by Steffan Browning
Submissions close on the spying law this Thursday.
John Key may be comfortable with many things but we are not comfortable; we are not comfortable with, among many things, John Key’s pandering to the USA’s spymasters, and the wholesale spying on New Zealanders, either already happening or intended to, and assisted by the law changes in front of Parliament now; the GCSB and Telco Interception Bills.
Peter Dunne has given us a political drama, but also gave New Zealand an early insight into some of the recent targeted illegal spying on New Zealanders, with the leaked Kitteridge report showing 88 had been identified as spied on by the GCSB. What Dunne didn’t do was show how the Government Communications and Security Bureau’s (GCSB) involvement with the Echelon system of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, can feed into and out of the US’s National Security Agency(NSA). The NSA designed the Echelon global surveillance system that includes the New Zealand Waihopai spy base near Blenheim.
According to the Guardian on Friday, a top secret document shows that the NSA has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, and other US internet giants. These same systems are used by New Zealanders massively on a daily basis, and the NSA has been filtering those same systems.
The Guardian stated that the document says that NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats.
In New Zealand, we have a Prime Minister, John Key who selects his mate as spy chief, and is set on legitimising his spy agencies, and his USA mates total telecommunications surveillance on us. Fiddling about on legislated oversight as the latest spying Bills get rushed through Parliament will not stop wholesale spying on everyone that uses the social media technologies and programs of the day, or in fact regular telephone calls when it suits. The intended legislation is broad, but the Guardian and possibly Peter Dunne, have shown us that the GCSB can and will spy on every New Zealander at whim.
NZ through the GCSB is meant to have been getting info from the NSA from it’s Echelon relationship and the Waihopai system. What we don’t know is how much, and if it includes this new discovered Prism arrangement.
The USA controlled Waihopai spy base must be closed, and New Zealand’s links with the United States NSA’s super surveillance system stopped.
Submissions are now open on the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill and the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill. Submissions close 5pm, Thursday 13 June.
The Green Party is determined to stop our intelligence agencies spying on legitimate, peaceful, political dissenters.
We support an inquiry as to whether the SIS should be abolished and whether responsibility for detecting politically motivated crime be returned to the Police.
New Zealand should close the Waihopai spy base, which operates in the interests of other countries rather than our own.
To enable better oversight, a regular parliamentary select committee should replace the government-dominated Intelligence and Security Committee, and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security should become an Officer of Parliament.