Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance

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  • chris,

    "I’ve had the SIS come to my home on two occasions. They were trying to help us and to sift out suspected terrorists within the Hawke’s Bay Maori muslim community. They didn’t find any. We said ‘look we’ve got some that have some really extreme views’. We work alongside the police. If I did know of anyone I’d be sure to say ‘hey keep an eye on this person because he’s a risk’,” she said.


    “…suspended the provisions that protected basic individual rights, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. The decree also permitted increased state and police intervention into private life, allowing officials to censor mail, listen in on phone conversations, and search private homes without a warrant or need to show reasonable cause. detain people without cause and without limits on the length of incarceration.


    Essential was the tendancy of citizens (whether out of conviction, greed, envy, vengeance or fear) to denounce their fellow citizens, to the police.”


    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Sacha,

    isn’t she the head of the inward-focussed SIS rather than the outward-focused GCSB?

    https://www.chirbit.com/felixmarwick SIS Director Rebecca Kitteridge

    (7:38-8:48) “Another area of challenge concerns ongoing instability in our region. NZSIS conducts foreign intelligence activities to ensure ministers and Government agencies are informed about international issues of importance to New Zealand. The insights we gain help to keep our regions safe and secure.

    We also provide intelligence reports to major events overseas, specifically in this reporting period, the 2015 ANZAC commemorations in Gallipoli. Our contribution ensured timely and accurate intelligence was provided to senior New Zealand Government officials, ensuring the safety of those present. […]

    I would like to note the importance for the service of working collaboratively with both our New Zealand partner agencies and our international partners in this ever-changing operating environment. Our international relationships help us to understand the issues that our partners are facing such as going dark so that we can be better prepared when we encounter these issues in New Zealand.”

    (19:18-19:54) “There’s no doubt that because of the increase in the staff and the fact that she’s (IGIS) full time, and her deputy, you know, they’re, all of the staff there are full time, there is much much more rigor going into that, into that oversight function. Um, and from my point of view – while it’s time consuming – it’s very very helpful. I personally am, ah, the the the focus that she brings, um, uh, means that everybody is always, you cannot help but be thinking all the time, this you know somebody may come and have a look at this. Have I crossed the t’s have I dotted the i’s, have I done everything that I should, and I think that is totally supportive of the compliance culture that we want to see in the community."

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I would also expect 40 to be a round number. In regard to complaints the number doesn’t seem to change, well, I wouldn’t expect it to change much. Why should it?

    Link to recording above

    (21:49-22:44) “In terms of the people on what is called the watch list, it’s still between 30 and 40. Um, but what I would say is that I think they’re kind of, um, the, the seriousness with which we regard them has increased, they’re kind of, they’re just a worse type of people really, or more serious in their, ah, intention […] some of them are the same, but some of them are the same and some, have changed. The watch list it’s reviewed all the time between, and it’s it’s um, a process that we work through with police on a regular basis.

    Um, so, when it changes, it changes, from, from month to month, but overall, I would say that the, there is a, a deterioration I would say in, the, the, the threat level – not the threat level itself which remains at low but just my sense of how things are."

    Leaving the question as to what the total watch list figure over the period since it was established is and what criteria these people are meeting to be taken off the watch list.

    (28:52-29:28) “I suppose um, one thing I would say is that there is something about getting a critical mass, of, um, of, ah, you know, people urging one another on, so that’s certainly a factor. Um, and that of course happens through online, online engagement, it’s not just about people physically getting to one, to know one another, there’s a lot about online connections, um, and these, these incidents overseas, um that occur, that are so horrifying, if you’re, you know, you or me, um, are, they, they act as a kind of um, exciting factor for these kinds of people.”

    (32:21-33:15) “In fact, You can have people who are thinking or discussing, ah what they would like to do in terms of an attack for example, that’s not against the law. Um, you can have people who possess, knives or cars which can be used, as you know, these capabilites can be used for anything like that, that’s not against the law. There is often the ju-, you know there just not enough, for police to arrest, and so we’ll work really closely with police in these sorts of circumstances and I can tell you, if there is, I’m absolutely, if there is enough to warrant an arrest, ah, nobody would be more pleased than me, because it’s very very resource intensive. But um, often just the discussion of what people would like to do, looking at extremist, ah material, those kinds of things is, um, it, it can be very difficult for police to ah, to actually identify a criminal action that they can, ah, that they could prosecute."

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • chris,

    Further allegations of scaremongering and profiling:


    Includes link to the blog:

    Kitteridge also said that they have been previously unaware of women travelling to Iraq and Syria and that this is something they have seen in the last year. Perhaps it was just not something they have been interested in monitoring in the past? It’s very odd to think that this is an entirely new phenomena that New Zealand citizens are travelling to Iraq and Syria. I personally know many in the Iraqi community that have been visiting Iraq for the last few years. Many women included.


    ETA: Russell I apologise if it appears I’m attempting to derail your thread, this is certainly not the case, earlier in the year I took Ian’s link to The Independent Review of Intelligence and Security (which I submitted to) as an opportunity to expand the discussion for lack of another conspicuous thread. From listening to the annual review it would appear that the collaboration and overlap between these agencies is worthy of note, the primary distinguishing features between the GCSB and SIS being the focus on Communication and Intelligence respectively.

    Furthermore I do feel it ties in with:

    “It creates fear. We live in small communities,”

    And regardless of the extent of the surveillance, these issues collectively are an affront to our freedoms. Anyway I’ll give it a rest now. Merry Christmas.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • chris,

    from the comments

    Pragmatistz 17 days ago
    Hope the US drop a hellfire missile on his lap +28


    pretty radical aye

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,

    It is all part of the US War of Terror to which many people subscribe.
    We are supposed to have Policing by consent and assumed to have Government by consent, because “Democracy”.
    But do we really?.

    I must have seen this half a dozen times and still cant believe it is still happening.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Thanks for that Steve, that was hard going but well worth it. It casts the response and ongoing fallout of the Canterbury earthquakes in a new light.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    the vulgar votemen...

    Government by consent, because “Democracy”

    Government by conscience would fit the bill better...
    we now have 'Deimoscrazy' - the sons of Ares ruled by fear and terror


    Democracy means government by discussion,
    but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.

    Clement Attlee, UK prime minister


    and ongoing fallout of the Canterbury earthquakes...

    ...it seems Brownlee so stultifies his surrounding environment even accelerants won't burn!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    firtive activity...?
    This story on the Australian/American Pine Gap spy base popped up on Stuff's front page menus this morning and has now disappeared from plain view (it is buried in the Australia section) ....
    I wonder why?

    based on this report:

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

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