web analytics

Spooked!

Written By: - Date published: 2:52 pm, November 29th, 2018 - 29 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, China, economy, tech industry, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags:

The GCSB ban on Spark’s use of Huawei technology means this government  has gone from “honest broker” to poodle in a very short time. Pressure has been applied by the US and others, apparently fearing we are the “soft underbelly” of the Five Eyes spy network. Maybe its time we got out of that too – it was designed for war.

GCSB Minister Andrew Little argues that the GCSB decision is about the technology not the country. Nobody else believes that, certainly not the lobbyists and commentators including security analyst Adam Boileau, who said that argument didn’t make a lot of sense. He says Huawei’s engineering is pretty good. He also said this:

If all our networks and systems are provided by someone who one day we might expect to be in a shooting war with, then the ability to turn off all our communications systems might be a concern.

If indeed there is a concern in the GCSB that we might some day be in a shooting war with China,  then the government and the GCSB should tell us now so we can tell them what we think about that. And there is some evidence that our Five Eyes partner the US is beginning to think like that. Their 2018 National Defense Strategy says:

Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea.
It goes on to say:
New commercial technology will change society and, ultimately,the character of war. The fact that many technological developments will come from the commercial sector means that state competitors and non-state actors will also have access to them, a fact that risks eroding the conventional overmatch to which our Nation has grown accustomed. Maintaining the Department’s technological advantage will require changes to industry culture, investment sources, and protection across the National Security Innovation Base
Looks like “buy America made” or MAGA. On the military side, consultant Patrick Buchanan says:

Buchanan said Huawei was considered a “Trojan horse” into critical telecommunications infrastructure and New Zealand was thought to be the “Achille’s heel” of the Five Eyes.

Buchanan believed that approving Huawei technology could lead to New Zealand being left out of some intelligence sharing. This could have implications not just on national security, but on the security of New Zealand troops deployed in the field.

There’s the war contingency again. At the moment the only place we have troops deployed, and I didn’t think it was in the field, is in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The Australians were ready to follow the US into war against North Korea. If there is any question of our troops being deployed in the field in or against China we should know now.

I’m totally opposed.

.

 

 

 

 

29 comments on “Spooked! ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Maybe its time we got out of that too – it was designed for war.

    And if we’re attacked we will actually be at war. That means that we must have our defences as good as possible.

    If all our networks and systems are provided by someone who one day we might expect to be in a shooting war with, then the ability to turn off all our communications systems might be a concern.

    And he’s right. That means that the government should be making our communications infrastructure in NZ and not buying it in from other countries who, as LPrent pointed out, all have laws requiring that hardware sold to other nations have back doors in them so that that nation can then spy on the other nation. Even the US does.

    There’s the war contingency again.

    Yes.

    Just because we want to be all nice all the time doesn’t mean that there aren’t nasty people out there who will do us harm if they think it will benefit them.

    Or did you miss the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

    We must have adequate defences in place. That’s not optional.

    • francesca 1.1

      Our current friends and allies could well turn in to those “nasty people” if we don’t tow the line
      We don’t have oil but we have land and water
      Assad was recommended for a UK knighthood until he turned down the Qatar /Turkey pipeline
      The French approved of Gadaffi and Gadaffi financed Sarkozy’s election campaign
      Sarkozy stabbed him in the back
      We’re mates with The US. For now
      Think if we stop being so puppishly compliant we’ll still be mates?
      They’ll come to our aid only if its strategically beneficial to them
      Look what happened to Gough Whitlam when he talked of closing down Pine Gap.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        /agreed

      • Anne 1.1.2

        Look what happened to Gough Whitlam when he talked of closing down Pine Gap.

        And they (ASIS and CIA) didn’t confine their meddling activities to Australia. They were in NZ indulging in political tricks of various kinds to various individuals in the 1970s in particular.

    • JohnSelway 1.2

      One of those times we fully agree with each other Draco….

  2. Me too, and I think the issue of NZ being involved in any wars should be rigorously debated.
    Foreign policy is never discussed during election campaigns. Time for it to be included.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    It’s elementary: if China were not pursuing its antique imperial foreign policy, it would not be creating an equal and opposite reaction. The USA has supported China ever since Nixon, and we’re now seeing them wake up to the consequences. Trump’s policy of containment strikes me as sensible and appropriate.

    If there was realistic evidence of America going to war, paranoia would make sense. Otherwise it’s better to avoid hypotheticals. The Nats did turn the 5 eyes into a perceptual problem by getting a little too America-aligned for my liking – I prefer us to be non-aligned, but escalating Chinese militarism does suggest we need to be part of the counter-balance.

    I agree we ought to stay well clear if the US undertook military action against China. That would only occur if China initiated the conflict by striking a neighbouring country which requested help. A Security Council decision vetoed by China would be the signal to watch for. Russia onside with America.

    • Mark 3.1

      “Trump’s policy of containment strikes me as sensible and appropriate.”

      Obama’s pivot to Asia, was part of this containment policy, and China’s current maneuvers in the region are largely in response to that.

      Trump is more interested in trade than anything else.

      Not sure why you prefer American militarism to the Chinese simply wanting greater influence in their part of the world (to counter US influence).

      American militarism is far more aggressive, dangerous, and violent, and spans the entire globe.

      The Chinese territorial claims are long standing (as you imply, and not even as ambitious as the Taiwanese (who also claim the entire South China sea)

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        “American militarism is far more aggressive, dangerous, and violent, and spans the entire globe.” I agree. “Not sure why you prefer American militarism to the Chinese simply wanting greater influence in their part of the world (to counter US influence).” If that were so, I would agree.

        I don’t prefer any kind of militarism. I adopted the non-violence ethic as an adolescent in 1964. I see geopolitics as the art of war-prevention.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      I prefer us to be non-aligned, but escalating Chinese militarism does suggest we need to be part of the counter-balance.

      /agreed

      Being non-aligned does not mean not moving when we need to.

      And we do need to.

      That would only occur if China initiated the conflict by striking a neighbouring country which requested help.

      China has already done that. That is exactly what their moves are in the South China Sea.

      A Security Council decision vetoed by China would be the signal to watch for. Russia onside with America.

      What about China ignoring a general UN ruling that their actions in the South China Sea was illegal?

      As I say – China is already acting aggressively even if they haven’t shot anybody yet.

      • mikesh 3.2.1

        I think that China’s defensive interest in the South China Sea would vitiate any UN resolution of illegality with respect to that area.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          It doesn’t. The UN has already found China’s actions illegal.

          https://www.lawfareblog.com/countering-chinas-actions-south-china-sea

          Instead, shortly after the one-year anniversary of the award, Beijing reportedly threatened Vietnam with military action if Vietnam did not stop drilling in its own exclusive economic zone. Prompted by concerns that Washington did not have its back, Hanoi stopped its operations. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the rest of the international community averted their gaze. This might well come to be regarded as the point when a rules-based order began unraveling in the region. In March and May this year, Vietnam again attempted to drill for oil and gas in its exclusive economic zone, and Beijing issued similar warnings.

          Vietnam is not the only country Beijing has leaned on. Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines have all come under pressure to concede “joint development” in their exclusive economic zones, a term that has come to suggest legitimate overlapping claims: Where there are such claims, the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that parties should seek to enter into “provisional arrangements of a practical nature” prior to delimitation of the exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.

          Make no mistake, this is a resource grab by China. What should be considered theft. It is unfortunate that the international community is not standing up to China’s aggressive actions.

    • Unicus 3.3

      Spot on.

      I can’t help thinking Mike Smith would have been badgering us about the dastardly Americans behaviour while the Japanese were hammering away at Pearl Harbour and Guadalcanal

      If I remember correctly the plan for NZ last bunch of militarist burst out of Asia – girls to the North Island Boys to the South work them to death and re-colonise the place.

  4. Interesting take. For mine, I’d prefer that we don’t let the People’s Liberation Army have access to our communications infrastructure. Better to look to Europe, where we at least have similar commercial, legal and political frameworks.

  5. Anne 5

    Umm… I think you mean Paul Buchanan Mike Smith – not Patrick… 🙂

    I understand Britain is quite happy with this Huawei technology so why not NZ?

    Has NZ fallen for the paranoid fantasies of the USA? Not for the first time – remember the Cold War years.

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Yes, the British nonconformism was mentioned on RNZ. Seems peculiar. I presume our spooks evaluated their stance against those of Oz & USA.

  6. Brutus Iscariot 6

    What we really need to do is the bare minimum to remain palatable to both sides.

    If we have to nix a single Huawei project to stay in 5 Eyes, and by extension remain part of the Australian/US security umbrella, that’s a reasonable tradeoff.

    Telling the US to bugger off at this stage would be foolish. As a trading island nation forced to import most critical goods and supplies, we will choose the power with the capacity to keep the sea-lanes open, and that for now is the US.

    • Anne 6.1

      Pragmatic solution is sometimes the only solution I agree BI. But it does stick in my craw that we are forced by way of circumstances not to be the arbiter of our own decisions – particularly given the appallingly low standards exhibited by the Trump regime.

  7. DJ Ward 7

    I use a Huawei router. You are being monitored with my assistance. Everything you say may be used against you in the closed courts of The People’s Republic of New Zealand. Any speech not compliant with ‘The Standard’ will result in organ donations.

  8. Gabby 8

    I wonder what yanker corporation wants a nice fat juicy contract.

  9. ianmac 9

    No matter who the supplier is, there is certainly a risk to security. There is now and the internet development is always going to be insecure. Will we any more secure if the supplier is say USA? CIA, FBI are immensely trustworthy – aren’t they?

  10. tc 10

    Your only as good as your counter measures and security regardless of where your kit comes from.

    UFB is chock full of Huawei kit already.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    “In August, when Australia announced its ban on 5G Huawei technology it tried to do so in the most low key fashion possible. The 1000-word statement did not mention China, or the Chinese telecommunications equipment giants Huawei or ZTE. Nor did it plainly state the bombshell decision that they are to be banned from building Australia’s new telecommunications network. If you’re getting the impression that the government didn’t want to draw attention to the announcement, you’re right.”
    http://werewolf.co.nz/2018/11/gordon-campbell-on-how-banning-huawei-fits-into-our-new-hostility-towards-china/

    ANZACs were once real tough buggers. Now all we ever seem to get in both govts are spineless creeps. The left & right compete to see who can be the most craven.

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    regulars at the Standard should know enough about politics and history, to figure out in whose interests the GCSB is acting, and why the Govt. has tamely accepted the spooks advice on Huawei

    the Labour caucus would be lucky to have more than a couple of members with a glimmer of class analysis, the PM has admitted she did not finish reading “Pikkety’s book”–“Capitalism in the 21st Century”, hardly a marxist tome anyway, so she is no left ideologue in any shape or form, any such were well driven from Labour back in the 80s

    of course a lesser evil, reforming, social democratic government must be supported in the face of more destructive years of a National one, but the “skating on thin ice” centrist nature, and age old allegiance to US Imperialism of the current coalition government, like almost all previous NZ Govt.s bar Kirk’s and the 80s nuke free policy, becomes clearer with pressure points like Huawei

    • Anne 12.1

      I reluctantly have to agree with what TM says.

      Norman Kirk was the shining light who lead me to Labour. The 80s Nuke free policy kept me voting Labour. I liked the independence of thought and originality and despite attempts to punish NZ for not falling into line, it actually did the country a power of good. We were forced to be innovative and to stand on our own two feet. And we still bask in an element of international admiration for doing so.

      So, what went wrong? My answer is ‘globalism’ where every country has become intertwined to the extent we have been forced to sell our souls to the global corporate world. I am an electronic illiterate but its plain for all to see that NZ was told to dump Huawei – because 5 Eyes – and we now acquiesce to everything without a murmur.

  13. Exkiwiforces 13

    Sometimes it better the devil you, than the devil you don’t know. China is no saint IRT to Human rights, Freedom of Association/ Speech, the rule of International Law, it’s now has a Leader for life in its one party State and I do see similar parallels to Herr Hitlers climb to power in the 20’s-30’s IRT China. But US the can be seen in similar view as well and the only difference is they speak a common language which is English and they have a sort of a clayton’s democracy than a real democracy.

    Yes I would personally like to see NZ adopt a independent Foreign/ Trade, Aid and Defence Polices, but how much money do you want to spend on these 4 Policy platforms when other sectors within the public system are equally run down?

    The current NZG approach to China atm is rather like a drunk at the roulette table, putting it all on red or black instead of spreading it across the table as normal punter would do, unless you were that lucky punter on the 1st race on NZ Cup day backing the roughy at $96 for 1st place. In other words they are pretending the China problem doesn’t exist or hoping it’s a bad dream that would go away and everything can go back to normal.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    Audrey Young: “The Australian newspaper a month ago cited an Australian security source for a story saying Chinese intelligence had sought password and network details from Huawei to hack a foreign network. Under the National Intelligence Law passed by China last year, any organisation or citizen can be required to assist with state intelligence work.”
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12169149

    In the light of this, anyone advocating for retention of Huawei tech in our national infrastructure will look like a fool! The GCSB made the only realistic decision possible.

    “Peters and GCSB minister Andrew Little have been quick to point out that the GCSB decision is the start of a process and not the end of one. The decision can be reviewed by the Chief Commissioner of Security Warrants. The final decision rests with Little himself, who is able to take into account political considerations such as foreign relationships.”

    Winston says he intends to talk to the Chinese govt about this decision because he thinks they are misinterpreting it. I presume he means the official govt decision hasn’t been made yet, so he’s giving them the opportunity to do some organised lying (in the hope that our govt will swallow it).

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago