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NRT: Bill English wants to end your privacy

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, April 22nd, 2016 - 85 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, bill english, class war, human rights, Spying - Tags: , , , , ,

A “data supermarket” sounds benign enough doesn’t it? Unfortunately not – two posts from I/S at No Right Turn explain:


Bill English wants to end your privacy

Not content with granting more and more powers to spy agencies, National is now planning to database and spy on the poor:

Bill English — Finance Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and now prospective Big Brother; he wants to bring together the data held by 10 government agencies so that more can be known about Kiwis.

The agencies include health, education, social development, justice and Inland Revenue. It will create what he calls a “data highway”.

He’ll give government workers access to it, even on their smartphones, so they can draw information on people from multiple sources before making decisions that affect them.

The data has already shown New Zealand’s 10,000 most vulnerable people will cost taxpayers $6.5 billion over their lifetimes.

English says this is about helping people by “sharing” their confidential, private data – but we all know that it will really be about shitting on them, cutting their benefits, throwing them out of state houses, making it more difficult to access government services. Because National sees everything as a way of cutting costs and reducing government services. So, they’ll give ACC access to your medical records, WINZ access to your police file, Housing NZ access to your kid’s school reports, your kid’s school teacher access to your sexual history, and the SIS and their foreign “allies” access to everything, all in the hope that someone, somewhere, will find a reason to cut your funding or jail you (or, in the SIS’s case, finally find the “terrorists” their budget is predicated on).

This is, of course, illegal – the Privacy Act prohibits information sharing between government agencies except for statutory purposes and according to externally approved information-sharing agreements. And that’s for good reason: because people won’t tell government agencies what they need to know if they think the information will be widely shared. But English is clearly planning to change the law – in fact, there’s an ominous little footnote in the government’s ICT Action Plan which says they plan to:

identify and address aspects of various pieces of existing legislation that constrain interoperability of information and data through an omnibus Bill

Or, in English, repealing Privacy Act protection against the government to allow open slather and snooping into your private life.

But this isn’t just a matter of mass surveillance through big data – its also a matter of your security. Because the wider your information is shared within government, the wider the pool of people who can abuse it, profit from it or lose it. We already have persistent problems with police and WINZ staff abusing their access rights over the huge databases those organisations have built up to snoop on friends and partners or run profitable side-businesses corruptly selling their access. And we have constant stories of how deeply personal information – even stuff on abused kids – was left lying around for anyone to look at, left on a train, or emailed to the wrong person. Bill English will make those problems bigger. And we will all pay the price for that.

(And that’s not even getting into the risk of serious theft. Concentrated data is more valuable data, and this database, combining police, educational, medical and income data would be a gold mine for blackmailers, criminals and identity thieves – or just bored teenagers. In a world where we read about a major website hack on a weekly or monthly basis, and where people knock over databases for shits and giggles, this sort of data concentration is simply asking for trouble).

But we’ll also pay another price, in trust. Because the natural response to organisations asking things they don’t need to know, or sharing information more widely than required, is to lie. We already do this on the internet, giving disposable email addresses, fake phone numbers, and false demographic data to nosy American corporations when all they need is a credit card number and a shipping address; Bill English will give us an incentive to do that to the government too. And when he wants every random public servant who meets you to be able to look on their phone and see instantly where you live, what you earn, who you fuck and whether you’ve been burgled or raped, that seems like a very good idea.


No human rights issues

Yesterday, we learned that Bill English wants to end your privacy, opening up government information sharing so that any public servant can see any of your private information (where you live, what you earn, how often you get sick, whether you’ve been raped) on their phone. The underlying driver for this is the government’s ICT Action Plan which includes as one of its action points a revision of privacy laws. I’ve been looking at the Cabinet paper on this, and its a scary document. As with their recent intelligence “review”, its apparent that privacy simply was not a consideration. For example:

Although it is important that the right balance is struck between innovation, security, and privacy, the clear focus will be on innovation and managed risk-taking that will deliver the public services expected by citizens. The GCIO will work in partnership with the security services to ensure the right balance is achieved and it is anticipated that the revised Strategy will be complemented by the forthcoming New Zealand Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to ensure that New Zealand is secure, resilient and prosperous online

While they talk of a “balance”, its clear that the “right balance” is to simply ignore privacy and let the government do whatever it wants. As for what this looks like in practice, here’s National’s desired outcome:

The public sector has a culture and capability that defaults to releasing, sharing, publishing and
re-using of information and has earned sufficient public trust and confidence from citizens (’social license’) to do this. Government-held information is made widely available to inform decision making, reduce effort and drive innovation.

Sharing by default sounds great, until you realise that its our most sensitive details they’re talking about, and they’ll be available to every shitty little call-centre prole (and anyone they sell it to, or mail it to accidentally, or anyone who hacks them) to spy and sell and perve and judge however they want. The fundamental point people like DPF overlook in this is that its precisely the personal information which is valuable here. To use Bill English’s example, you can’t gain useful insights into vulnerable families without knowing about vulnerable families and their members (their incomes, educational achievement, medical history, criminal victimisation, and so on) – in other words, if you open their lives up to scrutiny without permission (or with coerced “permission”) to others. And that is fundamentally intrusive and invasive.

And then there’s the kicker, buried at the end among the certification boilerplate:

This paper has no human right issues

Really? They’re talking about a massive, society-wide invasion of privacy amounting to mass data-surveillance, and they think it has no human rights issues? What the fuck are they on? Whichever policy analyst wrote that is clearly a muppet and should be fired for it.

To use the government’s terminology, this is a matter of “social licence”. The government wants to be able to effectively spy on and database everyone, so they can save a few dollars here and there. And that’s simply not something we should let them do. Our privacy is valuable, and we should not let the government take it away from us.

85 comments on “NRT: Bill English wants to end your privacy”

  1. TepidSupport 1

    I’m torn on this one.
    My first thought is that this is a very emotive (and not necessarily fully factual) response with a fair bit of hyperbole to make the point.
    BUT. As much as I think it’s best we take a wholistic approach, rather than segmented, with govt support for its citizens- I feel this does open up too many potential issues of abuse of data as this suggests.
    There needs to be a much smaller pool this data is limited to, with very strict controls on its use and accountabilities and clear processes for people to be able to access their info and who it’s been shared with and why.
    Until that can be done/ proven then I’d be on the side of opposition.

    • Chooky 1.1

      where is the data on Jonkey nactional and Bill English for all to see?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      My first thought is that this is a very emotive (and not necessarily fully factual) response with a fair bit of hyperbole to make the point.

      Yep.

      Even Blinglish isn’t talking about gathering and holding any more information than they already have. Just sharing necessary data when needed.

      I feel this does open up too many potential issues of abuse of data as this suggests.

      I don’t. Two things:

      1. Google probably knows more about you than the government
      2. Nobody really gives a fuck about what you’re doing in your life. It’s really not that interesting or important

      There are exceptions to that latter point and it’s usually when a single person starts stalking another single person.

      There needs to be a much smaller pool this data is limited to, with very strict controls on its use and accountabilities and clear processes for people to be able to access their info and who it’s been shared with and why.

      Yep, is the limiting of who can see and input what data and how they get access to it. The combining of the data really isn’t an issue.

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        Yep, is the limiting of who can see and input what data and how they get access to it. The combining of the data really isn’t an issue.

        Yes, it is an issue if the first part cannot be guaranteed. Which it can’t.

        It’s a given that this will lead to increased privacy violations, because it enables a bad or incompetent seed to create a multi-departmental leak that is currently compartmentalised to the information held by one department.

        So if you’re going to remove the inherent safety of silos and compartmentalisation, you need an assessment of the risk to balance against an assessment of the benefit.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          Yes, it is an issue if the first part cannot be guaranteed. Which it can’t.

          Nothing can be guaranteed. All we can do with any system is to try and prevent misuse.

          So if you’re going to remove the inherent safety of silos and compartmentalisation, you need an assessment of the risk to balance against an assessment of the benefit.

          Is it true compartmentalisation or simply duplication?

          It’s like going to WINZ and filling out all the relevant data to get a benefit and then going to Studylink and doing exactly the same thing to get a student loan. They already have all the data but because of rather stupid laws and privacy concerns we have a huge waste of time and effort for both parties.

          And please note, a lot of that data is publicly available via the electoral role.

          Now do you understand the stupidity that comes about by over reacting to privacy concerns?

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.1

            Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it: it doesn’t matter whether you think my concerns about privacy are stupid, they’re my concerns about my information, and you need a better reason than speculation about time and effort before your laziness should overrule my privacy.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.1

              They’re your concerns about the government having data it already has.

              • McFlock

                They’re my concerns about how careful the government is to manage access to that data, why it different areas of the government need that data, and the damage that could be done to me and millions of others should that data be made easily accessible to criminals or weirdos by one big leak.

                If I have to tell WINZ my relationship status, land transport don’t need to update my drivers license details. They don’t need it, and screw those guys anyway. Nor do they need to update my address, because if I want their shit to go to my postbox and winz shit to go to my email or letterbox, that’s my business. I might have good reasons that are my business. A couple of bytes to hold my date of birth is not onerous or time consuming, and if someone fucks up a form or intentionally steals my identity to get a benefit, the damage they inflict on me will still be less than if it fucks me with several departments. And if Paula Bennett wants to fuck the privacy act and try to dox me because I wrote a letter to the newspaper, she can only dox the data that WINZ have on me, not every other department.

                Government isn’t a monolith, it’s a colony of hundreds of thousands of people of different competencies and ethics.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  If I have to tell WINZ my relationship status, land transport don’t need to update my drivers license details.

                  Land transport wouldn’t have access to your relationship status.

                  Nor do they need to update my address, because if I want their shit to go to my postbox and winz shit to go to my email or letterbox, that’s my business.

                  Most places now have your address and where you want the mail to go to.

                  I might have good reasons that are my business.

                  Or you could be trying to defraud people.

                  A couple of bytes to hold my data of birth is not onerous or time consuming

                  But it’s not just a couple of bytes of data and once it gets to millions of records then it is onerous and time consuming.

                  and if someone fucks up a form or intentionally steals my identity to get a benefit, the damage they inflict on me will still be less than if it fucks me with several departments.

                  Or the easier checking would make it harder to do any of that which, IMO, would be more likely.

                  And if Paula Bennett wants to fuck the privacy act and try to dox me because I wrote a letter to the newspaper, she can only dox the data that WINZ have on me, not every other department.

                  Paula Bennett shouldn’t have had access to that data – no minister should. As I say, it’s about access – not if the data is stored as a single file or not.

                  • McFlock

                    Land transport wouldn’t have access to your relationship status.

                    guarantee?

                    Most places now have your address and where you want the mail to go to.

                    only if they share the different addresses.

                    I might have good reasons that are my business.

                    Or you could be trying to defraud people.

                    Based on mailing address? Get real.

                    A couple of bytes to hold my data of birth is not onerous or time consuming

                    But it’s not just a couple of bytes of data and once it gets to millions of records then it is onerous and time consuming.

                    It’s a straight multiplication of the number of departments that feel they need that information. It’s either a trivial storage problem, so no harm in replication, or it’s onerous and the departments would have to justify why they need each piece of information. I’m not seeing any downside there.

                    and if someone fucks up a form or intentionally steals my identity to get a benefit, the damage they inflict on me will still be less than if it fucks me with several departments.

                    Or the easier checking would make it harder to do any of that which, IMO, would be more likely.

                    The US state department thought that, too.

                    And if Paula Bennett wants to fuck the privacy act and try to dox me because I wrote a letter to the newspaper, she can only dox the data that WINZ have on me, not every other department.

                    Paula Bennett shouldn’t have had access to that data – no minister should. As I say, it’s about access – not if the data is stored as a single file or not.

                    But being able to abuse her position to gain access to information only held by her department limited the damage she could do. In the real world, tiered defenses are better than just saying ‘she shouldn’t have had access to that’ after the fact. Your access system fucks up, Bennett gets access to plunket documents as well, and makes jibes about underweight babies etc. My access control system fucks up, the silos isolates the damage bennett can do.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      guarantee?

                      It’s not something that they’d need to know and thus shouldn’t have access to it. If they do then there should be inquiries as to why.

                      Based on mailing address? Get real.

                      I am getting real – crime through PO Boxes has been rife for decades.

                      It’s a straight multiplication of the number of departments that feel they need that information. It’s either a trivial storage problem, so no harm in replication, or it’s onerous and the departments would have to justify why they need each piece of information. I’m not seeing any downside there.

                      Fallacious dichotomy. In fact, none of it holds water.

                      Data storage is limited in both size and speed. Storing the data multiple times takes up that limited storage and slows down the look up. When that look up also depends upon moving across limited bandwidth things slow down again.

                      Storing the data once is fine, storing it multiple times on multiple systems isn’t. And you don’t even get the security that you think that you do because the information now has multiple attack vectors on it.

                      You want multiple, equally powerful systems instead of one powerful system and lesser client systems.

                      Your access system fucks up, Bennett gets access to plunket documents as well, and makes jibes about underweight babies etc.

                      What are the chances of it fucking up? IMO, fairly minimal and if anyone does get access when they’re not supposed to goes to jail.

                    • McFlock

                      We’re not talking youtube, here. the data is text-based. And a consolidated system means more records to search through and manage in that system, and the lack of replication means that the behemoth system needs to be much more capable than the systems that just meet the needs of each department. And no department would need all those records, as you argue with land transport, so the searchesfor each department are slowed by parallel requests made by others on data that the department will never need.

                    • McFlock

                      The chances of it fucking up are guaranteed. If anonymous or criminals don’t hack it, then you’re relying on paula bennett not being able to bully civil servants again.

                      Data storage is limited, but cheap. Cheaper than beneficiaries being silenced by Bennett when she has access to information held by departments other than her own, anyway.

    • aerobubble 1.3

      All accesss to private info or govt info must be notified. If i put up a cctv i have to tell anyone it might view.

      As to the value of info, English thinks its highly valuable, pay everyone a universal income for access, this will also mean govt would not need to access it.

      Hell i’ll start charging govt if they access mine too much, as its a burden to know.

  2. Observer (Tokoroa) 2

    Running the Gauntlet

    .It could happen that Billy English may have to explain his actions and debt lust to a Royal Commission.

    He sold off Assets to his mates; he is currently selling off the highly valued and sorely needed State owned houses to his mates here and overseas. He is running up colossal debt on behalf of his friends.

    He gave Tax Cuts to his mates in the teeth of a Global recession. He upped the GST (a regressive Tax affecting the poor in the main). He bailed out stupid farming investors to the tune of Millions, whilst ordinary citizens had to suck up their own losses. Not to mention the lovely gift of new schools to special mates, without saddling them with burden of teachers.

    Billy English is all about money money money – it’s a rich man’s world.

    Billy says “New Zealand workers are hopeless”. Which I guess is why he sells our assets to numerous foreign investors. And impoverishes NZ born and bred citizens.

    The Royal Commission would investigate thoroughly why he broke his contract with New Zealand public. He was meant as a member of Parliament to govern for the whole of the New Zealand population. Not just his rich opportunistic friends.

  3. David H 3

    If I get some wally wanting to check MY private data, on his Unsecured phone. I am going to at first get amnesia and get worse the more they try to get information..

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    As I/S infers:

    Saving money is yet another distraction: it is another excuse to help justify the implementation of a surveillance and security state.

    One day your benefits will be on the line if you make the wrong political choice at the ballot box.

    • Chooky 4.1

      +100…where is Labour opposition on this?…probably supports it

      • leftie 4.1.1

        Citation please. Otherwise its just pointless Labour bashing for the sake of it. Bill has already laid down some rules around people doing that.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      That is information that nobody needs to know. If anyone gets access to it they should automatically be stripped of everything that they own (including trusts, businesses and bank accounts) and thrown in jail for life with no parole.

  5. TC 5

    Bennett set the tone using confidential data deliberately for political reasons.

    Coupled with the shambles nacts ‘frontline’ focus is leaving across govt IT this is of great concern.

    MSD are taking weeks to answer basic questions as their systems and processes have been nactd.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Bennett set the tone using confidential data deliberately for political reasons.

      And she should still be in jail for that and not a minister. She proved, quite conclusively, that she can’t be trusted to be a minister.

      But that’s not actually a reason not to put in place necessary tools.

  6. whispering kate 6

    This suggestion by Double Dipper must be taken to the United Nations Court for Human Rights – nothing less – its disgusting. This Government is arrogant now, even worse, it thinks it can do whatever it wants – it needs policing severely.

    • leftie 6.1

      +1 Not only that Whispering Kate, National needs to be kicked out, that’s the quickest solution.

    • UpandComer 6.2

      Seriously?

      Is Draco the only person on this website with any semblance of common sense.

      Bill English has come up with incredibly sophisticated mechanisms to help the people in New Zealand who really, truly need it most. He’s figured out how much it’s really costing. Every few weeks he’s discovering astounding facts that no one knew previously. For example, every 12 months, 5,500 of 7,500 released prisoners go on the sickness benefit. Because they’re on the sickness benefit, they don’t have to front up for a work test. Their kids fall through the cracks. Yet they leave prison in a sound physical condition.

      No one knew that until Bill English found out. It’s insane and probably been going on for decades.

      Now do you think that the prisoners who are now receiving 1500% more drug and alcohol treatment and work training, because Bill English found out this insane fact, think Bill English should be hauled before the courts?

      Bill English has done more for the poor in New Zealand then Labour ever did. This parallel reality stuff where he raises benefits and pours resources into identifying the most at risk kids in NZ and gets viciously attacked for it is just puzzling. Don’t you people get that he’s helping people?

  7. Observer (Tokoroa) 7

    . Yes Whispering Kate

    Billy English will sell off a lot of the information to Major Corporations. Billy is big on sell ups and Information is much sought after by the wealthy.

    We are in the age of the Electronic Auschwitz

    .

  8. srylands 8

    The sole purpose sharing is to allow policies to be developed that will improve life outcomes for the most disadvantaged. These people will otherwise cost us billions. If we can’t identify them, and what determines their negative trajectory, we are designing interventions, and targets, in the dark.

    There is no alternative to data driven policy. Australia and the UK are both going down this track.

    http://www.data.gov.au/

    Resistance to this trend is futile and counter productive. In social policy, the goal should be to identify children before they are born who will need interventions over their first 5 years. that can only be accomplished through extensive data sharing.

    In other words you are being hysterical.

    • TC 8.1

      Yes dear

    • RJL 8.2

      @srylands “… If we can’t identify them, and what determines their negative trajectory”

      Poverty.

      • Magisterium 8.2.1

        Treasury (has) identified four risk factors linked to poor social outcomes: CYF reporting abuse or neglect; reliance on a benefit since birth; having a parent in prison or on a corrective sentence; and having a mother without formal qualifications.

        For example, only 50 per cent of kids who experience all four factors will go on to gain school qualifications compared to 78 per cent who have no risks. Twenty per cent of children with all the risk factors will end up as a sole parent on a benefit, whereas just 2 per cent of luckier kids will.

        • McFlock 8.2.1.1

          And the root cause associated with all of those is poverty.

          • Magisterium 8.2.1.1.1

            Yeah but the proposed datacrunching can’t identify “poverty”. However it can identify “reported as neglected to CYF”, “household reliant on a benefit since birth”, “parent in jail”, and “mother has no formal qualifications”.

            • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1.1

              so why bother with the datacrunching? Just give poor people more money. Treat the disease, not the symptom.

              • Magisterium

                The datacrunching identifies the children most at risk – those who tick all four boxes.

                • McFlock

                  All four boxes highly associated with poverty.

                  That treats the kids in those four boxes, the next four boxes, and the four boxes after that.

                  • UpandComer

                    But don’t you see the fallacy of that logic? Bill English is just trying to identify the ‘real’ people who need actual help. He comes up with incredibly sophisticated mechanisms to do that. Labour’s answer is that you just ‘solve poverty’ by ‘giving them more money’. Seriously?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Where did Labour come into it, Wormtongue?

                    • McFlock

                      Poverty is a shortage of money. More money = no poverty.

                      And yes, you can reduce the percentage of people “living” on under 60% of the median income level.

                  • Magisterium

                    Some children from poor backgrounds will not tick all four boxes.

                    Assisting children who tick all four boxes does the most good.

                    We don’t have unlimited money.

                    Thus money should go to the children who tick all four boxes first.

                    How do we identify the children who tick all four boxes?

                    Get the separate parts of the public service that monitor each box to talk to each other.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A lot simpler and cheaper to make sure no child lives in poverty in the first place. Stop whining and pay your taxes, that’ll help for a start.

                      Stop aping failed overseas drivel and start copying policy from places that have better outcomes, not worse.

                      Get some personal responsibility for your nasty blame culture.

                    • stunnedmullet

                      ..and yet more wah …wah…wah..

    • leftie 8.3

      Bullshit, this is designed to single out and punish and humiliate people for being poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged. That’s the Key National government way. Tax evaders cost us billions of dollars every year already Srylands, so why isn’t the focus on that?

      • Magisterium 8.3.1

        You’re dangerously close to the truth, which involves the identification of key individuals, satellite monitoring, and S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers.

        But I’ve said too much.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4

      What will data sharing do to reverse the poverty trend that’s been increasing since 1984? We know what’s causing it, and it isn’t poor people.

      You’re in denial of that, and you want someone to blame and punish. Can’t you at least be honest with yourself?

  9. Observer (Tokoroa) 9

    . Hi srylands

    Will you personally oversea the “removal” of the unwanted living, unwanted unborn and the yet to be Conceived?

    I am sure your friend Billy English would sell you the Information you need. He loves sales. Also he would be keen to sell you the sole Contract of Human Removal Disposals PTY Ltd. You could sell the offal onto Dog Food businesses. A bit on the side eh?

    I am delighted you are not being hysterical. So refreshing. Also you are so right about “incomplete” people costing us Billions !

    Bill English has been floundering around and cost us about $128 Billion Debt. Will you be able to quietly dispose of him and get his body parts to the Best Friend Dog Food Inc? make him a Priority.

    Respectfully
    Yours

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    At least he’s not calling for everyone to have access to information about what everyone else earns.

    Only way to deal with tax evasion

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Ah, so that would be you calling for the corruption, lies and theft by the rich to continue? Perhaps put in place more places for them to hide their ill-gotten gains?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1.1

        How much do you earn, Draco?

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          On a student loan ATM so $176 per week.

        • weka 10.1.1.2

          You first. See how that works?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1.1.2.1

            What sexual positions do you favour?

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Why would you even be interested?

              What you’re trying to do there is conflate peoples private life with their public life. Finances are public, what happens in the bedroom is private.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Trust me, I’m not. And nor should you be interested in how much money other people make.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well, it won’t be that I’ll go looking. I’m really not interested. What I want is for people to pay the full taxes that they’re supposed to pay according to the money that they’re moving and that seems to require a total lack of secrecy in finances.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Trust me, I’m not. And nor should you be interested in how much money other people make.

                  The oligarchy hate people knowing their affairs, correct.

                  They feel like they have a right to control and manage every body else’s affairs however, though they do not feel that any of those rules should ever apply to themselves.

                  But that’s oligarchs for you.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                    Privacy is only important when it’s you, eh cv?

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                    Privacy is only important when it’s you, eh cv?

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                    Privacy is only important when it’s you, eh cv?g

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If any oligarchs want to post on The Standard they can be addressed by their blog handle too, mate. Same rules for all.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  There’s been some gormless sniffing around Draco’s earnings.

                  “The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1.1
                  22 April 2016 at 2:55 pm. How much do you earn, Draco?”

                  What’s the point of publishing Rich Lists if, according to Gormless, we shouldn’t “be interested in how much money other people make.”? Is it purely poser posturing? I’d be interested in a NZ Tax Avoiders list, if only to see whether it differed at all from the Rich List.

                  Whaddya reckon Gormless, any differences?

              • Henry Filth

                Why are finances public? Are only finances public?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Why are finances public?

                  Because they’re part of the economy and the economy belongs to all of us.

                  Are only finances public?

                  Probably not.

    • Henry Filth 10.2

      And what would be wrong with that?
      As long as the identity of the person (person not “entity”) asking the question is also public.

      Fair do’s, eh?

  11. Ralf Crown 11

    The repeat of the old Soviet state, fascist and Nazi state is drawing closer, because this is actually how they controlled their people. We know the result. I am old enough to remember the aftermath. Now New Zealand?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      The Anglo Empire is better at internal propaganda and control, though.

      However as times get tougher, they are preparing more security and surveillance state measures.

  12. leftie 12

    I think English will struggle to get the legislative changes he needs passed in parliament. Besides, 2017 election is just around the corner. Doubt he even attempt it before then, but then again, who knows with National. Best way to solve a number of problems National have and are creating is to kick them out.

    • Henry Filth 12.1

      National will lose the next election. Three in a row, time to go. It’s the NZ electoral cycle.

      Who knows, Labour might even end up in government.

      • leftie 12.1.1

        If National lose, then guaranteed it would be a Labour led coalition government with the Greens and NZ First.

        • whispering kate 12.1.1.1

          Let’s hope the three opposition parties can get over their petty squabbling, inflated ego’s, back stabbing etc and put the good of the country first for a change. That’s what MMP is meant to be all about. In an earlier post I suggested the three parties merged into one large party to try and oust the government. I suggested this as I am beginning to think that we do not have the maturity to be able to work in a constructive manner together with each other. Because we have become such a competitive dog eat dog country these days I thought FPP might be a better option and which suits the attitude of people today. Any option is better than the government we have right now. Labour couldn’t work with Mana last time, is iffy with the Greens and Winston is out for himself. Not much hope really is there. More of the same probably it will be, God help us.

          • leftie 12.1.1.1.1

            I think they will. As I see it Labour, NZ First and the Greens are on the same page so to speak. All 3 do share a number of the same common goals, and its ok if they don’t see eye to eye on literally everything, compromises can always be reached. I am extremely confident in Andrew Little’s negotiating skills. He’s already done the unthinkable, he’s pulled Labour’s caucus together, and in the time frame he set when he was first elected leader. IMO, no political party could have worked with Mana with Dotcom in the picture without being literally crucified for it. I like Dotcom, but he is a political hot potato, and it did cost Hone his seat as a consequence.

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    So why isn’t this data matching -which BTW I don’t agree with- get on with identifying those who really do cost our society billions – tax dodgers using tax havens, the white collar crims ( what is it in their childhood that leads them to do this?), those who regularly are on the boards of companies that are run into receiver ship etc etc.
    Actually you wouldn’t need data matching for that possibly – just political party member lists

  14. Incognito 14

    I think there’s merit in trying a holistic approach. However, it is paramount that the data are safeguarded against misuse or abuse. I’d consider a double-blind approach in which neither the person behind the computer nor the person on the other side knows all aspects – have you got any idea how much data collecting & sharing goes on when you’re admitted to hospital? You don’t want to know and you don’t really need to know – only that it is being used to for your benefit and no more and no less. It is similar to many existing systems (e.g. Police, DHB) where only authorised people can access the information. On top of that, layers of access and confidentiality to prevent full access to all information, only to the relevant info, on a need-to-know basis. In fact, it should be made near-impossible for one ‘operator’ to trace all information back to the original input source and get the complete ‘data dump’. I don’t know whether this is possible, with current hardware and software, but rudimentary examples are already in place.

    • leftie 14.1

      Incognito, National have already showed that they are more than happy to abuse their position of power to abuse people’s private information for political expediency. Key and Bennett got away with it too.

  15. JonL 15

    The ultimate expression of. “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear”………..

    Fuck off!

  16. JonL 16

    The ultimate expression of. “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear”………..

    Fuck off!

  17. Thinkerr 17

    I’m surprised no-one else has objected to the phrase ‘shitty little call centre prole’. I know plenty of call centre workers and most are hard workers who put up with a lot of abuse for not a lot of pay – probably from the kind of people who refer to them as shitty little proles behind their back.

    As to the main point of the article, what’s the purpose of discovering that the 10,000 people will cost $6.5 billion over their lifetimes? In my opinion, it just creates a new category where there was none before and makes those people vulnerable to finger-pointers.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      You appear to be quoting someone but only you have used the phrase

      ‘shitty little call centre prole’.

      So why are you lying?

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