On the GCSB: Letter to the editor (NZ Herald) from Dame Anne Salmond

From today’s NZ Herald – a letter to the editor from New Zealander of the Year Dame Anne Salmond.

Dear Sir,

In assessing the Prime Minister’s performance on Campbell Live, rather than admiring the style, it is important to weigh what was said.  He assured New Zealanders that if the GCSB bill is passed, they will not be subject to wholesale spying.

In the bill, however, it says that the Director may apply in writing for an interception warrant or an access authorisation, and the scope of these permissions is sweeping.

In the case of warrants, the communications that are intercepted may be “made or received by 1 or more persons or classes of persons” – all teachers, or nurses, or trade unionists, perhaps, plus all the people with whom they communicate?

In the case of access authorisations, the Director may seek access to “1 or more specified information infrastructures or classes of information infrastructures”  – all telephone or internet services, for example, or the Southern Cross Cable?

If XKeyscore is used, with its capacity for 3-hop analyses, a warrant for an individual (let alone a class of person) gives access to the communications of tens of thousands of people.  If the Guardian is to be believed, New Zealanders are already subject to surveillance under this system.

Contrary to the Prime Minister’s assurances, it seems that the GCSB bill does make wholesale spying on New Zealanders legally possible.  This further undermines trust in the oversight of our intelligence system.

The Prime Minister has added that in the first instance, he would not allow the GCSB to access the content of the communications that are intercepted.  Are we supposed to be grateful?  Metadata can still be analysed. For such assurances to be relied on, they must be written into law.

More than ever, I think that a thorough and independent review of the intelligence agencies, and those who authorise the surveillance of New Zealanders is needed before any new legislation is drafted.  Our democratic rights are at risk, and must be defended.

Yours truly

Anne Salmond

87 thoughts on “On the GCSB: Letter to the editor (NZ Herald) from Dame Anne Salmond

  1. Key’s response?

    “Nah, you’re wrong. I don’t accept that. The reality is…(insert confidently delivered non-sense here. Correct misinformation the next day if anyone notices. Use the Herald, exclusively”).

    * sounds of Tory cheering drowns out any real debate, “Key won! Key beat the Dame! Suck on that, suckers!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6 (+7)

  2. Well I’m sure there are some die-hard Nats who believe Mr Key & think that his every word is ‘GOSPEL’ but Im guessing they are in an increasing minority ?

    This whole issue is starting to sound like the Stasi tactics of the now defunct East Germany & other similar ‘Stalinist’ states !
    Those who say that “if you are doing nothing wrong.. you have nothing to fear” well I say to them, that MAY be true, but other have said that if they look hard enough.. they will be able to find something on us ALL ! I say to that: when I ring a family member or friend OR send an email, as a PRIVATE citizen (who is generally law abiding) the content of my communication is between myself & the person Im contacting.. NOT a Govt. spy who has nothing better to do than intercept ‘suspect’ communication & create fear & resentment amongst the populous.

    Kia-ora

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2 (+8)

  3. Based on the analysis of our meta or individual data, the next step to be imposed on us will be the restriction of our activity “for our own good”. The UK are currently attempting to pass legislation to apply blanket filtering to certain websites (alternative spirituality web sites and forums). It’s only a matter of time before THE filters come down on us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  4. Realisticly: what good is access if the content cant be viewed: the title may be irrelevant.The Dame would make an honest prime minister….back to the same old base issue that Campbell exposed…just like the events of 11 June 2011….I knew nothing-its my portfolio, had a chinwag with Obama on specific obvious threads, Chris Finalyson and Eric Holder had involvements…terrorism? Durr! 88 people in 10? years! Credibility-how many were genuine terrorists?Just a subterfuge face in the name of terrorism:via GCSB, TPPA, death defying Guardasil vaccination, unavailability of hospital treatments of Vit C infusions, Colloidal silver- natures antiviral, antibiotic;supplements for mental health,and abstainance of Chem trails, Gates visit wasnt for holiday…the list goes on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 (-1)

  5. This is John Key’s spy agency. It isn’t New Zealand’s spy agency. If it were controlled by parliament rather than by the PM it would stand a far better chance of being operated in conformance with the principles of our democracy. I’ve no doubt that there is use in some form, of monitoring a “class” of people, but the single word is far too broad. The circumstances and limitations under law have to be far more explicit. There is no way we can trust John Key. No way in hell we can trust this man, and yet it isn’t simply a matter of his shortcomings.

    There is no way in hell that a democracy can trust ANY one man to protect it from abuse. Humans are fallible, and even if Saint John (as some seriously deluded National Party followers perceive him) were to be worthy of that trust, the institution changes hands often enough and there will be times when the probity and values of the person in charge WILL be at odds with the best interests of New Zealand.

    Better to protect ourselves by doing this right, than to do it the way New Zealanders have always done it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3 (+11)

  6. Surely if the Green’s parliamentarians were sooooooooooooooo against this legislation, they would be running the “gone by lunchtime” meme.

    Like the one on charter schools?

    Why is the Labour and Greens leadership so silent on having the legislation “gone by lunchtime” in October 2014?

    Could it be they actually like the legislation? Be in control of the power of knowing your metadata?

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Are Norman and Shearer not on the committee that overseas the spy agencies?

    Why are they so silent on the identity of the 88 that Clark and Key had spied upon?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7 (0)

  7. As I noted in the August 11, 2013 general thread:

    Should Russel ever find himself as the PM, he’ll be inducted, and given “the talk”, and he’ll toe the line. If you get The Job, there is no blue pill option.

    There’s a lot of static, just one example would be BJ above noting “This is John Key’s spy agency. It isn’t New Zealand’s spy agency”. One cant be more wrong. The PM, in matters of spying, does as he is told. If (somehow!) Shearer were in the big chair, he’d be laying down the same legislation. Ok, the lies would be different, but the legislation essentially the same.

    Welcome to the real world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3 (-1)

  8. The point I am making DBuckley, is that it isn’t controlled by Parliament, and it needs to be. The fact that it is a spy agency is not wrong, that it exists is not wrong, that it keeps secrets from the general public is not wrong.

    However, “the talk”, and the misuse of the 5 nation agreement that you describe in your post, isn’t in accordance with OUR ideas of how our rights are to be protected. The agreement is not insuperable, nor does it supersede the right of a sovereign nation to withdraw from it if need be.

    Given that the US government is now demanding private keys from some providers, to allow them to read private mail apparently without warrant, the result of giving away freedoms (as they did with their “homeland security” act) becomes apparent. Do we follow down that road willingly?

    HELL NO!

    Do we CONSIDER what we are doing more carefully and rewrite the law so it makes sense in terms of what is permitted, who has authority over it, what is warranted and what is actually collected? We’d BETTER do that if we wish to remain a “free” society.

    Which means that the “working around” an inconvenient limitation which is what used to be done, has to be stopped. Spying on our own resident in that case would be legalized under the new law, but a warrant would have had to be issued, and the request formalized. We would not have had to have the workaround… and would have had a proper formal process to set up the surveillance ourselves. So no need for that workaround anymore. No need then for “the talk” and THAT is good. It puts things back under our control.

    Except it isn’t OUR control… it is the office of the Prime Minister, and the rest of parliament is “informed” to the extent that someone chooses to/bothers to inform them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  9. 52,666 votes on the GCSB poll, photonz1, more than 42,000 opposed, photonz1 – how does your 30, 000 snapper vote sound now, photonz1/Key?

    Losers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2 (+7)

  10. Photonz! Russel Norman at the Town hall – brilliant! Confident. Erudite. On top of the issue.Standing ovation!! Photonz? Photonz?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2 (+5)

  11. greenfly says “52,666 votes on the GCSB poll, photonz1, more than 42,000 opposed, photonz1 ”

    Yet only 124 concerned enough to put in a submission.

    Like many people my income is derived from the internet so I’d be quite happy to give the GCSB MORE powers, particularly over cyber security.

    Why is Dotcom so upset about the bill? Will it mean he can’t make a fortune by ripping people off like he’s done for years?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7 (-5)

  12. You took a whipping tonight, photonz1. Get yourself some shut-eye now. Tomorrow’s going to be very interesting indeed. (Mr Key’ll up all night practicing his lines).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  13. The GCSB Bill is a very simple piece of legislation so it is very suprising that only 124 people made a submission on it. Quack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  14. greenfly says “You took a whipping tonight, photonz1. ”

    Whatever. Politians sharing the platform with career criminals, lawyers, and journalists – all you need is a used car salesman and you’ve got the full set of least respected professions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  15. greenfly says “…more than 42,000 opposed….”

    The funny thing is, they’re voting against being spied on.

    But by voting on Campbell Live, they’ve agreed that their computer can be browser fingerprinted by Campbell Live.

    That means Campbell Live is allowed to track what they look at on the internet, AND are allowed to pass that information on to whoever they want to pass it onto.

    And it works even regardless of whether they have cookies turned off or not.

    And we’re supposed to believe these people who by voting have agreed they can be spied on, are against being spied on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 (-2)

  16. Here’s the thing Photonz.

    There is a principle reason why, in the “Bill of Rights”, the Government is required to have a REASON for search and seizure and no mention is made of “Campbell Live” or its ilk.

    Unlike any individual or commercial entity, the GOVERNMENT has the power to put you in jail, confiscate your property and if you resist, kill you.

    That is why the GOVERNMENT is restrained from making such search and seizure without a warrant, and a reason for that warrant.

    Moreover, such fishing expeditions can easily get things wrong.

    That is why people are less reticent about allowing a corporation to have information about their browsing and buying habits than they are about the government’s snooping.

    Not that I accept for an instant your assertion that people gave any such blanket permissions to Campbell live.

    For a “Browser Fingerprint” to be of use to someone who wishes to track you, they have to fingerprint you at EACH location you access, with javascript turned on for each, and Campbell live is but a single site.

    Perhaps I misunderstood what you were referring to? The fingerprint is I think, not as useful for tracking as you just made it out to be. Supercookies might be useful, but can be blocked just as normal ones are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 (+2)

  17. Then comes the concerns with New Zealands affiliations-including pacts in the name of Trade -with U.S.pertinent to the demise of the 1789 Bill of Rights that Obama has replaced withthe National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA). will NZ follow such action too….in the buddy obligation system!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  18. And still no word from Dr Norman that this legislation will be “gone by lunchtime” if elected in 2014.

    What gives guys, is the leadership of the Greens not listening to the members?

    After all charter schools will be gone by “lunchtime” and power companies will be nationalised by “lunchtime”.

    Surely a definitive statement on what the Greens would do by “lunchtime” after October 2014 would set the members minds at ease?

    Or is Dr Norman actually quite smugly please that he will be able to “spy” on New Zealanders after October 2014?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  19. CHANGED by lunchtime perhaps.

    I don’t think any of us would argue that there is no need of SOME form of GCSB bill, and Dr Norman listens well if we talk to him direct.

    Howevva we hea in de Frogblog hain’t een mosly Greens – IS we?

    (I’ve been reading Huck Finn to my son and it has been affecting me.)

    Why you would insist that the Greens should follow the same track that National took some time ago… I’ve no clue. You want us to be as extreme as you think we are?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  20. BJ,

    I note the opposition to the bill and largely agree with that opposition.

    HOWEVER

    I cant find out what the Greens (and by association Labour) would do about it.

    Even Helen Clark admitted that the original legislation was flawed and some sort of realignment was required.

    My question is not extreme (maybe the scenarios painted are) and is simply, what would Dr Norman propose as opposed to what the current government is implementing?

    So far we hear a lot of against the bill but not many on what it should be.

    All I’m asking is from the Green leadership is to “paint that picture”.

    For sure as heck it ain’t being painted by labour.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  21. Gerrit, you mut be sleep walking through this whole thing:

    https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/report-shows-gcsb-inquiry-needed-law-change

    “For the public to have any confidence in the GCSB, which did illegal spy against a New Zealand resident, then a Commission of Inquiry is needed. Then once concerns have been put to bed the Law Commission should look at what law changes are required. “A law change should be the last step in the process, not the first.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  22. Great, another “commission of inquiry”.

    Yep, that is great leadership.

    /sarcasm

    Jeez, will we ever see any political party in New Zealand that does not continually call for inquiries? Cant any leader/party make a decision on where they stand and the direction they want to go forth on?

    How about DR Norman AT LEAST comes up with the guidelines then, on how this “commission of inquiry” will look at the question?

    You know, what the terms of the inquiry shall be?

    So over leaders hiding behind “commission of inquiries”, wasting time and money when they should be making decisions and leading.

    Still we can wait till 2017 for the commission to do its duty (and with a possibility that Dr Norman may not like the decisions made by the inquiry), another three years to draft the legislation and another year to get it through parliament.

    All the whilst your megadata is being collected.

    Cool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  23. And still no word from Dr Norman that this legislation will be “gone by lunchtime” if elected in 2014.

    CHANGED by lunchtime perhaps.

    You’re not listening gentlemen. You may not like to hear this, but as I noted elsewhere, Dr Norman will do as he is told just like Key is.

    It’s unpalatable, but that’s the way it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  24. And in other news: German companies to automatically encrypt customers’ emails

    Two of Germany’s biggest internet companies have announced plans to make their email services more secure. This comes amid the controversy about the snooping practices of the US National Security Agency.

    This, United Internet boss Ralph Dommermuth (pictured right) told the same press conference, meant that it would be impossible for any “foreign jurisdictions” to gain access.

    Of course, that approach couldn’t work here, as there is no distinction between NZ (loose term) spying and certain other “foreign jurisdictions” spying. The only hope for semi-private communicastions for New Zealanders (and Americans) may be the latest dotcom scheme – if it can be made to work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  25. Gerrit – You’ll be relieved to know that I think heard Norman on NatRad this morning implying that the legislation would be amended/repealed(?) if the GP had the opportunity in 2014.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  26. Gregor W

    You’ll be relieved to know that I think heard Norman on NatRad this morning implying that the legislation would be amended/repealed(?)

    Details on what he proposes instead off, I suppose will come form the “commision of inquiry”?

    One thing to oppose, quite another to offer alternatives that are better.

    sigh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  27. Details on what he proposes instead off, I suppose will come form the “commision of inquiry”?

    I should hope not.

    Sensible amendments have already been positioned by the Law Society.
    All it needs is for the Bill to go through the proper democratic processes of submission and revision, rather than if being rushed through under urgency and the problem would disappear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 (+4)

  28. 46790 oppose- 42000 doesnt look so good, does it!How can the PM have ‘won’ on Campbell live?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  29. Now, why would my comment on the US Bill of Rights cessation and the possible flow on effect to NZ, be moderated here, I ask?Like the Campbell poll….full name given, as well as poll address: nothing to hide!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  30. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9066527/Kiwis-do-care-prime-minister

    More than three-quarters of New Zealanders have expressed concern about expanded spying laws in a new poll, scotching Prime Minister John Key’s assertions that the public don’t care.

    The latest Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll shows a 75.3 per cent of respondents are on some level worried about plans to allow the Government Communications Security Bureau to monitor New Zealanders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  31. Gerrit.
    I am entirely comfortable with a politician, like Russel, saying we will research, which is what an inquiry is, consult and think about legislation, before they enact it.

    Total contrast to National who are rushing through asset sales because Key thinks, “it is a good idea”, and the GCSB act before opposition can build up.

    Still waiting for all the “democracy under attack” right wing screamers to start reacting to Nationals crushing restrictions on democracy.

    Waiting…………
    Waiting………………………………

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  32. The audio of the reporter trying to ask a question is much clearer in this TV1 version of John Key’s press conference walkout, which has now gone viral.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/john-key-s-press-conference-walkout-goes-viral-5537416

    John Key’s press conference walkout goes viral

    Tens of thousands of people have watched a ONE News video of Mr Key walking out of his post-cabinet press conference…

    More than 1000 people from across the world have commented on the thread, with many surprised and unimpressed by the Prime Minister’s behaviour.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  33. Kerry,

    Still waiting for all the “democracy under attack” right wing screamers to start reacting to Nationals crushing restrictions on democracy.

    Not being right wing I cant answer.

    However if you are under the illusion that we have democracy in New Zealand, you are sadly mistaken.

    Notice that the people who want a democratic right to set up charter schools will find them “gone by lunchtime” according to the Greens female coleader.

    No political party advocates for true democracy. Sadly not even the Greens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  34. Thanks for that link Solkta.
    Key to reporter “Is that a question, buddy” It’s lucky he walked out, his next line was surely “Do you know who I am?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  35. Wow! A journalist repeatedly talks over the top of the Prime Minister, so the PM finishes his weekly press conference.

    It’s the PMs weekly press conference.

    If the journalist wants to make a speech, he should arrange his own press conference.

    And this is paraded as international news.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  36. Kerry says “Still waiting for all the “democracy under attack” right wing screamers to start reacting to Nationals crushing restrictions on democracy. Waiting…………
    Waiting………………………………”

    I’m still waiting too. I’m yet to feel any “crushing restrictions on democracy”.

    Waiting…..waiting….nope……haven’t noticed any “crushing restrictions” yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 (-2)

  37. That is probably because we have never had democracy.
    At best we are allowed to change our list of dictators every three years.

    But wait until the “journalist” exposing corruption is forced to shut up by a future Prime minister because his wife’s search for “action men” toys for there 8 year old on the web, meant his computer is on record as visiting porn sites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  38. Gerrit.
    No one is interfering with anyone’s right to set up “alternative ” schools. And pay for them.
    Ignoring the majority, who do not want our excellent state school system to be degraded by failed overseas experiments, is not, democracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 (+2)

  39. Kerry says “That is probably because we have never had democracy.
    At best we are allowed to change our list of dictators every three years. ”

    This translates to “If I don’t get who I want in power, then it can’t be a democracy” – how ironic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4 (-3)

  40. If “they” are “in power” it is NOT a democracy.

    In a democracy the people as a whole, are, “in power”!

    Switzerland have a democracy. We do not!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  41. If. We had a democracy, 8 or 9 people in Parliament,and their financial backers, would not be able to sell assets, bring in laws to stifle dissent (under the guise of fighting terrorism), wreck our education system and sign treaties which override our ability to decide our own laws.

    The sad thing is that many, including too many on the left, and some currently in the Labour caucus, are happy to have a rotating dictatorship, so long as they get their turn. And parliamentary salaries when in opposition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  42. The story so far.

    Key wants to bring in legislation which, combined with already enacted legislation, allows the Prime Minister, and the GCSB, the police, the SIS, and Uncle Sam, to spy on any New Zealander’s electronic communications, at will.

    But.

    He promises he will not use it.

    Yeah right!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 (+3)

  43. So spying on 9 Kiwis per year is spying on New Zealand “at will”.

    Only in the land of paranoia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7 (-7)

  44. Obviously this is too complicated for Photonz.

    “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

    ― Benjamin Franklin

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  45. bj’s worried he’s going to be spied on

    “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen.”

    – Benjamin Franklin

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 (-2)

  46. If it was only 9 Kiwi’s a year. Why does the current law need to be changed?

    To make legal the spying they did on another 10 000 Kiwis perhaps?

    Or the spying they intend to do?

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  47. The GCSB Bill has now passed.

    Peoples lives are exactly the same as they were before.

    All that remains is the question of how long it will take some people to realise that.

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  48. Peoples lives are exactly the same as they were before.

    For a guy smart person photonz1, you are surprisingly ignorant of the tools of modern totalitarianism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  49. Gregor says “For a guy smart person..”

    I’m a “guy smart person”?

    The irony is that the new GSCB law places more restrictions and safeguards than what they’ve been working with for the last decade, when no one was having fits of hyestria about spying.

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  50. Key’s citing international terrorist training is nothing more than spin and red herring. The real hidden agenda underlying the GCSB bill is to pre-empt and control civil unrest and disobedience in response to the consequences of the predatory activity by the major international banks. Forget 9/11 and its like, think Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy, even Ireland and the British riots. The genuine terrorists are the Banksters; governments and companies are loaded up with compound interest debt forcing privatization of public assets and fire sale bankruptcies. That is how the banksters funnel public wealth into the pockets of the 1%

    John Key is a bankster, he went straight from Uni. to a merchant bank, then later made most of his $60m fortune by helping, not inconsiderably, to bring about the Irish financial meltdown. Remember also that the new head of the GCSB is one of Key’s schoolboy friends.

    Within the next several years I expect to see the notorious Red Squad of 1981 infamy to be reconstituted in response to local civil unrest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  51. The irony is that the new GSCB law places more restrictions and safeguards than what they’ve been working with for the last decade, when no one was having fits of hyestria about spying.

    The irony is, the law change does does nothing of the sort. As the Law Society points out in their submission, it vastly extends the powers of the agency while paying lip service to safeguards.

    Replacing one bad law with another is stupid. There’s no way it can be spun as positive – which is why it was rushed through under urgency – and only the worst kind of anti-democratic, closet totalitarian apologist would attempt do so.

    The reason no-one was having “fits of hysteria” is quite simply, that no-one outside of a very tight circle knew the illegality was occurring until it was exposed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  52. The GCSB Bill has now passed. Peoples lives are exactly the same as they were before.

    This is true.

    There was no such thing as information security when one party was the state before the passing of the bill, and there is no change now. The GCSB bill is an irrelevance, a cosmetic exercise, a total waste of energy all round.

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  53. michaela says “then later made most of his $60m fortune by helping, not inconsiderably, to bring about the Irish financial meltdown.”

    You must think he’s a wizard.

    He left managed to make money out of the Irish financial crisis in 2008-2013, and magically managed to make that money appear in his bank account back in 2001 before he entered politics.

    Talk about making up total nonsense to fabricate some parallel planet you live on….

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  54. Where his money is today is anyone’s guess. I wouldn’t doubt that he profits by others misfortune, but he wouldn’t (well he SHOULDN’T) know of it at this point.

    However, he was prominent in the foreign exchange market, and that was gamed to the hilt during his tenure.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/everything-is-rigged-vol-9-713-this-time-its-currencies-20130613

    How much he knew about LIBOR manipulations is a question. We don’t actually know how long LIBOR has been subject to manipulation but it was almost certainly being gamed long before the first inkling of it turned up in the courts.

    Anyone laboring under the illusion that this PM is trustworthy need look only as far as the nickname his banking peers bestowed.

    “Smiling Assassin”

    He should not have been electable to any office of trust.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  55. So we should ban people from office based on nicknames?

    And you complain about democracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 (-2)

  56. No, Key was elected on the basis of a public perception of him.

    I am suggesting that with clues and cues as obvious as that, he should have been unelectable even in New Zealand. People here have a marked deficiency in their ability to detect con-artists. How blatant does a clue have to be before they notice?

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  57. bj says “I am suggesting that….”

    What you’re suggesting is that he was involved in corrupt and illegal practices.

    And if you don’t have any evidence to back that up, it shows you’re happy to engage in sewer politics which says a lot more about your own ethics, than it does Key’s.

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  58. michaela – that’s hilarious – I had a good laugh.

    You link to story from a “journalist” called “parksy”, who could do with some high school english lessons for a start (unless he’s deliberately writing in the style of a Nigerian scammer).

    And your reasoning is that because an office shifted to Ireland in the mid 1990s because of favourable tax rates, Key was responsible for the Irish financial crisis over a decade later. (the article blames him for the global financial crisis)

    It’s definitely worth a read though. It’s so farcical it’s funny.

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  59. Ugh! Photonz, perhaps that IS part of the problem.

    Is it that rather than exercising their own judgement most New Zealanders want to see someone ELSE’S judgement first?

    I do not know the answer to THAT, but the nature of the FOREX ,the nature of the corruption being practised, and the nature of Key’s position and the money he took home as a result all leave it extraordinarily unlikely that he was innocent of all knowledge of it and very damned likely he participated.

    If you cannot see this I can but regret the rose colored tint of your eyeware.

    Under NO circumstances should he have been electable to the estimable office of Dog Catcher but here in New Zealand?

    Ppphhht!

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  60. BJ – you prove my point. You happily jump in the sewer and accuse people of serious crimes, despite not having the slightest shred of evidence.

    Again – that tells me nothing about Key, but a great deal about you.

    Month by month, you are sounding more and more extreme.

    Whatever happened to the bjchip who used to be know for reasoned intelligent debate?

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  61. From where I sit, bjchip’s contribution to the debate is entirely intelligent. His statements are not at all extreme, but painting them as such is something photonz1 needs to do, in order to cover the extremely anti-democratic behaviour of those photonz1 supports.

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  62. Photonz, if you cannot see what Key is there is really no help for your blindness. I form my own opinion rather than relying on that of others. I see the lies written in his demeanor and expressions, and his values from his actions. How else?

    If I am hiring someone and I ignore signs and impressions of dishonesty because the candidate has not yet been caught or convicted, I have abandoned my own ability to judge good or ill.

    You are essentially demanding that we abandon our good judgement and trust the government.

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  63. Bjchip is quite correct in advising us to apply our own individual judgement to the qualities of the Prime Minister; his statements, his demeanor and his credibility. Photonz1 meanwhile seeks to ‘argue the toss’ for the sake of obfuscation. I trust bjchip; his word, his motivations, his experience and his intelligence, rather than photonz1 and his constant, transparent pro-Key spin.

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  64. By focusing solely on the issue of Key’s moral turpitude, Photonz1 agrees, by default with the sentiments expressed in the first and third paragraphs of my original comment. Incidentally, I didn’t say that Key was present during the actual Irish melt down; it was sufficient for him to be active in establishing the conditions that led to that meltdown, namely complex derivatives. As the sales manager he made his fortune, legally from bonuses and commissions.

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  65. Bj – on what planet is making serious criminal allegations without a shred of evidence “good judgement”?

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  66. Michaela – your claim that Key, quote “made most of his $60m fortune by helping, not inconsiderably, to bring about the Irish financial meltdown” (nearly a decade later) is probably the loopiest thing I’ve ever heard

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  67. Michaela – ignore photonz1 and his insults. He regularly calls people who comment here, ‘stupid’, ‘loopy’, ‘crazy’, you name it, he’ll use it as a slight on anyone he seeks to demean. Key is so steeped in sly, scandalous behaviour prior to his ‘becoming’ Prime Minister, that photonz1 is bound to attack anyone drawing attention to that history. Tell us more, if you will, about the earlier days of the money-trader John Key.

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  68. Wow – yet another humourous comment – Greenfly complaining about insults.

    Gotta chuckle about that.

    Greenfly – are you saying that you too believe that Key brought about the Irish financial meltdown, and was also responsible for the global financial crisis ? (as per michaela’s link).

    Please say yes – that will be three laughs.

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  69. “Fly, not to worry. The only time I attend to trolls is to use them as a foil when making a point. Notice his deafening silence on the contents of the first and third paragraphs of my original post; his misrepresentations are insignificant in comparison.

    As for Key’s early days, Wikipedia is a reasonable source but the Herald’s two part “Unauthorised biography” has more meat, albeit a heavily massaged account. Clearly, Key has been a driven man since primary school and is a skilled people manipulator as all good salesmen are. Floor trading and floor managing are in essence, nothing more than specialized selling. To look behind the facade read “Liar’s Poker” by Michael Lewis who gives an insider’s view of the trading floor at Salomon Brothers during the 1987 crash. Enron: the smartest guys in the room (film or book) is a good corroboration of a similar situation.

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  70. michaela says “Notice his deafening silence on the contents of the first and third paragraphs”

    You mean your paranoia about civil unrest due to the banks, and the return of the red squad?

    Are these the same banks that two million Kiwis have a small interest in via their Kiwisaver schemes?

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  71. “Greenfly – are you saying that you too believe that Key brought about the Irish financial meltdown, and was also responsible for the global financial crisis ? (as per michaela’s link).”

    Nope. I’m saying:
    “Michaela – ignore photonz1 and his insults. He regularly calls people who comment here, ‘stupid’, ‘loopy’, ‘crazy’, you name it, he’ll use it as a slight on anyone he seeks to demean…and so on”.

    Btw, Michaela’s comments can’t be the “the loopiest thing I’ve ever heard”, as you claimed, unless someone is reading these comments out to you and explaining their meaning to you, which on reflection, isn’t entirely impossible to believe.

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  72. If I am hiring someone to do an important job… Prime Minister for example???

    I WILL consider his demeanor, circumstances, behaviour and any available indication of his character. That includes among other things, MY perception of his honesty based on facial expressions, the fact that he held the top job in an utterly corrupt field of endeavour, the fact that his nickname indicates at BEST a certain level of ruthlessness, and an amount of money he returns with that is many times his salary.

    I will consider ALL those things because it is in my best interests to do so. You seem to think that you should wait for him to be caught and convicted before believing aught ill of the man, and it is more than a “shred” of evidence. What you were objecting to was the lack of a conviction.

    This is not a court of law, it is the judgement of an employer about a potential employee, and the standard of evidence to be applied is quite different between those two cases, is it not?

    Bj – on what planet is making serious criminal allegations without a shred of evidence “good judgement”?

    Moreover, I extend to people but ONE opportunity to be honest, fair, reasonable etc… with me. Trust is offered freely ONE time. Key has made his lies about the Greens and squandered that free pass. Once I know a man lies, the only thing I will trust him to do is lie again when it suits him.

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  73. I continue to be amazed at your extending photonz1 so many free-passes, bjchip.

    He’s as wonkey as the bloke who found the crooked sixpence.

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  74. True that he is uneducable, but I can cause him to serve a purpose even so.

    It sometimes pleases me to educate others by answering him.

    I note: That he is one person and real, is an assumption.

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  75. bj / fly – I think more importantly, photonz1 is a useful foil.

    His constant challenge helps to dilute the inevitable groupthink, and for that I thank him.

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  76. I note: That he is one person and real, is an assumption.

    I sometimes wonder if perhaps he is a program designed by Frog to insert standardised right wing soundbites for our amusement. His delivery just seems too poor to be from a real life troll.

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  77. I decided not to say that Solkta, but I WAS considering it when I wrote that :-)

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