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To protect whistleblowers…

Written By: - Date published: 2:14 pm, December 17th, 2016 - 16 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, Spying - Tags: , ,

One of the claims made by Edward Snowden was that there were no effective channels in the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) to point out probably illegal programs of spying on US citizens, and morally questionable uses of commercial spying against allied nations. This claim appears to have been spectacularly validated on thursday with a POGO report that the NSA’s Inspector General, its final whistleblower protector, has been suspended for retaliating against another whistleblower.

While this report from POGO hasn’t been confirmed as far I can see 1. However they are a reputable organisation, so I have no reason to mistrust it. In fact their mission reads like what the Taxpayers Union is meant to be like if it wasn’t a Act/National partisan front.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

The POGO article states

Until just a few months ago, George Ellard occupied a position of trust as top watchdog of the National Security Agency, America’s principal collector of signals intelligence. Ellard was not only NSA’s Inspector General, but an outspoken critic of Edward Snowden, the former contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified emails to publicly expose the agency’s domestic surveillance program. Snowden claimed, among other things, that his concerns about NSA’s domestic eavesdropping were ignored by the agency, and that he feared retaliation. Ellard publicly argued in 2014 that Snowden could have safely reported the allegations of NSA’s domestic surveillance directly to him.

Then last May, after eight months of inquiry and deliberation, a high-level Intelligence Community panel found that Ellard himself had previously retaliated against an NSA whistleblower, sources tell the Project On Government Oversight. Informed of that finding, NSA’s Director, Admiral Michael Rogers, promptly issued  Ellard a notice of proposed termination, although Ellard apparently remains an agency employee while on administrative leave, pending a possible response to his appeal from Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

The closely held but unclassified finding against Ellard is not public. It was reached by following new whistleblower protections set forth by President Obama in an executive order, Presidential Policy Directive 19. (A President Trump could, in theory, eliminate the order.) Following PPD-19 procedures, a  first-ever External Review Panel (ERP) composed of three of the most experienced watchdogs in the US government was convened to examine the  issue.  The trio — IG’s of the Justice Department, Treasury, and CIA – overturned an earlier finding of the Department of Defense IG, which investigated Ellard but was unable to substantiate his alleged retaliation.

“The finding against Ellard is extraordinary and unprecedented,” notes Stephen Aftergood, Director of the Secrecy Program at the Federation of American Scientists. “This is the first real test drive for a new process of protecting intelligence whistleblowers. Until now, they’ve been at the mercy of their own agencies, and dependent on the whims of their superiors. This process is supposed to provide them security and a procedural foothold.”

“The case, which is still in progress, offers hopeful signs that the new framework may be working,” Aftergood added.

POGO learned of the decision against Ellard from sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. The information was later confirmed by government officials. POGO has been told that mention of the finding will appear in a semiannual report (SAR) of the Intelligence Community IG (ICIG) that should be released in the near future. It makes brief mention of the case without citing Ellard by name.

CommonDreams has a pretty good analysis of the implications in the US. In particular to the extent that it shows that Edward Snowden was correct in not pursuing attempts to point out the legal and ethical issues with various NSA programs within the whistleblower frameworks at the NSA.

Politico reported on Ellard’s 2014 comments:

“We have surprising success in resolving the complaints that are brought to us,” he said.

In Snowden’s case, Ellard said a complaint would have prompted an independent assessment into the constitutionality of the law that allows for the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata. But that review, he added, would have also shown the NSA was within the scope of the law.

“Perhaps it’s the case that we could have shown, we could have explained to Mr. Snowden his misperceptions, his lack of understanding of what we do,” Ellard said.

Yet documents confirmed earlier this year that Snowden had, indeed, reported concerns to several NSA officials—who took no action and discouraged him from continuing to voice concerns. Moreover, as Snowden toldVice News: “I was not protected by U.S. whistleblower laws, and I would not have been protected from retaliation and legal sanction for revealing classified information about law breaking in accordance with the recommended process.”

Ellard’s 2014 criticism of Snowden appears particularly threadbare after he has been found personally guilty of whistleblower retaliation.

Hopefully the NZ intelligence community have taken notice. Having people who operate with organisational malice towards whistleblowers inside organisations is a damn stupid idea. Sure they may be mistaken in their analysis. However having vindictive idiots trying to prevent short-term damage to their organisations is just a route to causing long-term harm to them. Whistleblowers may be people with a grudge (god knows that I get a lot of email like that) or with ethics that aren’t those of the organisation. However they will also act as the conscience against the embedded group-think of any organisation.

If you can’t operate with reasonable levels of transparency and clarity towards your own employees and contractors when they have issues with what the organisation is doing, why and with what authority, then you are really going to have issues when it eventually becomes public. In the connected world of today and the future, even more so than in antiquated historic (ie last decade) eras, everything becomes public.

It doesn’t matter if it is Russia trying to distort the US elections 2, the US taking stupid excesses with both their own citizens and apparently just about everyone else, or China breaking into commercial systems for cheap R&D. It always becomes public. These days it just becomes public a lot faster.

 


 

  1. I have found my first flight with affordable onboard net access. A Cathy Pacific A350-900. For me this is a landmark as the useless hours on a plane for work would be a lot more useful if I had net access.
  2. Which they appear to have had motive, means, and probably state sanction to do, and then dumped out via wikileaks. Assange is deluded. And Trump appears to be in denial 3.
  3. Sticking your fingers in the ears, like president-elect Trump appears to be doing over the assistance that the Russians appear to have given him, is just dumb. If he ignores or denies it as he is currently doing, then he will forever have everything he does being questioned as if he is a Russian stooge. His best bet is to push forward on a reasonably transparent, non-partisan and wide ranging enquiry. However I suspect that he confuses the narcissistic personal wants far more than he considers the damage to the body politic and his new role in it.

16 comments on “To protect whistleblowers…”

  1. Conal 1

    Why do you say ‘Assange is deluded’?

    Is it to do with his insistence that WikiLeaks acquired DNC emails not from Russian sources, but from an American in Washington DC, who claimed to be passing them on from a disaffected Democratic Party insider? If so, what basis do you have for asserting that this is a delusion? You don’t think it’s credible that someone such as the late Seth Rich might have leaked the data? Why not?

    I notice that you don’t go so far as to claim that the Russian government definitely hacked the DNC and passed the information to Wikileaks, only that they “seem” to have done so. But if there’s any doubt in your mind, then your aspersion against Assange should have been at least a bit hedged, if you’re going to appear to be consistent.

    To me, this whole anti-Russia scaremongering from the CIA and their echo chamber just seems undignified and hysterical. What actual evidence is there that Russian hackers supplied Podesta’s email to Wikileaks? And I don’t mean anonymous sources asserting that they know something “with high confidence”.

    So why should we put any credence in the story? It’s not as if the CIA is a paragon of truth-telling. They are a spy and propaganda agency of the US government with vested interests in spinning a particular tale, and a universally-acknowledged history of lying to support US foreign policy agendas. Trump, for all his idiocy, has every right to recall the “weapons of mass destruction” propaganda that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq. The Washington Post, that “newspaper of record”, was also happy to repeat that lie. I’m not saying that Russian agencies did NOT spy on the DNC, but what I AM saying is that the CIA’s unsubstantiated assertions to that effect should carry exactly zero weight (perhaps even less!) with serious observers.

    In any case, even if Russian agencies DID spy on the DNC, that by no means precludes the possibility that DNC emails were also stolen by an insider, and leaked to WikiLeaks, independently of any hackers, as WikiLeaks officials claim.

    Circumstantially, the killing of DNC computer specialist Seth Rich (shot twice in the head, wallet and cell-phone still on his body) is highly suggestive of a political motive. It’s interesting that Assange has offered a reward for information on the killing. Of course the evidence here is just as circumstantial, but it’s telling that the story gets so little play in the establishment media, compared to the politically convenient “meddling Putin” story.

  2. lprent 2

    Oh what utter bullshit. You forget that I’m a programmer with more than a little expertise in network systems and the ways to stop people hacking into them. Even a cursory

    The range of sources that have been hacked into during this election season, both democrat and republican, points to a source using a large variety of techniques and a lot of skilled people. It has also been quite targeted and directed towards the political process. It isn’t a US source because that kind of activity would leak in double quick time if it was a private source trying to get enough skills together. It has to be a state player.

    Almost all of the damaging releases were all one way. To try to make Clinton look bad. Whereas the unexplained leaks targeting the republican side appear to have been targeted only at opponents of Trump during the primary.

    In fact the ONLY unexplained damaging leak during the campaign targeted against Trump was the release of details about the way he has not been paying taxes. Published by the Washington Post.

    So you’ have to ask what state player could have those skills available, and why did they do it.

    There is no motivation for any other large state players apart from Russia, North Korea and possibly Iran in trying to affect the US election towards Trump. Every other state player would prefer to have a stable US political system to deal with. But those 3 states have entrenched groups who would prefer that the US had a fool at the helm, each for their own reasons.

    Iran simply doesn’t have the capabilities. North Korea has developed some good groups. But they are too small to have intruded into so many sites. Whereas anyone who has anything to do with the underside of the net knows the extent that we get sophisticated probes at by Russians and Chinese hackers pretty continuously. Which provides a large pool of skills to recruit from.

    The Chinese have no particular motivations in gaining Trump. The Russian certainly do.

    As I said Assange is deluded if he thinks this came from anything apart from a state source, and that state source has to be outside the US. Who gives a pigs arse where the material was handed over? It isn’t hard to fly to a meeting point.

    Only Russia has both the skills base and the motivation. No amount of bullshit and probably paid for propaganda can obscure that to anyone who is technically literate.

    And that is before any actual hard evidence gets released. Sure this is guesswork, but it is educated guesswork. Which is a technique that you appear to lack.

    To me you just look like either a propaganda spinner or a religious nut (ie the ‘faithful’ who substitutes faith for brains). You sure as hell don’t look like you have looked at what evidence is available. Instead you just smear like the a illiterate fuckwit trying to obscure occams razor.

    As a working basis to operate on, it has a very high probability.

    • esoteric pineapples 2.1

      Thanks for that lprent. I feel confident it was a Russian hack, mostly based on comments from people I have confidence in, but this really helps solidify why.

      I also felt that even if it is unclear whether Russia was behind the hacks, as President-Elect, Trump needed to show some faith in his secret services as these are organs of the government representing and working in the interests of the American state and its inhabitants (even if they have behaved inappropriately in the past or given bad information). By undermining the credibility of his country’s own secret service, Trump was undermining American’s trust in their own government. This weakens the system of government.

      • Conal 2.1.1

        There were apparently a number of different attacks (including the phishing of John Podesta), and they may well have been by a number of different parties. Media reports I’ve read have identified two distinct “groups” with different code-names depending on which security firm is reporting on them. The groups have been distinguished and correlated with other hacks on a variety of different targets, based on a variety of technical metadata about their methods, working hours, and so on. But this kind of fingering is not an exact science. The tools used in hacking are tradeable items and not an unbreakable signature. The groups have been identified by some with different Russian intelligence agencies, but again, this is by no means a “slam dunk” (to use the old CIA phrase). I think the best that can be said in this respect is that at least some of the attacks probably involved Russian state security agencies.

        But in any case, as I’ve commented elsewhere, the data that WikiLeaks has published may well have had a different source. This means that the assertion that Russia deliberately interfered in US political affairs (not just spying, but actual meddling), and specifically with the intention to support Trump, is less probable again. I certainly would put any more weight on that assertion because one of the US intelligence agencies (especially the CIA!) made it.

      • Conal 2.1.2

        Why should Trump feel compelled to “show faith” in the secret police? Is it a religious requirement of the presidency? I don’t see why you should conflate the interests of the American state (the CIA?!) with the interests of its inhabitants. I am no fan of Trump, but honestly, anything he does that undermines the CIA I am going to count as a “silver lining”.

  3. Conal 3

    Wow lots of abuse there but little in the way of engaging with the points I actually made.

    By the way, I’m well aware you’re a programmer (I’m one myself)

    • lprent 3.1

      Perhaps you should realise that sticking to the topic of the post rather than a footnote makes it less likely that the author of the post will get cranky at you.

      You didn’t say a word about whistle blowers. Just made some assertions about things that you didn’t link to.

      I would guess that you are a script monkey rather than a programmer. The lack of attention to detail tends to be a characteristic of people who can’take write designed code.

      • Conal 3.1.1

        Nice trolling! But in fact I’m a skilled programmer with over 30 years of experience, during which time I’ve written code professionally in — off the top of my head — at least 2^4 different programming languages; high level, low level, procedural, object-oriented, functional…

  4. Conal Tuohy 4

    You’ve obviously responded to my perfectly polite comment with indecent haste in a haze of hostility that’s quite inappropriate. Why not take a deep breath, read what I actually wrote, and engage in a discussion, by explicitly addressing the points I made, and the questions I asked? And with a modicum of courtesy?

    • lprent 4.1

      Check one. When challenged with an argument, the idiot troll complains about politeness.

      Check two. Idiot troll wants to discuss their points (even when they haven’t made anything apart from assertions and no links) rather than what was in the post or what was written in response to their comment.

      I read exactly what you wrote, and I still think it is crap. Did you read what I wrote in either the post or the reply? It doesn’t seem like you did. If you had then you’d have referenced at least part of it rather than doing the usual whine about politeness.

      You ignored my post and concentrated instead on some lines in a FOOTNOTE! Is that “polite”? Not really. It is what I expect from an idiot troll with no substantive argument.

      But still I responded. I postulated a viable theory about the types of leaks and who had the capabilities, motivation, and highest probability for doing it. You postulated – well absolutely nothing apart from whining about the CIA.

      Next you will be trying to say that the hacking and selective leaking never existed or postulating ‘that the CIA dun it’ (with multiple explanation marks).

      FFS: I’ve been running this site for close to a decade and I have had decades of experience on the net. Do you really think that I can’t recognise idiotic net tactics born several decades ago?

      These days when I see people using that on my posts, I just tend to abbreviate the conversation to what I think is the probable endpoint and let the fool on the other side prove that they are not. It saves me time.

      BTW: One more check and I boot you off my post.

      • Conal 4.1.1

        I read your post and actually quite enjoyed it. Perhaps I should have said so to mollify you before quibbling about the detail in the footnote. Instead I made the mistake of thinking you’d be open to a civil discussion of anything in the post.

        That footnote, in which you said Assange was “deluded” was a puzzle to me; it was obviously a throw-away line, but I was curious about what you meant by it, as it seemed to me (if I’d understood what the “delusion” referred to), to be mistaken, and I expanded on the reasons why I thought so.

        In particular, one of the key points I made was to critique the fallacy of the excluded middle, in which Russian hacking is invalidly taken as proof that WikiLeak’s own source could not very well have been someone else; an internal leaker. Yet in your rant you expounded that very fallacy straight back at me, as if my point had gone right over your head.

        In response to my perfectly civil comment, your head exploded and you abused me shamelessly, calling me a fuckwit, a nut, an idiot, a monkey, and an illiterate. Most shockingly you accused me of lacking attention to detail. This in comments marred by a number of grammatical errors.

        Why even leave comments enabled if you can’t rise to the level of a friendly and civil discussion? If a commenter were to behave as you did they’d be blocked instantly. “Boot” me if you will. I’m not going to dignify your boorishness by responding further.

    • lprent 4.2

      And incidentally I responded to your only argumentative point related to the post.

      Why did I think that Assange was deluded about wikileaks source for the DNC leaks.

  5. saveNZ 5

    On a different note there, what about in the age of mass surveillance and corporate MSM, leaks seem to be the only way to bring down dishonest polticians…

    “The Internet and alternative media of reputable truth-telling websites are taking over. Leaks are the new political reality. Over time this will be the cure against dishonest politicians.”

    Interesting from Dotcom

    https://www.spinbin.co.nz/kim-dotcom-exclusive-2tb-leaks-to-come/

    • esoteric pineapples 5.1

      I read that the other day. I thought it was interesting but rather than “truth telling websites taking over”, I think people are quickly becoming exhausted with all the truth telling websites who disagree with each other and won’t be voting at the next election based on whatever scandals have been exposed. I think to win, Labour, with the Greens need to be presenting in simplified terms big solutions to pressing problems like housing. I also feel that Kim Dotcom still thinking Trump might drain the swamp is being very optimistic. Trump has been announcing his nominations for some time now (the post is five days old) and none of his picks make pleasant reading. However, there is no doubt that Kim Dotcom was done over and deserves justice. I just don’t think “exposing the government” is the answer to Labour and the Greens winning the next election.

    • Conal 5.2

      This is related to Assange’s line, too: that leaks and the threat of leaks are a kind of curb on dishonest politicians, but in Assange’s case he (rather more realistically I believe) says it will only stop incompetent dishonest politicians. It will always remain possible for politicians to conspire against the people, so long as they greatly improve their operational security. Assange has described it as a kind of “tax” on political conspiracy: not a cure, but an additional obstacle.

      In the case of the DNC “hack” (or “phishing” really) that’s been reported in the media, from what I’ve read the DNC’s own IT security practices let them down badly. The reports I’ve read say that Podesta asked their security guy about the phishing email, and was told that it was “legitimate”, and that he should change his password immediately. It probably was a good idea to change his password (I’ve read that his email was “p@ssword” — if that’s true it’s abysmal operational security), but not by clicking on the “change password” link in the phishing email! Which is apparently what he did.

      Incidentally, this provides a simple explanation for how the DNC’s security might have been breached but the RNC’s might not have (there’s some dispute as to whether they were hacked or not); it may have been more about the DNC’s own vulnerability to social engineering. Again, as I stated to lprent, above, the success of a “hack” (of any sort, including “phishing” more broadly) against any party does not detract from the possibility that the data was also leaked by an insider (a whistle-blower). There were certainly many people in the Democratic Party who had a great deal of motivation to leak, based on some kind of resentment over the misdemeanours of Hillary’s faction (such as the dirty tricks against Sanders, for instance).

  6. Steve 6

    You’ve hit upon a key point – the leaks were only one way so the receiver and distributor of the leaks probably had a political motive and likely sat on information obtained about the other side.

    Exactly like Dirty Politics.

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    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
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    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
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  • Outsiders.
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    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
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    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    6 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    7 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
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  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    5 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago