The shadow those Spy Domes have cast upon Aotearoa with the passing of GCSB mass surveillance Bill makes us Land of the Long Dark iCloud.
The shallowness of National’s GCSB defense in Parliament tonight should shame us all. The intellectually bankrupt sophistry offered up by the Government as their flimsy legal protections to our civil rights are made all the more facetious when you consider the loop-holes within the legislation are so large the GCSB could fly a thousand drone strikes on hospitals through them and still Key would claim it was legal.
This is how Democracy dies, with thunderous guffaws.
Chris Finlayson let himself down with his vile attack on Dame Anne Salmond and Dr Rodney Harrison, that bitterness to defend mass surveillance is ugly.
With the passing of this dreadful Bill, we should lower the flag to half-mast because we have paid a terrible price for our apathy. Let’s be honest, we disengaged, we looked the other way, we didn’t challenge things when we should have.
So what are we going to do?
If you as a New Zealander are horrified by what has happened, if you see this as a step towards a NZ you don’t recognize, if the ability of the State to spy upon us all and share it with America breaches the values of independence you believe our country should stand for, then here’s what I suggest.
A 3 pronged approach.
1: Repeal the Bill at the 2014 election:
Call upon every opposition MP to signal before the 2014 election if they will vote to repeal the legislation. Every week until the election the Blogs will post up the names of all those opposition MPs who will repeal the legislation and all those who won’t. We will advise people not to vote for those opposition MPs who will not repeal the Bill. Take the public Town Hall speaking tour around the main cities and provinces in the lead up to the election culminating in Auckland in the week of the election.
2: Close the Waihopai Spy Base – America out of NZ
The pressure to spy on us domestically is being driven by Washington, not Wellington. With Key’s refusal to confirm or deny if the NSA is subsidizing the GCSB and with the Snowden revelations growing and not diminishing, it is time to tell the Americans they can stick their spy base the same place they stuck their nuclear ships.
How would we close it down?
What do we do better than anything else in NZ? We do casual. What if this Summer in January a vast tent city of NZers converged upon Waihopai and set up a massive ring of tents around the entire Base and just occupied it? Show America they are no longer welcome here and they can have their 5th eye back thanks. Social media could convey their voices, the media attention during Summer would be intense and the Summer action could lead into the Autumn Public Town Hall speaking tour. Logistics would have to be sorted out, but a mass tent city protesting against the Spy Base would send a clear signal and shift the focus in the election year.
It is immoral to continue using this Spy Base for questionable American interests. David Lange showed us what a powerful vision an independent nation can produce by being nuclear free, let’s resurrect that and be American spy base free.
We don’t want your nukes and we don’t want your bloody surveillance state either thanks America Inc.
3: The creation of a cyber Bill of Rights
We desperately need a cyber Bill of Rights to protect our interests, our privacy and our online civil liberties. We need to demand telcos join in on defending and promoting these cyber Bill of Rights and we demand Government entrenches it within the NZ Bill of Rights and that the Human Rights Commission receive extra funding to promote and stand up for those cyber civil liberties.
We have some of the brightest techies and legal minds to grapple with and generate a cyber Bill of Rights that we could all be proud of as NZers. Women fought and gained universal suffrage, workers fought and gained the 40 hour week and baby boomers fought and kept us nuclear free.
It is our responsibility now to make a stand and use this terrible step towards a mass surveillance state as momentum to shape our future in a manner befitting the egalitarian and social justice values our democracy should champion.
-freedom of online expression
-freedom of online peaceful assembly
-freedom of online association
-freedom of online thought, conscience, religion and belief.
-freedom from mass surveillance
-right to privacy
-right to free community high speed access to internet via all schools, libraries, community centers and Maraes.
Once the cyber Bill of Rights is decided upon, write the new GCSB Bill around those protections first and enshrine them rather than rely on the Prime Ministers verbal assurances.
I refuse to accept this GCSB Law being allowed to stand and I know there are many fellow NZers who feel the same way.
Do we want to fight back or do we want to accept this?
If you support this – share it with all your friends and whanau, because only a grass roots keyboard campaign will generate the kind of mass momentum we would need to win.