Nicky Hager on Surveillance and Privacy in the Snowden Era

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, January 30th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: Social issues, Spying - Tags: , ,

This talk will describe the development of mass surveillance systems during the past generation and New Zealand’s part in this story.

He will discuss Anglo-American intelligence history, digital electronics and the war-on-terror environment that together have led to a scale of spying that threatens the Internet as we briefly knew it.

Digital technology has of course also hugely changed how people live their lives. This talk will look at what privacy means and how we can protect it in this era of on-line lives and Internet surveillance.

30th Jan 2014 3:00pm

Castle 1 Lecture Theatre, Otago University

$10 at the door, or $20 for all 4 keynote events

Additional, but I’m afraid, largely out of date info here. (Just discovered that attendance is free)

30 comments on “Nicky Hager on Surveillance and Privacy in the Snowden Era”

  1. Tracey 1

    I am fascinated how some on the right consider slater to be the man fighting for truth while villifying hager.

    Hager produces work supported by evidence from corngate to hollowmen to army lies to privacy.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 1.1

      When it comes to the unpleasantness of having some third party reading through your personal correspondence without permission, Nicky Hager is certainly an expert.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1.1

        People supply him with their personal correspondences out of concern for what they are witnessing – and good on them. Hagar passes onto the public the parts of this correspondence that is in the public interest to disclose. This is a far cry from snooping on all and sundry. And a far cry from treating the public as the enemy.

  2. Craig Y 2

    Which reminds me- we’re long overdue for another book, Nicky!

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      “…Which reminds me- we’re long overdue for another book, Nicky..!”

      Given Mr. Hagers track record, it will be released a few weeks out from the election, contain lots of stuff from Edward Snowden, and be a slam dunk on John Key.

  3. karol 3

    Will there be a video or audio recording of the speech?

    • Bill 3.1

      From the linked info; ‘panels and keynotes only – NZ$20 — for those only wishing to attend the keynotes and panel events. Does not include any streamed events.’

      I think that reference includes Nicky Hager’s free talk. Not really clear on the streaming front though, is it?

  4. captain Hook 4

    The GCSB: too much time, too much money, too much technology and too many people. They are spying on everybody because they have nothing better to do. this is worse than orwellian when they dont even have a purpose.

    • Tracey 4.1

      Does anyone think this data wont be shared with selected corporates for marketing purposes

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Well thats not the real danger

        The danger will be the targeting of anti-mining, anti-dairying activists etc

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    I just watched the 2004 BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis about using fear in politics in relation to terrorism and feel rather speechless on the matter.

    This documentary makes a very good case against the existence of a wide network of terrorism – that such doesn’t actually exist. It conveys that all the court cases for ‘sleeper cells’ [that were ‘discovered’ and charged in America when the hysteria was high] – were either dropped or the charges minimised as to no longer really indicate they were sleeper cells at all.

    I note that this was made in 2004, I believe before the London bombings, and am wondering what the view of the reality of sleeper cells would be now.

    For those of you who haven’t come across it:

    A quick summary & online viewing option from Top Documentary Films. Com

    Info on where the documentary was aired/ banned (NZ not mentioned)

    A transcript of Episode One (with links to the other episodes – this link for those on dial-up)

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The surveillance state is targeted at the citizenry in anticipation of upcoming civil unrest resulting from GFC2, peak oil and climate change disasters. The tech also has some handsome payoffs in terms of industrial and commercial spying, plus juicy rich Pentagon contracts.

      The “terrorism” justification is peripheral, and largely, though not wholly, a smokescreen.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Bang on Colonial Viper. Bang on.

        It’s been in the back of my mind this is the real motivation but you are the first person I’ve heard say it.

        What it tells me is that we – the ordinary people – are going to be dispensable. We don’t count. It is an horrific scenario where the privileged few survive and the rest of us can go to hell. They are fully aware of the consequences of doing nothing over Climate Change but it suits their purposes to continue to effectively deny it is happening. Guess who is the worst example of do-nothing CC politics in particular? The USA.

        What’s worse for us in NZ is that John Key is in on the deal. That is why he is forever slipping off to Hawaii or the USA on “private holidays etc”. In other words he’s being updated on progress…

        • Anne 5.1.1.1

          And here is a great example of how the USA is operating on CC change. Hot off the press from Edward Snowden:

          Today’s NSALeak: the NSA spied on the Copenhagen climate change talks, and the US used the information to undermine them:

          http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/

          • Anne 5.1.1.1.1

            To make it crystal clear about GCSB involvement, here is the original:

            “analysts here at NSA, as well as our Second Party partners, will continue to provide policymakers with unique, timely, and valuable insights into key countries’ preparations and goals for the conference, as well as the deliberations within countries on climate change policies and negotiation strategies.”

            “Second Party partners” refers to the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with which the U.S. has an intelligence-sharing relationship.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/29/snowden-nsa-surveillance-_n_4681362.html?1391048276

    • David 5.2

      Another disturbing doco on this topic is on youtube, “The Shock doctrine”. Covers how govt’s use disasters whether man made or natural to subvert the democratic process. Well worth a look.

  6. aerobubble 6

    The debate is meaningless. We do not live in a nation of law. Privacy, secrets, have been leaked. The minister and committee member who signed the state secrecy oath, has gone into parliament and lied. And he did it in one sentence. He is still responsible to keep secret parts of the leaked Kitterage report, but as the new minister for internal affairs he is responsible for documents that are secret. So for Dunne to have declared he had no responsibility, and the pimple of a speaker laugh at how smart Dunne’s answer was, and let it slide, means the parliament has no idea what just transpired. That state officers can not decide what state secrets they can leak, and can declare to parliament about their responsibility to keep secret past secrets has ceased on becoming minister (quite the opposite).

    No, the fact is that its worse, since on becoming minister he would have to had re-sign the official secrets act. So Dunne left no doubt in my mind that he did leak, since he was unwilling to offer a denial. But worse, does not understand the official secrets act, whether for past documents, existing document he has to still keep secret, and future documents he will have to handle as a new minister (including the Kitterage report appendixes).

  7. Pasupial 7

    It was a pretty good speech, though necessarily fairly broad for a general audience. Some wonderful examples of doublethink speech; spying posts in embassies as “special collection”, “Target Implanted!” for successful execution of a compter hack. I particularly liked Hager’s characterisation of international trade negotiations as a “spying jamboree”. Also his reminisces of Assange were interesting (as he knew him before & during the development of Wikileaks); “He’s one of us – a reasonable human being”.

    If there was a fault, it was in how quickly the question session devolved into a platform for audience speechifying. But it’s hardly the only public talk that has ended up that way.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Thanks for the on the ground report

      • Pasupial 7.1.1

        I stopped putting my hand up after the first couple of questions (as they got longer and we all got more restless). But one thing I would have called Hager on is:

        How can a change of government lead to a decoupling of our spies from the global surveillance culture, when any legislation would have to be signed-off by the former head of the GCSB (Lt General Jerry Mateparae – our Governor General; with an emphasis on General)?

        Though I probably would have been less articulate in my phrasing…

  8. xtasy 8

    Nicky Hager makes and talks a lot of sense, and he deserves to be supported and commended for all this.

    But he is also a very “respectful” person, and somewhat timid, I fear, and that again is, what the ruthless forces that now control and dominate NZ society take advantage of. I see it every time I watch Question Time in Parliament, how Joyce and Key, and a few others (English is almost “moderate” and contemplating), ruthlessly manipulate, lie and pull the wool over people’s eyes. They are at the same time highly aggressive types, they shut critics up, they condone no dissent, they are little dictators in their own styles.

    It is big business, the farmers and a few other lobbies that control this country, and the media are controlled by them. All the serious talk about the GCSB and Snowden, that is only mentioned on side issue kind of news, and it does swiftly get swept under the carpet, not talked about, by most media, by the establishment anyway.

    So it fades swiftly from the minds of the ordinary population, who are mostly listeners and observers. So soon after, they forget, and they think, hey, I hear nothing, see nothing, there is NO “evil” after all.

    Hah, if only they knew how the powers in control work! They do not, they are naive, good believers, busy with 24/7 work and study, so they spend no time on what goes on.

    Yes, Nicky is right, has good points, but he should actually be more of a “leader” than just a talker. Without leaders on this kind of issues, the issues will subside and be ignored. That is what really bothers me. We need more advocates, critics, outspoken people, who challenge, take a stand and do not put up with any shit!

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Hager is playing his role and playing it well; I also think that there must be many different instruments in the orchestra to prevent relying too much on just a few talented soloists.

      • xtasy 8.1.1

        CV – I wish for, and expect a few “louder” instruments to be played also, I am waiting.

  9. Ron 9

    I note that yesterday there was a news item about Tony Abbott attacking the ABC because they had the temerity to report information that he disagreed with.
    Then surprise surprise Mark Textor pops up and called the national broadcaster’s collaboration with The Guardian news outlet as a “blow job”.
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2014/01/30/09/01/former-abc-boss-backs-pm-s-attack-on-broadcaster
    Now we have a former head of ABC and now working for Abbott think tank also attacking ABC and saying they will ‘pay for it’ Once again we have a right wing government trying to destroy their own Broadcaster. The same thing is happening in UK where Crosby Textor are working for Conservative Party and there seems to be a constant attack on BBC.
    Of course we don’t have to worry about National destroying our broadcaster TVNZ they have successfully done that years ago.

  10. Instauration 10

    Can the NZ Government assure that it did not have access to 5eyes sourced intelligence related to Petrobas during past exploration license negotiations? Can the NZ Government be perceived as an “honest broker” in any future trade negotiations with any multinational corporation or country if it has access to 5eyes surveillance information?
    Australia’s position regarding Timor Leste, spying and negotiations is unenviable.

  11. captain hook 11

    so what! I want to know just exactly how crosby textor is going to make the ABC pay for it?
    what the hell is going on. We are supposedly living in a liberal democracy but all we get is these powerful groups trying to destroy the very fabric of the polity for narrow interest groups and their objectives which seem to solely based on personal propensities. The world as they conceive it is a frigging nightmare of dweebs with money who want to tell everyone else what to do. Uggggghh.

Leave a Comment

Show Tags

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Time to stamp out cold, mouldy rentals
    New figures show a small number of landlords are letting down the sector by renting cold, mouldy rentals. These houses need to be brought up to a decent standard for people to live in by Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Bill, ...
    23 hours ago
  • Time for fresh approach on immigration
    Latest figures showing another record year for immigration underlines the need for an urgent rethink on how this country can continue to absorb so many people, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealand needs immigrants and is all the better ...
    1 day ago
  • Bring back the Mental Health Commission
    The People’s Mental Health Review is a much needed wake up call for the Government on mental health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “I applaud their proposal to restore a Mental Health Commission and their call for ...
    3 days ago
  • And the band played on…
    Making Amy Adams the Housing Minister five months out from the election is just the orchestra playing on as National’s Titanic housing crisis slips below the waves – along with the hopes and dreams of countless Kiwi families, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Hotel no place for children in care
    ...
    6 days ago
  • Maybe not, Minister? Nick Smith’s housing measure suppressed
    Sir Humphrey: Minister, remember the Housing Affordability Measure work you asked us to prepare back in 2012? Well, it’s ready now.Minister Smith: Oh goodie, what does it say?Sir Humphrey: Nothing.Minister Smith: Nothing?Sir Humphrey: Well, sir, you asked us to prepare ...
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows many New Zealanders are worse off under National
    The latest inflation data from Statistics New Zealand shows that too many New Zealanders are now worse off under the National Government, said Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson “Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) is now running at 2.2 per cent, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Another emergency housing grant blow out
      Emergency housing grants data released today show another blow out in spending on putting homeless people up in motels, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.   ...
    7 days ago
  • Families struggle as hardship grants increase
    The considerable increase in hardship grants shows that more and more Kiwi families are struggling to put food on the table and pay for basic schooling, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    7 days ago
  • More tinkering, no leadership from Nats on immigration
    National’s latest tinkering with the immigration system is another attempt to create the appearance of action without actually doing anything meaningful, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Suicide figures make for grim reading
    The 506 suspected suicides of Kiwis who have been in the care of mental health services in the last four years show that these services are under severe stress, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “If you do the ...
    1 week ago
  • Pay equity deal a victory for determination and unions
    The pay equity settlement revealed today for around 55,000 low-paid workers was hard-won by a determined Kristine Bartlett backed by her union, up against sheer Government resistance to paying Kiwis their fair share, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour welcomes ...
    1 week ago
  • DHB’s forced to make tough choices
    The Minister of Health today admitted that the country’s District Health Boards were having to spend more than their ring fenced expenditure on Mental Health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “The situation is serious with Capital and Coast ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats break emergency housing pledge – deliver just five more places
    Despite National’s promises of 2,200 emergency housing beds, just 737 were provided in the March Quarter, an increase of only five from six months earlier, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Research underlines need for KiwiBuild
    New research showing the social and fiscal benefits of homeownership underlines the need for a massive government-backed building programme like KiwiBuild, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Social data security review too little, too late
    The independent review into the Ministry of Social Development’s individual client level data IT system is too little, too late, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The Minister of Social Development has finally seen some sense and called for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions raised on CERA conflicts
    With the admission that three more former CERA staff members are under suspicion of not appropriately managing conflicts of interest related to the Canterbury rebuild, it’s imperative that CERA’s successor organisation Ōtākaro fronts up to Parliamentary questions, says Labour’s Canterbury ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to tackle Hutt housing crisis
    Labour will build a mix of 400 state houses and affordable KiwiBuild homes in the Hutt Valley in its first term in government to tackle the housing crisis there, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Housing in the Hutt ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farewell to John Clarke
    This wonderfully talented man has been claimed by Australia, but how I remember John Clarke is as a young Wellington actor who performed satirical pieces in a show called “Knickers” at Downstage Theatre. The show featured other future luminaries like ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Valedictory Speech
    Te papa pounamu Aotearoa NZ Karanga karanga karanga; Nga tupuna Haere haere haere; Te kahui ora te korowai o tenei whare; E tu e tu ... tutahi tonu Ki a koutou oku hoa mahi ki Te Kawanatanga; Noho mai noho ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Buck stops with Gerry Brownlee
    The fact that the State Services Commission has referred the CERA conflict of interest issue to the Serious Fraud Office is a positive move, but one that raises serious questions about the Government’s oversight of the rebuild, says Labour Canterbury ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers deserve a democratic Education Council
    Teachers around New Zealand reeling from the news that their registration fees could more than double will be even angrier that the National Government has removed their ability to have any say about who sits on the Council that sets ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Free trade backers are simply out of touch
    Are the backers of free trade out of touch with public opinion? This was the question asked when the Chartered Accountants launched their Future of Trade study. I was astonished by the answer in a room of free trade enthusiasts ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • John Clarke aka Fred Dagg will be missed by all Kiwis
    The man who revolutionised comedy on both sides of the Tasman, John Clarke, will be sadly missed by Kiwis and Aussies alike, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s modern approach to monetary policy
    A commitment to full employment and a more transparent process to provide market certainty are the hallmarks of Labour’s proposals for a new approach to monetary policy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens back Labour’s plan for monetary policy reform
    Labour plans to change the way we do monetary policy in New Zealand and the Green Party supports them fully. We’re now of a single mind on this. Labour will move away from our reliance on a single, unelected person ...
    GreensBy robert.ashe
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens back Labour’s monetary policy reform
    Labour plans to change the way we do monetary policy in New Zealand and the Green Party supports them fully. We’re now of a single mind on this. Labour will move away from our reliance on a single, unelected person ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt drops ball on Masters Games housing squeeze
    Families currently living in emergency accommodation face being forced out onto the street as motel accommodation in Auckland is filled up by contestants and visitors of the World Masters Games in coming weeks, says Labours social development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • State inquiry for Nga Morehu – The Survivors of State Abuse
    The Prime Minister must show humanitarian leadership and launch an independent inquiry into historic claims of abuse of children who were in State care, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coleman – ‘overwhelmed by disinterest’ and ‘conked out’
    Today’s trenchant criticism of the Government’s health policy by Ian Powell the executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists must trigger action by the Minister, says Labour’s spokesperson for Health David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Statement on Syria
    Like the rest of the world, I have been horrified at the chemical attack on innocent Syrians that led to the deaths of so many men, women and children,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “The deliberate attack on civilians as ...
    3 weeks ago
  • The hard truth about that soft drink ad
    I am relieved that Pepsi has pulled its ridiculous commercial that obscenely co-opted the #BlackLivesMatter movement. At the very least, it was an awkward failure that tried too hard to be something it could never be. At its worst, it ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 weeks ago
  • Journalism Matters: Interesting the public in the public interest
    Last week I launched two policies to support Kiwi journalism because as Bill Moyers put it, “the quality of democracy and the quality of journalism is deeply intertwined.” Journalism matters because it’s how we discover what’s happening in our world, ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago
  • Homeownership rate hits new low; KiwiBuild needed now
    The homeownership rate has fallen to just 63.1 per cent, according to Statistics New Zealand’s newly released Dwelling and Household estimates. That’s down three per cent under National to the lowest level since 1951, confirming the need for Labour’s KiwiBuild ...
    3 weeks ago
  • OECD endorses Labour’s Future of Work approach
    An OECD report released today, highlighting the need for increased support for workers who are made redundant, is a strong endorsement of the direction of Labour’s Future of Work Commission, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “We welcome the OECD’s ...
    3 weeks ago