Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The GCSB Bill: We at least have to try

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  • Idiot Savant,

    Alarmingly, the bill is still silent on the issue of metadata -- for example, the records of phone calls or emails made and received and by whom, rather than the calls or emails themseves. It appears the GCSB can simply do as it wishes there.

    Metadata is very clearly a "communication" in terms of the Act (" signs, signals, impulses, writing, images, sounds, or data that a person or machine produces, sends, receives, processes, or holds in any medium"). But its not a "private communication". So while it may need a warrant ot access, it could also be accessed warrantlessly, and s14 is no protection against mass-collection.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Also: anyone in wellington up for a quick petition drive in Ohariu to try and get peter Dunne to change his mind? I'm tempted to hitch a train down, but I think we'd need more than one person to get a credible number of signatures in the narrow amount of time available.

    If you're interested, my email is idiotblogid at yahoo (.) co dot uk

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Here is a point re metadata I haven't seen (dusts off rusty public law knowledge): I, a person, can do anything not prohibited by law. Government generally speaking is in the opposite position; it can do nothing if not authorised to do it. Whether you can read some sort of implicit authorisation into the bill or the existing law I can't say, but seems to me it would be vulnerable to challenge on that basis. Of course, we'd have to know it was happening in order to challenge it...

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Fantastic round up Russell. Many thanks.

    weapons of mass destruction research, drug smuggling, people smuggling

    Was exactly the line MED officials took when justifying (Labour's) Copyright Amendment Bill. The terrorists are always winning, it seems.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Don Christie,

    Was exactly the line MED officials took when justifying (Labour's) Copyright Amendment Bill. The terrorists are always winning, it seems.

    Damn sneaky, these terrists.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • dcnbwz,

    It seems the people of New Zealand are under attack from all directions, and our democracy is being demolished at a rapid rate. It's quite clear these guys are corrupt and display open contempt at anything that sits outside their agenda of neoliberal policies and corporate entrenchment. Democracy seems to be an annoyance they've managed to get around.

    We're now being referred to as a brand state. Truly depressing, and disgusting. Gordon Campbell has a good round up too. See you at the meeting.

    uk • Since Sep 2009 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    the government’s insistence that not only does New Zealand want or need any further discussion of this striking piece of legislation

    Perhaps you mean the government’s insistence that not only does New Zealand not want or need any further discussion of this striking piece of legislation?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown,

    Good post Russell. Interestingly, Dunne is the only pro-bill MP I've had a reply from on this issue - he pushed his agenda, but he did get back and it wasn't a form response. Ten years aho every letter would receive a reply, out of common courtesy at least. (Actually, not quite true, after two attempts I had a reply from the Speaker's office re. why GCSB can't be a conscience vote - but that was from an aide so, doesn't count.)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • chris esther,

    Honestly I expected better of Nikki Kaye but I guess once at the cabinet table you’re fully committed to the party line.

    Her line for the need for the bill was based on immigration concerns that she was aware of but obviously couldn’t provide any meaningful details on.

    Given those seeking to emigrate to NZ are not citizens or residents I naively would have thought the current legislation would already allow the GCSB to provide any material information on applicants to immigration.

    Since Apr 2008 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    Yeah thanks Russell. I'm sick of Key trying to distract us from this important issue

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    I am sure someone can clarify this issue, but it seems that the point of the GCSB Bill is to give the GCSB powers to do what the SIS and Police do now (rather than focusing on international issues). In that case why are we OK with the SIS and Police spying on us, but not the GCSB? Does the GCSB have much better technology or something?

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    The Police have to get a proper warrant from a judge, which can be challenged at trial. GCSB and SIS only need a warrant from the PM, and because its secret it can never be challenged.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    In that case why are we OK with the SIS and Police spying on us, but not the GCSB? Does the GCSB have much better technology or something?

    As I said in the post, I think you can make an argument for the GCSB (or a new agency) to provide technical services to other agencies. But you can't look at that in isolation.

    It was only via the Snowden leaks that The Guardian was able to report -- and very well, too -- that GCHQ, a similar organisation to GCSB and part of the same five-way alliance, has secretly been paid £100 million by the NSA. What is the nature of our own agency's relationship with the NSA, and what could it share with the NSA? There's just nothing in the bill to circumscribe those activities, and that's just not good enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think we should take it as given that GCSB has been providing God knows what to NSA for as long as they've had cute little domes at Waihopai. We are a member of Echelon or 5 Eyes or what have you and have been for a long time. Yes, GCSB probably is funded partially/mostly by bottomless NSA funds. I think though much of the reason why this is being pushed through under urgency is really to ensure Washington knows we weren't the hopeless patsies it appears we are and that we're 100% committed to Operation Domination. Our old nuclear ships stance is about 1000th the importance of this issue to the new US machine. At a local level though - it's crook law and needs to be stopped

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Apart from the poor process, which is better described as appalling, metadata is the most significant issue. Would MPs be happy to provide leaders of opposing political parties with a daily log of their phone calls, their email correspondents and all the websites they've visited? No? Then they should not be voting for this legislation.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    On a lighter note, John Key has finally figured out why they call them "keyholes".

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    This whole issue deserves to be the No Nukes of the 21st Century.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Andre, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    I saw a Facebook post from Marijuana campaigner Billy McKee saying he had attended a protest outside Peter Dunne's home. Megaphones etc. That's pressure and it takes this whole debate further past petition stage for many. I bet Dunne's wife was not amused though and in reality it is not her fault that I and many others would love to persuade her husband not sell us out. Collateral damage beltway-style perhaps? It's a big step to protest en masse outside an MP's house.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • JP Hansen,

    I watched the Campbell Live show yesterday as I saw it was filmed in the Manganui Fish Shop. Imagine my disappointment when I learned the show wasn’t based on Snapper at all. I won't stand for his fish-based deception, John Campbell.

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Poetic justice would be someone doing an Ed Snowden on those who support this whole mess.

    And is there a better kind of awareness campaign, than Canada's If Day during World War II? It greatly exceeded the organisers' expectations, by way of simulating an Axis military occupation.

    I'm thinking an awareness campaign on mass surveillance could draw a few cues from this.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Billboard pledge soooo close to the target it’s probably over it by now!
    Yay.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • dcnbwz,

    Having just watched an episode of series 2 Sopranos - I do believe that was John Key's best 'Jackie Aprile Manson peepers' impression in that 3 news clip too.....

    uk • Since Sep 2009 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    So many Government computer systems have been found to have huge security holes in them that to enable a department to compile and store sensitive data about its citizens is an even bigger risk to national security than not collecting it in the first place.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    You're right, Campbell is on fire with this. Tonight's show starts with a replay of the PM's petulant response to fob off Amanda Wright - but look at Paddy Gower giggling away in the background. Does he look to you to be in awe of the PM? Am I just reading into this my own apprehensions about this reporter.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

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