honest broker” in keeping with the campaign to get it elected (NZ as Honest Broker – With (convivial) diplomatic village support http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=7042). Again, we can simply be cynical, or work to come together as a country that asks, “why not”?

                Let’s put such questions to all our politicians and other influential people and organizations. In other words, in every practical way possible, let’s work to “give peace a chance.”

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I think these concepts you are raising are very important. I don’t think that our political elites or our remaining civil service are up to pulling it off. Further, I can’t see much evidence that the US oligarchy are at all keen on letting a multi-polar world develop where credible rivals can get a foothold.

  22. Thank you, Colonial Rawshark. Yes, there are restraining forces such as you mention.

    Framing that sees problems or obstacles is essential, and enables more robust framing that seeks to incorporate ways of mitigating or pre-empting these.

    You point up two problem areas:
    (1) “I don’t think that our political elites or our remaining civil service are up to pulling it off”
    I propose a basically conversational approach in which a new diplomatic, political and indeed a supportive popular culture can evolve organically by feeling its way in conversations and connection-building, with relevant professional/academic support. Some of these conversations would be facilitated, and backed by relevant on-going research and seminars (cf section “Developing Wellington as a ‘diplomatic village’ in my blog, “Making Wellington a diplomatic village for the Asia Pacific region – and beyond?” at http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6936)

    (2) “I can’t see much evidence that the US oligarchy are at all keen on letting a multi-polar world develop where credible rivals can get a foothold.”
    This same US is also increasingly mired in spiralling problems in many parts of the world with increasing human and fiscal costs to itself and everyone else (including “Club” members) for which it finds itself increasingly scrambling for hard-to-find solutions. Its present methodology spawned an al Qaeda in Afghanistan that bit it back with Sept 11, and spawned, from Iraq, a Middle East on fire and a highly sophisticated IS. Its approach to Europe is sucking that part, and the rest of the world with it, into a new Cold War vortex.
    Such problems point to a need for fresh thinking that looks beyond present paradigms that don’t work and begins working up paradigms that can and do. This could be done more readily from a less pressured and distracted part of the world. So I would like New Zealand to look to the mission and brief inherent in its nuclear-free policy that helped give the world hope in the dark hours of the first Cold War.

    Finally, with today’s ICTs it is possible to do much more from New Zealand now to create a new paradigm that connects people and organisations from local to through to global levels than has been much discussed to date. The Australian Gillard government White Paper, “Australia in the Asian Century” broke ground in officially recognizing some of these possibilities. A framework for utilising ICT is exists in the form of – otherwise presently rather limited – sister city relationships.
    If anyone would like to look further into this, try:
    1. Innovative Sister City Networking for Global Solutions
    http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=3813
    2. New Zealand’s pathway to independence in an interdependent world
    http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=3724
    3. Local-global connection-building for futures that work
    http://www.village-connections.com/blog/?p=6561

    • My comments above represent my first entrée into thestandard.org and finding my way into how it handles them.

      I have VERY much appreciated the queries and debate on what I have offered.

      thestandard.org offers a wonderful forum to widen discussion about possibilities for this country’s future – and the world’s – beyond the framing and clichés of the current right or the left, the current government or its elected oppositions(s).

      If anyone would like to look further into the sort of possibilities I have sought to raise here (having worked on them for over 30 years) this can be done via my twitter handle @antipodeane and, of course, http://www.village-connections.com where comments of all kinds are most welcome

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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    1 week ago
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  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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