by Steffan Browning
The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill, otherwise known as the TICS bill, is an accompanying bill to the GCSB legislation that passed last month. In a nutshell, this bill forces communications providers to provide ‘lawful intercept’ capabilities so that the GCSB, SIS and Police can access New Zealanders’ communications. It also gives the GCSB powers of oversight over how network providers operate. It will have huge impacts on the rights and privacy of the public, as well as on our ICT sector in New Zealand.
The bill was reported back from select committee, with minor changes but nothing to address the major concerns that we have with this bill. In particular, we are really concerned that the changes to the interception capabilities are being changed at a time when there are so many questions about the role, scope and ability of the intelligence agencies in New Zealand, and the privacy of New Zealanders.
Tonight, the Anti-GCSB Coalition are hosting an urgent public meeting in Wellington to stop the TICS bill. There’s a great line-up of speakers including Seeby Woodhouse who founded Orcon, Professor Jane Kelsey, Thomas Beagle from Tech Liberty, and our very own Dr Russel Norman.
If you’re in Wellington, you should definitely head along – details are here on Facebook. It’s also being live streamed at thedailyblog.co.nz (and will be posted on demand later on) for anyone who can’t make it to the event.