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“Privacy assured!” Politics, the police & surveillance

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, October 16th, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, Ethics, hone harawira, housing, john key, paula bennett, police, privatisation, slippery, Spying - Tags: , , ,

Public trust in the police is at a new low. But should the buck stop with the police? On their increasingly dubious record, shouldn’t the trust in our government also be at an all time low? Electronic means of surveillance are increasingly available to the government, state agencies and their international allies to monitor and control or manipulate anyone who goes against their interests.  But citizens are also making use of digital technologies to expose the dangers and weaknesses in these very systems that monitor and regulate behaviour.

Recent events, such as the Kim Dotcom saga, raise questions about the degree of collusion between the police, government, spy agencies and foreign governments. And other events, like the arrest of Hone Harawira, raise questions about the relationship between the police, politics, and corporate interests.

A new Horizon survey shows trust in the police has hit new low.

Public trust in the police has fallen, with overwhelming support for a beefed-up Independent Police Conduct Authority, a survey has found.

What a surprise!

The survey also found that, overall, net trust in the police had fallen 11.5 per cent to 59.9 per cent during the past five years.

Comments in the survey indicate that the fall in public trust centres on the police’s management of complaints against its officers, and actions considered heavy-handed, including the Urewera and Dotcom mansion raids.

How ironic that when Dotcom complies with his bail conditions and checks in with the police, he is faced with sign saying that if he txts, his Privacy is Assured!

The suspicion many of us have, is that electronic surveillance is increasingly being used by, for, or in the interests of the powerful political elites; not just our government, but those of countries like the US. And they sometimes seem to be used for the benefit of powerful corporates, as with Internet copyright issues (Dotcom), and the privatisation of state housing on land wanted for private investors, to ‘create a cafe culture by the sea‘.

But our government, that so frequently thumbs it’s nose at democracy, needs to be careful because some ordinary people are watching them.  Some of us remember their speech and actions for more than 2 minutes.  And some people record them.  Using citizen recordings, Campbell Live last night showed the country exactly how slippery and two-faced our PM is.  The show broadcast a video recorded in the aftermath of the mine disaster, of John Key pledging to do everything in his power to recover the bodies of Pike River miners.  Yeah, John, Right!  We now know how much he kept that promise!

Along with

  • the leaks from GCSB workers exposing slippery John Key’s comments about Dotcom to staff back in February,
  • Paula Bennett’s abuse of private information of citizen’s critical of government policy,
  • and the MSD’s failure to protect private information on their computer systems,

it’s not only trust in the police that should be falling, but also trust in our state systems used for monitoring and recording information about citizens, trust in our government, trust in our prime minister, and trust in his ministers.

We are increasingly seeing the dangers of surveillance by untrustworthy authorities and systems, which reveal breaches of privacy, rule for the elites and wealthy corporates, and broken government policies. I’m glad some citizens are watching, recording and telling the stories of failures in democracy, social justice and accountability.

27 comments on ““Privacy assured!” Politics, the police & surveillance ”

  1. David H 1

    And how do Key and Bennet react to this massive leak?? They ATTACK and out Ira Baily. Now it seems that they knew about it for a year so that dog has whistled it’s last I hope.

    • Dr Terry 1.1

      They ALWAYS find scapegoats as a matter of policy. Has Key ever yet apologised for himself? (I cannot be certain, but nothing returns to mind).

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Questions. Now that Key has stimulated the black information economy, will he continue by having Bennett personal sign apologizes to every potential client of Winz who has had their information exposed, and pay them compensation to cover the costs of defending of reducing their risks.

      Will Key explain how he will catch the member of the spy agency who broke the security of the spy agency by informing the opposition leader that a camera was available and could have recorded him talking about dotcom (before he actually did).

      Does Key credibility hang in tatters that he has proposed a staffer be responsible for all security matters, has Key ever seen Yes, Minister? What a dozy git.

      Will Key continue to collate data across the government sector, bring in private partners like Google, and just hope all the money spent on keeping information in prime quality, won’t be a gold mine for every single individual up and down the world who gains access to it???

      Would someone please explain how having just one man responsible for the spy agencies, that nobody else can be trusted, or worse some unelected staffer would be vetted and be without any
      recourse if a dispute were to arise. I mean what sort of prick creates a position that only a mug would put their hand up to do? Its half arsed of Key to admit he needs to off the cuff create a
      staffer with clearance (who he is also responsible for) and not go the whole way to the credible
      solution which would be a full oversight committee.

      And then we come to the gem, Waiway back door to the milk volume data so Chinese buyers can
      get insider information about the milk market. Has Key got a waiway backdoor in his brain because it looks like it.

      • Rogue Trooper 1.2.1

        😉

      • Tom 1.2.2

        As much as I hate to say it, I have to ask if the average voting Jill or Joe – content with their chemical dystopia, rapt in the latest sporting goss, their weekly punt on Australian races, the latest brain-rot from Peter Jackson, weekly phone-calls from Crosby-Textor clones, the illusion of independence and self-employed superannuation, and ‘that nice man John Key’ .. really care ?

  2. captain hook 2

    she should just resign and get it over with it.
    this governments luck has run out.

  3. tracey 3

    I want them to accept it requires more than a review of online access but internal access as well, or are they happy for every employee, contractor and consultant to have access to all data?

  4. Blue 4

    I’m still waiting for the police to apologise to Bradley Ambrose for defaming him.

    Not holding my breath on that one…

  5. vto 5

    This is all so fucking simple.

    Don’t trust authority.

    The trust that existed in the past is long gone folks. We live in different days now and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

    It is us against the state/s. Make no mistake.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Don’t trust authority.</blockquote?
      QFT

      There has never been a time when authority could be trusted. This is why we have the OIA process and the ability, supposedly, to hold our MPs to account. This government is proving, beyond doubt, that we actually have that power.

  6. tracey 6

    Key said hed sack banks if he broke the law. The ceo of msd has breached the obligations of the privacy act. That is broke the law.

  7. tracey 7

    How much will we have to pay deloittes and kpmg to review all this?

  8. tracey 8

    How is this for understatement…

    ” Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says it is disturbing that an IT company identified a major security hole in Work and Income’s systems more than a year ago but it had not been fixed.”

    Disturbing? Disturbing? Its incompetence and a fragrant breach of the privacy act. People need to read the twelve principles.

    The Ministry of Social Development revealed this morning that IT company Dimension Data had tested the self-serve kiosks in April last year and identified issues of concern.

  9. tracey 9

    Nice one vto. Thanks for picking up my error…

    How about this quote from granny h readers

    Rose 11:53 am Tuesday 16 October 2012 With Deloittes doing the ‘review’ maybe the Government should data share where the best part of $100 million from Auckland City Council went with Deloittes failed IT projects.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face-for ever.

    -Orwell (obviously)

    • McFlock 10.1

      Sure it wasn’t Shades of Grey? 🙂

      • Rogue Trooper 10.1.1

        Tell me about it! What the freak does that tell you? I’m lookin for a Hard Headed Woman, not a freakin passion slave (you guys have it all over me with this mazerati magic; me? I’m more of a Heart “Magic Man”)

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    And they sometimes seem to be used for the benefit of powerful corporates…

    That’s been true for a long, long time.

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      Amerika, where are you now, don’t you care about your sons and daughters?….
      (In his novel “Amerika”, Kafka spells out quite clearly this principle of basic “law”: in both Europe (von dadelszen ) and America “the verdict was determined by the first words that happened to come from the judge’s mouth, in an impulse of rage”.) (get that cat beacham!)

  12. Dr Terry 12

    Allow me to pick up on Karol’s mention of last night’s Campbell Live in which Key is shown for what he really is in connection with the Pike River disaster. We were reminded of John Key pledging, in the aftermath, to do everything in his power to recover the bodies of the miners. Now, this same man displays sheer nonchalance, the man who declared at the time, “New Zealand stands shoulder to shoulder with you.”
    The widow of one victim is currently recorded as reacting with the following selection of her words, “Solid Energy is a government-owned company but I don’t have a lot of faith in (Prime Minister) John Key . . . I don’t believe he’s got a heart. He’s made lots of promises to the Pike Creek families that he hasn’t kept . . . He just lied.”
    We are assured by families that “one thing we will never forget is what Prime Minister John Key told us then, just days after the disaster” (which Key is on record describing as a “national tragedy” – also “whatever it takes, the Government is behind you to get these guys home”).
    A bereaved man says, “the parent in me never gives up hope. Never, ever. I want my son home.”

    There is a lot more to the heart-breaking story, but I guess this is enough to give you the picture.

  13. captain hook 13

    by and large the cops are doing their best but they are not immune to post modernists who think only their own truths count.
    you know.
    the ones that think that because they are cops they can break the noise laws and cultivate arsewipes with noisy cars if they are informants.
    noooooooooo.

  14. headbanger 14

    I was interested to see yesterday that on the broken streets of the Christchurch CBD (where people are only just beginning to return) what look like CCTV cameras with 360 degree vision are being installed.

    Is Christchurch quietly becoming a CCTV city? Is this a good thing and should this work be done now when there is so much else to do?

    Although there can be good and valid reasons for CCTV I am deeply concerned by constant supervision being inflicted us on. Law in this area like that contained in the Search and Surveillance Bill assumes a competent and benevolent government – a laughable and naive concept.

    This could then become a slippery slope to losing human rights as has been seen in many other countries like the shocking changes in the name of anti-terrorism made in the UK. 

    • karol 14.1

      Yes, that is concerning, headbanger.  Thanks for pointing this out.  Shades of the UK surveillance society, supreme!

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