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GCSB law changes are a Dunne deal

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, July 23rd, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, internet, john key - Tags: ,

peter-dunne-planking

I should not have been surprised but I thought that Peter Dunne might be our saviour and stand up for the rights of ordinary kiwis to have their metadata safe.  It appears I was wrong.

The details are not out but yesterday afternoon it was announced that Peter Dunne had agreed to support the GCSB bill as long as various amendments were made.  There is to be “increased oversight” through the establishment of a two person advisory panel to assist the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, the need to advise the IGIS if a warrant relating to a New Zealander is put on the register, and annual reporting on the number of instances the GCSB has provided asistance and the number of warrants and authoristations issued.  This is all after the event stuff and if the Kitteridge Report is an example of what will happen the important detail will not be provided and Kiwis will not be able to find out if they have been spied on.

Negotiated changes to the law include the addition of a set of guiding principles which may or may not be helpful and removal of the Order in Council mechanism to allow other agencies to be added to the list of those able to request assistance from the GCSB.  Paula Bennett will have to get a bill passed through Parliament before unleashing the GCSB onto beneficiaries.

There will be an independent review of the operations and performance the GCSB and the NZSIS and their governing legislation in 2015, and thereafter every 5 to 7 years but you have to wonder why the reviews happen after the law changes are made and not before.

And Mr Dunne will be working with others to ensure that there is a uniform definition of private communications and metadata throughout New Zealand’s legislation.  Again this is post event stuff.  Metadata is not mentioned in the original bills and this is an astounding omission given the importance metadata plays in the debate the definition needs to be perfected before the law changes are made.

Green co leader Russell Norman has described the accommodation as a “stitch up” and the changes as “cosmetic” and he is right.

And what happened to the concerns of the Law Society, the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner amongst others?

The HRC submission in particular makes compelling reading.  It contains the following passage:

As the legislation is overly broad and enables mass surveillance, in our view, the limitation impairs the rights to privacy and freedom of expression in particular, more than is reasonably necessary. Further in the absence of any compelling argument for the level of intrusion that is contemplated, it cannot be said that what is proposed is proportionate to the objective of the legislation

Get that Peter Dunne?  The HRC is saying that there is no compelling reason for the level of intrusion that is being contemplated.

Tech Liberty NZ in its submission stated that we are entering into a society where a lot of our metadata is going to be collected randomly.  What are the benefits?  That question has not been answered.  Surely the most rudimentary cost benefit analysis should have been performed.

The HRC sums up the effect of the bills very well.  If enacted the law will permit foreign intelligence agencies to access data about private citizens in New Zealand.  None of Dunne’s negotiated changes will change this.

John Key has said that he did not believe that the GCSB had engaged in the mass collection of metadata and he confirmed that metadata should be treated the same as communication and any collection of it would require a warrant.  He planned to make a clear statement about this in the bill’s second reading

A few months ago he was ominously stating that the GCSB had engaged in 88 cases of illegal spying and a law change was necessary and now he is saying that the GCSB has not engaged in mass collection of metadata.  Either there is a problem where the law needs to be clarified or there is not.

The drafting of the law is very loose.  It is far too full of slogans and the interrelationship between the various provisions is far too complex to be understood easily.  For instance it is intended that the performance of the Bureau’s functions and the relative importance and priority of the functions are to be determined by the Director.  And “the performance of the Bureau’s functions under section 8A (information assurance and cybersecurity) and section 8C (co-operation with other entities to facilitate their functions) is at the discretion of the Director”.

To make things even worse the proposed section 8D  allows the Director “all the powers that are necessary or desirable to perform the functions of the Bureau”.  We will need an army of Kim Dotcoms with attendant resources to work out in Court what these provisions mean.

And while a warrant may be required to collect Kiwi metadata the relevant Minister can issue the warrant.  So Key’s mate will apply to Key for permission to spy on us.  Why am I not comforted by this thought?

As Idiot Savant states there is still time for Peter Dunne.  But my hopes that he would make a principled stand are fading fast.

89 comments on “GCSB law changes are a Dunne deal”

  1. Bob 1

    “And while a warrant may be required to collect Kiwi metadata the relevant Minister can issue the warrant. So Key’s mate will apply to Key for permission to spy on us. Why am I not comforted by this thought?”
    According to Peter Dunne on Breakfast this morning, his concessions mean that any warrants need to be reported to the Governor General also.
    So, to be spied on you need to be suspected of illegal activity by the Police or SIS, who then need to apply for a warrant for the GCSB to use their powers to spy on you, that then needs to be signed off by the PM of the time and this needs to be reported to the Governor General. This entire process will then be audited by a two person advisory panel along with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

    Remind me again where the problem is here?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      “…suspected of illegal activity…”

      Bollocks. You will be suspected of entirely legal activity – activism, for example.

      If they were after illegal behaviour, wouldn’t one of the eighty-odd cases have resulted in a prosecution?

      • Bob 1.1.1

        Maybe ‘activism’ of the Urawera level, but 85 cases of spying on citizens over a 10 year period, under a less strict piece of governing legislation, with no existing independent oversight, tends to disagree with you.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8524274/Illegal-spying-85-Kiwis-watched

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1

          No, not the Urewera level: eighty-five cases, not one of which resulted in a prosecution. Not. A. Single. One.

          We don’t know what they were, but we know who the traditional targets have been|: peace activists, trade union organisers. If they were serious about protecting our economic well-being they’d be investigating the National Party.

          You want to bend over for this crap? Sign your own bloody freedoms away.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            In the UK environmental activists and political groups have been spied upon and infiltrated. It’s completely anti-democratic.

            • King Kong 1.1.1.1.1.1

              You mean environmental groups like “violence not vivisection” and political groups like “Sharia law, jihadists” and the “Red Army Faction”?

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Obviously not, because all those groups tend to break laws, and get prosecuted, unlike a single one of the GCSB’s targets.

              • Colonial Viper

                The family of murdered UK teenager Stephen Lawrence was spied on in an attempt to gain material to smear the family and destroy their credibility.

                The whistleblower had been in undercover police roles infiltrating protest groups for years.

                http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10138031/Police-spied-on-Stephen-Lawrence-family-in-smear-campaign-says-whistleblower.html

                You mean environmental groups like “violence not vivisection” and political groups like “Sharia law, jihadists” and the “Red Army Faction”?

                You probably think that you are being clever with those irrelevant comments, but the use of state power to undermine citizens right to protest is a very serious problem.

              • “You mean environmental groups like “violence not vivisection” and political groups like “Sharia law, jihadists” and the “Red Army Faction”?”

                None of which exist in New Zealand.

                The only real terrorist groups are the Business Roundtable/NZ Initiative, National, and ACT. If I had my way, those three would be under permanent surveillance as threats to the Kiwi Way of life…

                Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see RightWingers squeal like stuck pigs when a left wing Prime Minister uses the expanded GCSB powers to monitor right wing groups, bloggers, individuals, etc. Oh fun times!

                But hey, nothing to fear, nothing to hide, right, King Kong?! 😉

                • tricledrown

                  hey Frank don’t forget civil libertarians and in king kongs case radical GM scientists who want to take us back to the jurassick era!

          • Bob 1.1.1.1.2

            Okay, lets just say for this example that the 85 cases were all ‘peace activists’ and trade union organisers. None of them have been arrested and in the last 10 years no-one has come out saying there life has been in anyway hindered by the existing laws. These changes add two layers of oversight (Governor General and a two person independant advisory panel to review warrants issued) to the existing 2003 legislation. Given the reletively low level of spying, and the requirement to have a spying agency in place (as a deterrant if nothing else), again I ask, where is the problem here?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Do you have curtains, and if so, why? What’s the problem here?

              • Bob

                Yes I have curtains, two reasons:
                1) So people who don’t have a warrant that has gone through internal police/SIS scruitany prior to being given to the PM for sign off, with two layers of oversight can’t look in while I am getting changed.
                2) Thermal insulation to help keep myself and my family warm in a more efficient manner.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  In the Big Rock Candy Mountains all the cops have wooden legs
                  And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft-boiled eggs

                  When did the police and Prime Minister become legally competent to assess the difference between legal and illegal surveillance?

                  The Urewera prosecution failed at least in part because the court disagreed with the police definition of legal. Did they suddenly become more competent? Did their massive conflict of interest just disappear?

                  Or should surveillance warrants be subject to judicial review independent of the executive and enforcement arms?

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.2

          Bob, your faith in the State is touching…

          By the way, where does your support for the rise of the Policed Surveillance State fit with your notions of getting the State out of our lives?!?

          • Bob 1.1.1.2.1

            Where have I ever mentioned I want the state out of my life?
            I think you are taking a pretty big leap putting me in one basket politically.

      • Wayne 1.1.2

        Not likely to cover general activism.

        The Police warrants can only be related to the suspected commission of a serious crime. I guess you could argue that the SIS warrants do not have to be related to a crime, since their remit is broader (but has to be a major intelligence threat, as set out in the SIS Act).

        The best protection for citizens is that the number of SIS warrants has to be disclosed, and now, the number of times GCSB assists the SIS.

        So general activism is not a concern of the SIS. Probably was 20 or more years ago, but not now.

        As for 85 cases over 10 years, well that is 8 a year. That is really quite low. There is likely to be 8 people a year that the SIS is interested in, and it is not who you might immediately think.

        Consider the number of people who have migrated to NZ in the last 25 years who might have links with a variety of organisations overseas (Tamil Tigers when they were active, and I don’t just mean a general sympathy for the cause).

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1

          Ex Tamil Tigers are no doubt a legitimate military target, which brings us to another issue: spying is a military activity conducted by military personnel. On what planet has the deployment of military personnel against civilians ever been justifiable?

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            On what planet has the deployment of military personnel against civilians ever been justifiable?

            Of course, that is the wrong question. It is normal practice.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Well it might be for US military personnel, but our armed forces can be hauled before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

              Say, perhaps that isn’t such a bad idea.

          • felix 1.1.2.1.2

            Only on Planet Key, where there are no toilets but no shortage of shit.

          • Wayne 1.1.2.1.3

            Surely, they are not a legitimate military target in New Zealand.

            They are people resident in NZ, going about their daily lives.

            But they might also be fundraising or more particularly transferring money, or organising contacts etc (or more accurately would have been doing this, since this is in the past). Following up what particular people are doing for an overseas entity of this type is classic intelligence work.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1.3.1

              So, the GCSB were listening in on John Key’s meetings with Warner Brothers?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1.3.2

              I can’t see why you think ex Tamil Tigers wouldn’t be a legitimate military surveillance target for NZ security services. What about Irish paramilitary sympathisers?

              You acknowledge that we have seen “paranoia” lead to unjustifiable surveillance in the past. You argue that we have moved on and are more “grounded” these days. That’s debatable, but even if it is so, what makes you think paranoia can’t make a comeback?

              • Wayne

                I think we might have been at cross purposes. I do think (at least in the past) that ex Tamil Tigers (or more accurately their funders) would have been of interest to the SIS. Since the civil war is over I suspect they would no longer be of interest.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Does that mean you’re confident that paranoia can’t make a comeback? Or that you’re ignoring the tough questions?

            • muzza 1.1.2.1.3.3

              But they might also be fundraising or more particularly transferring money, or organising contacts etc (or more accurately would have been doing this, since this is in the past). Following up what particular people are doing for an overseas entity of this type is classic intelligence work

              Yes, Wayne, that is exactly what the government/intelligence are into, but they need peons like yourself to swallow, and propagate the BS!

              The system is the problem, Wayne, not the people!

        • Anne 1.1.2.2

          There is likely to be 8 people a year that the SIS is interested in, and it is not who you might immediately think.

          Now that is an intriguing statement to make. Care to elaborate?

          So general activism is not a concern of the SIS. Probably was 20 or more years ago, but not now.

          Let me assure you from personal experience Wayne, general activism wasn’t just a concern back in the 1970s and 80s in particular, it was paranoia pure and simple. And surveillance frequently occurred on the “say so” of vengeful nutters who manufactured or embroidered so-called evidence to back their claims. They got away with it scot-free, but the fallout for the innocent targets was often lengthy and quite profound.

          Your beloved prime minister can bleat and promise until the moon turns blue, but I will never trust his government’s legislative endeavours re- the intelligence services without a full, independent inquiry – and not at some nebulous time in the future but now! Nothing else will suffice.

          • Wayne 1.1.2.2.1

            Probably was just paranoia, but I think it also led to a change of practice. More recent Directors have been more grounded in reality.

            • Anne 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Yes, I agree with you there. Sir Bruce Ferguson is a case in point.

              It was that lack of reality that enabled venomous crackpots to get away with their faux finger pointing.

        • Murray Olsen 1.1.2.3

          I can just imagine someone at a sentencing hearing in court, saying to the judge “But I only commit 8 crimes a year, your worship.” Why is it OK when an apologist for the surveillance state says it?

    • mickysavage 1.2

      In response to Bob above:

      So, to be spied on you need to be suspected of illegal activity by the Police or SIS, who then need to apply for a warrant for the GCSB to use their powers to spy on you, that then needs to be signed off by the PM of the time and this needs to be reported to the Governor General. This entire process will then be audited by a two person advisory panel along with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

      Remind me again where the problem is here?

      The problems are:

      1. The Prime Minister and not a judicial officer signs off on the warrant.
      2. We are still not sure if a warrant is needed for the collection of metadata. Key’s statement that he was going to clarify this in his second reading speech is bizarre. If this is the intention it should be made explicit in the bill.
      3. What effect does reporting the matter to the Governor General have? He only acts on the advice of Ministers. What is he going to do once he receives this information?
      4. The Inspectorate has been shown to be totally powerless. Having a couple of advisers is going to help how? And besides the powers are so wide what are they going to do?

      And the big question is why do we need to have these powers increased so dramatically. This is the most important question that needs to be addressed.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        And the big question is why do we need to have these powers increased so dramatically. This is the most important question that needs to be addressed.

        In the US it is because internal security projections have forecast increasing levels of civil unrest and opposition to the ruling powers in the coming decade. Driven by economic decline, climate change incidents, political disenfranchisement etc. “Occupy” really shook up the establishment, to the extent that banks paid police forces to use para-military levels of force to destroy the movement.

        The surveillance apparatus will ensure that in future, similar protest movements can be nipped in the bud.

      • Bob 1.2.2

        1) This is no change to the legislation that Labour implemented in 2003, except now it is likely there will be an independent review of warrants that are signed off.
        2) So you are unhappy that you haven’t been given advanced information around details that are set to be released in the second reading of the bill? I’m sure you don’t need reminding will still need to go through a third reading prior to being passed into law.
        3) Again, this is still a step further than Labours 2003 legislation and gives an additional level of oversight to the process that is obviously lacking.
        4) I can only assume that the powers of the Inspectorate will also be released in the second reading, and the details of how wide the level of spying will be would need to be stated in the warrant, the same way police warrants are issued at the moment.

        What have you seen in this legislation so far that shows that the existing powers will be increased so dramatically? All I have seen is clarification of the existing legislation which was obviously needed as shown in the DotCom case, where the SIS and GCSB legislation were contradicting in there ability to work together!

        • mickysavage 1.2.2.1

          This is no change to the legislation that Labour implemented in 2003, except now it is likely there will be an independent review of warrants that are signed off

          Oh yes there is. The absolute prohibition on the GCSB spying on Kiwis has been removed.

          Again, this is still a step further than Labours 2003 legislation and gives an additional level of oversight to the process that is obviously lacking.

          Governor General’s “oversight” is totally toothless. What benefit is there in this?

          What have you seen in this legislation so far that shows that the existing powers will be increased so dramatically? All I have seen is clarification of the existing legislation which was obviously needed as shown in the DotCom case, where the SIS and GCSB legislation were contradicting in there ability to work together!

          You mean the finding that the GCSB spying on Dotcom was illegal because he was a New Zealand resident? What clarification of that was necessary or appropriate?

          • Bob 1.2.2.1.1

            “Oh yes there is. The absolute prohibition on the GCSB spying on Kiwis has been removed”

            No, the NZSIS legislation allowed the GCSB to spy on Kiwi’s as long as the NZSIS had a warrant issued, this is where the whole issue lies, the original legislation contridicted itself which was brought to the fore in the DotCom case, hence the requirement for these changes.

            “Governor General’s “oversight” is totally toothless. What benefit is there in this?”

            I guess we will have to wait until the second reading, he may have the ability to revoke warrants (I severely doubt it, but I guess we will have to wait). Do you deny there is a benefit to adding a two person independant panel to review the process?

            “You mean the finding that the GCSB spying on Dotcom was illegal because he was a New Zealand resident? What clarification of that was necessary or appropriate?”

            See above

    • handle 1.3

      It is the Inspector-General of Intelligence, not the Governor-General. Not that it makes much of a real difference.

  2. King Kong 2

    And Labour’s “crim cuddling” continues.

    I know the party is totally broke, but prostituting its parliamentary vote to fat German criminals in the hope of a big donation is the kind of thing you guys pan Key for all the time.

    • felix 2.1

      Err, who did he actually donate to in the real world though?

      ps I love the way righties use the word “crim”. They almost never use it to refer to people convicted of a crime in a court of law like Cameron Slater, but almost always to people accused of a crime, or in this case to 85 people who were victims of a crime.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      You call Kim Dotcom a crim, but which court has found him guilty? Or do you simply prefer arbitrary extra-judicial sentencing?

      You do know that the illegal use of state force and state surveillance against NZ residents is a crime in of itself, don’t you?

      • King Kong 2.2.1

        Sorry I had trouble understanding you. You will have to take that German sausage out of your mouth.

        • felix 2.2.1.1

          Awesome way to back up your lies and stupidity.

          Well done monkey. Have a grapefruit.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2

          First, you take Key’s sausage out of your ass.

        • tricledrown 2.2.1.3

          Primitive Primate you are the worst brat

          • tricledrown 2.2.1.3.1

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Key overrode Simon Powers rejection of Kim Dotcoms residency application so Dotcom could be extradited to the US as Hong Kong Doesn’t have an extradition agreement with the US!
            Which would mean Key knew from the start!

      • felix 2.2.2

        lol snap

      • TheContrarian 2.2.3

        Kim Dotcom has previously been found guilty of fraud and embezzlement by German courts.

        • felix 2.2.3.1

          Gosh it’s a wonder that he was allowed NZ residency then, isn’t it?

          Nonetheless, in the matter currently under discussion he’s actually one of the victims of a crime.

          • The Contrarian 2.2.3.1.1

            “Nonetheless, in the matter currently under discussion he’s actually one of the victims of a crime.”

            Yes quite. But the question was asked “..but which court has found him guilty?”. To which I responded.

    • Poission 2.3

      but prostituting its parliamentary vote to fat German criminals in the hope of a big donation is the kind of thing you guys pan Key for all the time

      as far as i am aware he has only donated to Nationals criminal partner.The only way he arrived in NZ was from the enhanced immigration policy of nats IE buy 10m in gvt stock we give you residence.

    • tricledrown 2.4

      KK which parties were cuddling up to dotcon Banks and Key took donations bribes .
      Banks for his mayoralty!
      You can bet that Key got a donation for his electorate!
      Who let him into the country under their wealthy immigrant clause!

    • Huginn 2.5

      Look into your heart, KK.

      This is exactly what Friedrich Hayek was worried about when he and Michael Polanyi campaigned to put an end to Britain’s post-war Operations Research program.

  3. red blooded 3

    Hey, come on mate; I don’t see anyone here cuddling up to Kim Dotcom. I do see people concerned about the extension of state powers (ironic from the “Less government/Keep the state out of citizens’ lives” acolytes) and the prostitution of our democratic process.

    This bill is deeply worrying. It puts too much power into the hands of the PM of the day. It assumes that a state organisation that is meant to be apolitical will never be used for political purposes (and here I use the word “political” to mean more than just party politics). It allows a side-stepping of court systems and full disclosure of evidence.

    A real life (though historical) example: What role would the GCSB have if the Springbok Tour was happening now, as opposed to in the 80’s? How many ethical, committed members of the protest movement would be spied upon and possibly brought to trial for actions that were illegal and seen as threatening to the peace but were (from the benefit of hindsight) actually hugely to the benefit of NZ on the international scene, and did not actually lead to the anarchy that so many in the then-government and ruling establishment proclaimed? How many would be blocked from future employment options (perhaps as teachers, or as government employees) because of involvement in the wider protest movement and reasonably low-level illegal action? The PM f the time (good old Piggy) wouldn’t have blinked at signing off surveillance of protest leaders and the wider protest movement. Digital communications would be tapped into (as phones were then), patterns of contact analysed… Scores of NZers with a social conscience who have gone on to contribute at all levels of our society would have been dragged into court; for what? And for what benefit?

    Yes, you can argue that people who break laws should be punished. And yes, surveillance was used at the time (I remember one particular police patsy pretending to be a plumber). Not all laws and all circumstances are equal, though. Some illegal actions are actually political (and may even in fact be ethically right). I argue that NZ would be much the poorer if the people involved in that protest movement had been more widely prosecuted and blocked from state-based future employment.

    Just a thought…

  4. Veutoviper 4

    Well, I doubt that Dunne will still see Andrea Vance as a ‘bestie’ when he reads her latest article on Stuff about his u-turn.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/8952874/Dunne-GCSB-u-turn-no-surprise

    A taste

    “To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Peter Dunne performed a U-turn on his flip-flop and agreed to support the expansion of the GCSB’s powers to spy on New Zealanders.

    None of the concessions he claimed to have won on the proposed Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill, address his repeated assertion that only the domestic Security Intelligence Service should be allowed to spy on Kiwis.

    Both he and Prime Minister John Key insist the changes improve the accountability of the GCSB and the transparency of its operations. But they do nothing to allay considerable public concern about what happens to information the GCSB harvests.

    There is still no mechanism in the new laws to ensure our private communications are not fed into any kind of global surveillance programme, like the NSA’s PRISM. ….”

    • karol 4.1

      This is the kicker, at the end of Vance’s article:

      As the legislation hung in the balance he was courted by the media – and for a time certainly appeared to be something of a privacy champion.

      Judging by the abuse that spewed forth on Twitter last night, he is now seen as no-one’s champion.

      In the long term, his support for the bill, may only cement the view that he is prepared to trade principles for pragmatics to secure his political future. With that in mind, pundits will watch keenly for any signals of electoral accommodations by National in Dunne’s Ohariu electorate next year.

      And from someone who knows exactly what the communications between herself and Dunne included.

  5. Observer (Tokoroa) 5

    Like honour itself, trusting people has been a rather long held practice in the Western World. It was good in Business and good in Family and Community too. Therefore, it will be difficult at first, to learn the necessary skills in constantly distrusting anybody now. But like those well known experts, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Key and Dunn have decided to turn us into a nation of comprehensive secret spies.

    They have just passed (Ist Reading 22/07/2013) legislation that will, promote and encourage and assist every person in Government work, and their external advisers, and consultants in the commercial world, to rake through every one of your spoken and recorded words.

    Everything you write too. Even your silent pictures and videos. Absolutely any information you have on past and present friends, neighbours, employers and children (refer to your computer). All information belongs to the New Zealand State.

    Human beings, your neighbours and friends, your teachers even, will be paid to spy on you constantly. No matter what you are doing.

    This in turn, may encourage your offspring and family members to turn the tiniest bits of personal information over to State Spies, thereby becoming spies themselves.

    Your every phone call will be recorded. How’s that for making Stalin look pretty ordinary. Just leave it to Dunne. Sneaking is no problem to him.

    New Zealand already has a PARLIAMENT looking after them; a GOVERNOR GENERAL; a POLICE FORCE; and an ARMY. We do have a judiciary too, it has less importance than rubbish collection, being only a rubber stamp for parliament. It looks up any answers it needs in a law book, much the same way people look up a train time table. They have wigs and things, but they are without importance. Rather through their own fault, they have become flightless kiwis. Impotent.

    In addition, an unknown number of nations have been co-opted to assist little helpless New Zealand.

    America is one. America of course, is well acquainted with other person’s blood. They have been recording us heartily for some time – without telling us. The bastards. It is so nice to know that the ordinary everyday low paid yankees will be raking through our private stuff with total access.

    Britain is another who will help us. Britain of course, is interested primarily in a thing called the class system and also reward for the wealthy. It seldom lifts its eyes beyond these corrupting goals. However, the considered opinion of most people is that Britons will take their role of spying keenly. Especially if the Queen asks them.

    All the legislation is able to be applied to the past. Peter may have already been listening in to your information. That parliamentary sneak Peter Dunne has never done anything wrong or stupid – has he?

    • Bob 5.1

      Wow, just wow.
      I have never read so much uninformed drivel in my life.

      “But like those well known experts, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Key and Dunn have decided to turn us into a nation of comprehensive secret spies”

      Godwins Law strikes early.

      “that will, promote and encourage and assist every person in Government work, and their external advisers, and consultants in the commercial world, to rake through every one of your spoken and recorded words”

      Pretty sure it is only the GCSB that will be able to rake through your private info, and this will only be if requested by the Police or NZSIS who would require a warrant first.

      “Even your silent pictures”

      Good words

      “Human beings, your neighbours and friends, your teachers even, will be paid to spy on you constantly. No matter what you are doing.”

      Again, Warrant required and only the GCSB will be able too. I haven’t read the legislation thoroughly, but I haven’t seen the part where Teachers will become spys.

      “America is one. America of course, is well acquainted with other person’s blood. They have been recording us heartily for some time – without telling us. The bastards. It is so nice to know that the ordinary everyday low paid yankees will be raking through our private stuff with total access”

      Wow, we don’t even need this legislation then, the Police can just call Billy-Bob in South Carolina to get all the info they need………..

  6. Sable 6

    Maybe we should call him “Dung” after this. After all he seems to like wading in shit with the likes of Keys and co.

  7. tracey 7

    dunne did what was best for dunne. got himself extensive media coverage as the defender of ordinary folks privacy. he is right wing at heart. he forgot his family gig and supported the sky deal. those who speak loudest about morality usually falter first

    • Sable 7.1

      Yep hes an odious little sell out.

      • muzza 7.1.1

        Why people thought it might be otherwise is a graphic example, of how desperate people have become, at what is being done to them, and their families.

        That’s lives being stolen, in case people were not paying attention.

        Still waiting for some sort of visual response from the sheep!

        Guess the internet has sucked the energy out!

  8. RJL 8

    Who’s taking bets on how long it takes for Dunne to resume a ministerial position?

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Good call. I give it a month, tops. I’d say the sequence is this: UF get re-registered, spy bill passes second reading, Dunne gets his reward.

    • Bob 8.2

      Put me down for the resumption of Parliament after the Summer break. People have short memories, but not that short.
      Nick Smith is a case in point.

  9. Bruce 9

    The GCSB story has made it to the front page of uber-geek website slashdot.org
    http://politics.slashdot.org/story/13/07/22/239250/new-zealand-government-about-to-legalize-spying-on-nz-citizens

    “After admitting they have illegally spied on NZ citizens or residents 88 times (PDF) since 2003, the government, in a stunning example of arse covering, is about to grant the GCSB the right to intercept the communications of New Zealanders in its role as the national cyber security agency, rather than examine the role the GCSB should play and then look at the laws. There has been strong criticism from many avenues. The bill is being opposed by Labor and the Greens, but it looks like National now have the numbers to get this passed. Of course, the front page story is all about the royal baby, with this huge erosion of privacy relegated to a small article near the bottom of the front page. Three cheers, the monarchy is secure, never mind the rights of the people. More bread and circuses anyone?”

  10. Wayne 10

    I have never been able to work out why Peter Dunne is held in such odium by people of both the Left and the Right. When he was part of the Clark government I used to read these sorts of comments about Peter Dunne on Kiwiblog. Now that he is with John Key, you see them on The Standard.

    However, I naively thought that moderation was supposed to be one of the virtues of MMP; that there would be a certain number of MP’s in the centre who could work effectively with either Left or Right, and indeed would moderate them both.

    And that is what he has done here.

    Instead what so many partisans want is no one in the centre – you are either tribally Left or Right. It certainly makes it easier to demonise the other side. John Key is a tool of foreign capitalists. Helen Clark is a neo Stalinist.

    Well, we will see what the voters in Ohariu Belmont think. So far they seem to quite like his moderating influence. Maybe that is something the partisans should take onboard.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      In general I would agree with you. Although the “neo Stalinist” comment is sorta ridiculous, while John Key is certainly a servant of international capital. (Being a senior banker for Merill Lynch, there really is no other description).

      However, when it comes to civil liberties, its very hard to have a middle ground, especially in the realm of state surveillance where we have seen governments all over the world act knowingly and illegally in ways which fundamentally undermine democracy. Citizens have a comprehensive right to privacy unless exceptional circumstances or suspicions dictate.

      Dunne has supported some useful changes, but as MS points out, some of the alterations like informing the GG of surveillance is nothing more than window dressing, and the legislation remains a loosely worded dogs breakfast, and no doubt deliberately designed just that way.

      The other problem that Dunne has is that he doesn’t bother to cloak his careerism with so much a s a fig leaf any more, and politicians in both Labour and National are still wont to do. I guess you can hardly look down on a man for being honest about who he is.

    • karol 10.2

      Instead what so many partisans want is no one in the centre – you are either tribally Left or Right. It certainly makes it easier to demonise the other side

      It’s more about the perception of Dunne going with whoever has the power, and not seeming to have any underlying philosophy or convictions.

      The “centre” is a movable feast, and changes with time. It is not a “moderate” position, just one that, for the likes of Dunne, seems to go where the wind blows. People who cluster around it because they perceive it to be the centre, and that, looking a bit to the left and a bit to the right, seem to me to operating under a misconception – in NZ it’s possibly motivated by a fear of not seeming to stand out too much?

      I generally get perceived as pretty “far left”, but I don’t consider myself that, and certainly not “tribally” so: my parents were National voters. The Nat politics didn’t match up with my perceptions of the world and/or the values I deemed important. I had to find my own politics, based in values of inclusion, social justice, and a belief that society should work equally well for all, amidst various kinds of diversity.

      What gets judged by some as my “far left (blind) ideology”, is actually something arrived at by looking at the evidence – of my eyes, experience and reading, etc. It seems to provide the most logical guide to organising society.

      Dunne just seems to want power – no real underlying values, or convictions – as CV says, it just looks like careerism.

      • peterlepaysan 10.2.1

        Actually “right” “left” have become meaningless epithets usually used by people disagreeing with some one else.

        Unfortunately “centre” now is equally meaningless.

        Unfortunately this has led us to being dominated (to date) by National and labour.

        Time for a change methinks (before the GCSIB gets passed?). Not likely.

        Orwell’s 1984 springs to mind.

        Four legs good, two legs bad.

        It does not matter if the legs are are right or left.

        The haves and the have nots do matter.

        The so called Arab spring is about haves and have nots and corruption.

        These are issues that are not that far away from us in kiwiland.

        There are various religious and sectarian forces involved as well all the way from Tunisia to Indonesia.

        If one looks at the countries heavily influenced by European cultures their societies they are dominated by economic theory sectarian mullahs and their PR imams.

        China, the Indian subcontinent out to Viet Nam, South America, Africa (sub Saharan) all have their own approaches to governance.

        Every single society is faced with the gulf between the haves and have nots and how that is dealt with.

        If any of our political parties were honest they would debate the issue of how to create a fair and just society.

        “Left” and “Right” are no longer meaningful and (like “politically correct” ) pejorative.

        Left or right is not appropriate in a MMP environment. It derives from Westminster in the 19th Century.

        US based economic thinking is not really a good model for a small agricultural technologically savvy country in our geographic area. Free Trade Agreements suit the US, not anyone else.

        The social distribution of wealth underpins all rulers governance.

        The occupy demonstration, the low poll turnout for labour ought remind the labour caucus that “Les Miserables” is not just a musical.

    • Anne 10.3

      Instead what so many partisans want is no one in the centre –

      The political centre is like the eye of a tropical storm. There’s nothing there (no innovative ideas, lateral thinkers) but boring f—k-w–s who achieve nothing worth while because you can’t achieve anything in a black hole.

  11. Treetop 11

    I am asking myself why did Dunne bother to even discuss the GCSB legislation with the PM?

    Dunne and his party was history months ago and Dunne has only until the next election. Dunne needs to do some SERIOUS introspection and come to his senses and not vote for the third reading.

    At least Muldoon did not crap on NZers when he knew that he was a gonner.

    • red blooded 11.1

      “At least Muldoon did not crap on NZers when he knew that he was a gonner.”

      Excuse me??!! I seem to remember a fiscal crisis with Muldoon absolutely refusing to move on the exchange rate in the weeks in which he clung on as PM after the election (Parliament hadn’t been recalled yet, or something like that). Don’t let’s look back on this guy with rose-tinted spectacles.

      • Treetop 11.1.1

        I know that the country was fiscally bankrupt and that Muldoon was no saint. Muldoon did call a snap election in July 1984 and this was a democratic move. All I have seen this year from Key is his moral and ethical bankrupt leadership and his conniving relationship with Dunne and Banks which I find to be gutter politics, e.g. Skycity and GCSB.

        A consolation is that Key now has to court Winston.

  12. Observer (Tokoroa) 12

    @Bob

    You seem to have a fairy tale view of the spying dynamic within sovereign populations. It is kind of creepy that you Bob, Key and Dunne want full scale spying powers over your “mums and dads” of New Zealand. Including all their phone calls. Perhaps you have the sort of mind that enjoys deceit. I don’t know.

    Because the following words do not come from your hero you will be unimpressed, but here goes all the same. They are a sane view of NZ Spying legislation Bob.

    Quote: ” As the legislation is overly broad and enables mass surveillance, in our view, the legislation impairs rights to privacy and freedom of expression in particular, more than is reasonably necessary. Further in the absence of any compelling argument for the level of intrusion that is contemplated, it cannot be said that what is proposed is proportionate to the objective of the legislation”.

    The Human Rights Commission of New Zealand

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    XKCD on Edward Snowden

    http://xkcd.com/705/

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    Well Dunne must have been promised some little bauble, ambassador to France perhaps? so he should be resigning his seat close enough to the next election so there is no by-election.
    Perhaps the greens and labour should make it very clear that any little sinecure arranged for him will terminate at the next election.

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