web analytics

NRT: Against anti-whistleblower laws

Written By: - Date published: 1:48 pm, August 17th, 2016 - 11 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, activism, law, national, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

I/S at No Right Turn does great analysis of legislation. His coverage of the new spying laws has been excellent. Here he is on National’s clumsy and misguided attempt to re-impose official secrets:


Against anti-whistleblower laws

Yesterday the government introduced new spying legislation into Parliament. The new law would enable the GCSB to engage in the mass-surveillance of New Zealanders while granting the SIS even more power to lie, cheat, and break into people’s houses. But it also has another unwelcome feature: an anti-whistleblower provision. The proposed new section 78AA of the Crimes Act would impose a five year jail term for passing on, retaining, or refusing to return “classified information”. And it would apply this penalty not just to government agents who hold that classified information in the course of their jobs – but to anyone who has ever held a security clearance, and over all classified information whether or not they’ve ever seen it before.

To give an idea of what this means in practice, a large number of public servants hold security clearances in the course of their work. MPs and Ministers automatically hold such clearances. Various people in the IT sector can be required by the GCSB to obtain a security clearance in order to keep their jobs. And this law would see all of them thrown in jail for five years for reading the Guardian, the Intercept, or any other news site which regularly publishes stories based on leaked government data (in other words, any news media worthy of the name).

Its a ridiculous overstretch, effectively an attempt to re-impose the long-repealed Official Secrets Act. It’s also obviously incompatible with section 14 of the Bill of Rights Act, which affirms freedom of expression, including the right to impart and receive information. While the protection of (some) classified information may be an important public purpose, this measure is neither rationally linked to that purpose, or proportionate to it. Reading someone else’s leak should not be a crime.

It is also of course completely unnecessary. We already have laws imposing confidentiality on spies (which are replicated in section 177 of the new bill), and we already have laws which criminalise the passing on of information which will harm “national security”. The difference is that that law requires that real harm be likely and intended. Clearly, the spies feel that that is too high a threshold, and that their classification decisions should be exempt from factual scrutiny and impose penalties in and of themselves. It is our job as citizens to rein them in.

Meanwhile, if you are asked to gain a security clearance for your employment, you should refuse. Holding a security clearance exposes you to the whims of the spy agencies and allows them to fuck up your life at any time in the future if they ever want to. The safest way to protect yourself from such threats (other than campaign to disband those agencies) is to refuse to have anything to do with their bullshit.

11 comments on “NRT: Against anti-whistleblower laws ”

  1. Anne 1

    Oh my gosh, Jacinda Ardern quoted an article from the Guardian in QT today. She’s gone!!!

    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/44731

    Watch the pathetic replies from Anne Tolley. What a bitch.

    • save nz 1.1

      Watch the pathetic replies from Anne Tolley. What a bitch +1

      • Anne 1.1.1

        Her initial reply to Jacinda’s question afforded me some mirth – delivered as it was in a contemptuous tone:

        I have no responsibility for articles published in the Guardian – a left wing English newspaper that supports Jeremy Corbyn.

        Well ladies and gentlemen… apparently that is all that needs to be said but:

        1) The Guardian has spent the last six weeks publishing slanted stories and opinion pieces running down Jeremy Corbyn.

        2) She’s so stupid she thinks Jeremy Corbyn is an evil commie subversive even though he’s only advocating the type of social accord in which she grew up and benefited from… to the point where she is today.

  2. save nz 2

    Great post. +100

  3. nom 3

    No Right Turn has been doing some excellent blogging the last couple of weeks/months. Thank you Idiot/Savant!

    I am particularly enjoying the continuing saga of the ‘Open Government’ omnishambles.

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    .
    .No Right Turn. Three questions …

    . If a person working in a Government job happens to see a person having great difficulty breathing whilst reading confidential ministerial papers as his job requires, should he inform his Manager, and dial 111 for assistance ?

    . Being Global, would the Informant be cited for his whistle blowing and would this be relayed to the USA and Russia and China, along with other dodgy friends of the current Government ?

    . Finally, how does a Government become as stupid as our current Government?

    . People should know the Government is comprised of:
    The National Party, The Act Party, The Maori Party, The United Future Party.

    . They are the people who stuff up everything they touch. I guess they are very busy sending sheep to a Saudi desert.

    .

    • Anne 4.1

      how does a Government become as stupid as our current Government?

      By embracing a mindless right wing dogma called neo-liberalism.

      • seeker 4.1.1

        ‘how does a Government become ad stupid as our current government?’

        By craving fame, fortune and power above all else.

  5. Philj 5

    “how does a Government become as stupid as our current government?”
    Because it is serving competing, and conflicting, corporate Interests.

  6. smilin 6

    Blind prejudice and ignorance of the so right right wing rule to keep us ignorant
    If the govt has nothing to hide it has nothing to fear from real journalism or those who question the arrogance of the power of 1 to rule the many after all that is what this govt is, the power of a 1 seat majority

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago