The real reason for the GCSB Bill.

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Campbell Live on 10 July was an exercise in outstanding journalism. Campbell looked at a sequence of events, around July 2011, and culminating in the raid on Kim Dotcom’s home in January 2012.

Before you go any further, click on the link and watch the video. It’s worth it.

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TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Campbell live GCSB 10 July 2013

Click to view

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Once you’ve watched the video – the next step follows.

In the above video, John Campbell opens with the comments,

In short, the GCSB bill allows the organisation to spy on New Zealanders and to pass what they learn on to foreign governments.

“If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to hide” is a common response to criticism of such unprecedented power.

But the SIS can already spy on New Zealanders and so can the police.

The GCSB bill connects domestic spying to global spy networks, which, as we’ve recently learnt, are listening to almost everyone.

Now, the bill is being passed under urgency.

But why? Shouldn’t we get this right?

The Prime Minister is now trying to win support from either Peter Dunne or New Zealand First to get the bill through.

But whose bill is it, really? And who will we be spying for?”

Throughout the whole video, John Campbell is precise and thourough with his facts. He cannot be faulted for any inaccuracies that I could spot.

But he left out two extremely pertinent facts (unless he will be referring to this in a coming, follow-up story) – two pieces which complete the puzzle  of why National is promoting the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill so earnestly through Parliament.

We’ll come to the missing pieces shortly.

Four months ago, I published this blogpost,  The Fletcher Affair – a warning for Labour.

I wrote regarding Ian  Fletcher’s appointment as the new GCSB director;

On 4 April, Scoop Media wrote about the rationale behind Ian Fletcher’s appointment as GCSB director. Fletcher had no prior military of Intelligence experience. But he did have an extensive  background in intellectual property, commerce and “free” trade (see: The CV of a Spy Boss ) .

Fletcher’s appointment was announced  in September 2011, and was due to take up his new job in early 2012.

At the same time, police were planning their raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion, scheduled to take place  on January 20 2012.

Scoop wrote,

Suppose Dotcom’s arrest and extradition was the clincher in the deal that secured Warner Bros’ agreement to produce The Hobbit in New Zealand. But any link to John Key, who led the negotiations with Warner Bros, would tend to confirm Dotcom’s claim, supported by the strong connection between Hollywood and US vice-president Joe Biden, of political persecution. So the prime minister had to be protected by having total deniability, leading to the completely implausible claim of not knowing about the most prominent resident in his own electorate until the day before the raid.

Acknowledgement: Kim Dotcom Part Two

Conspiracy fantasy?

Remember that Key has had several top level meetings with Warner Bros executives,

October 2010

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No decision yet in Hobbit talks - Key

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – No decision yet in Hobbit talks – Key

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July 2011

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PM's 'special' movie studio meeting

Acknowledgement: Fairfax – PM’s ‘special’ movie studio meeting

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October 2012

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Key - Dotcom won't be discussed during Hollywood visit

Acknowledgement: TV3 – Key: Dotcom won’t be discussed during Hollywood visit

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Four days later,
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Dotcom raised at PM's Hollywood dinner

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And those are only the meetings which we, The Masses, are aware of.

It’s interesting to note Chris Dodd, the CEO of  the Motion Picture Assiciation of America (MPAA) referred to the Trans Pacific Partnership Aggreement (TPPA) in the 5 October NZ Herald article above.

The TPPA has more to do with intellectual property rights than with “free” trade. (See: “Global Research –  The “Trans-Pacific Partnership”: Obama’s Secret Trade Deal; See: MFAT -Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations – Intellectual Property Stakeholder Update)

It’s also worthwhile noting that Ian Fletcher’s appointment coincided to the month with the raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion.

  • Raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion:  20 January 2012.

And both men were involved in intellectual property rights – though from different angles,

  • Kim Dotcom – the man who Hollywood executives wanted brought down because of alleged copyright violations on his ‘megaupload’ website. (see: The MPAA on Dotcom)
  • Ian Fletcher – the man who had worked in the UK to protect oroporate interests in intellectual property rights. (see below)

When Ian Fletcher’s appointment was announced on 8 September 2011, Key himself proudly boasted of the new Director’s  career,

Announcing the appointment Prime Minister John Key said he has ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters.”

Acknowledgement: New Zealand’s new top spy boss revealed

Fletcher’s ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters” seemed to matter for John Key for some reason?

Kim Dotcom was very high on the list of issues relating to “international economic and trade matters“; namely intellectual property rights.  Indeed, in March 2007, Fletcher was appointed as Chief Executive of the UK Office of Intellectual Property.

On 20 March 2007, Ian Fletcher said,

“I am delighted to be joining the Patent Office. It already plays a vital role in the UK’s economic prosperity, its scientific excellence and its innovation system. As the Office moves on to tackle to challenges set out in Andrew Gowers’ review, the Office’s role will become even more central to the UK’s response to the challenges of globalisation.”

Acknowledgement: Intellectual Property Office – New Chief Executive for the Patent Office

(Hat-tip; Karol, on The Standard)

It has been widely commented that Ian Fletcher has no background in the military, nor Intelligence – yet was considered the one candidate who was eminently suitable for the role of Director of the GCSB.  Perhaps now we are starting to understand why Ian Fletcher’s appointment seemingly related to,

  • the Crown’s case against Kim Dotcom
  • Illegal downloads/Intellectual Property rights
  • MPAA concerns
  • Hollywood big business
  • Trans Pacific Partnership

And as Key himself admitted, the issue of Kim Dotcom had been raised by a Hollywood executive. Just what does our Prime Minister have to discuss with said executives? Who knows – it’s all done in secret, behind closed doors. We’re just expected to pay our taxes and shut up.

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New Zealand is a small country. Secrets are notoriously difficult to keep. And even if the whole story behind the Fletcher-Dotcom-GCSB-TPPA thing has not been fully revealed – I think we’ve had a glimpse into the murky shadows of political perfidity to smell something rotten.

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Remember the connections and trails that John Campbell revealed on his 10 July show.

Remember the cast of characters involved, all around July 2011 and following months;

  • John Key meeting President Obama.
  • Attorney General Chris Finlayson met Attorney General Eric Holder, along with three AG’s from Canada, UK, and Australia
  • Holder was conducting a war on cyber “crime”
  • Ian Fletcher appointred as the new GCSB Director
  • Kim Dotcom was later charged with cyber crime

Remember also – and this was also pointed out by John Campbell – that Ian Fletcher had no Military or Intelligence experience.

But Fletcher did have experience with international economic, trade matters, and  Intellectual Property.

Key himself proudly boasted of the new Director’s  career,

Announcing the appointment Prime Minister John Key said he has ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters.”

Acknowledgement: New Zealand’s new top spy boss revealed

As I wrote in April,

Fletcher’s ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters” seemed to matter for John Key for some reason?

Kim Dotcom was very high on the list of issues relating to “international economic and trade matters“; namely intellectual property rights.  Indeed, in March 2007, Fletcher was appointed as Chief Executive of the UK Office of Intellectual Property.

On 20 March 2007, Ian Fletcher said,

“I am delighted to be joining the Patent Office. It already plays a vital role in the UK’s economic prosperity, its scientific excellence and its innovation system. As the Office moves on to tackle to challenges set out in Andrew Gowers’ review, the Office’s role will become even more central to the UK’s response to the challenges of globalisation.”

Acknowledgement: Intellectual Property Office – New Chief Executive for the Patent Office

(Hat-tip; Karol, on The Standard)

Perhaps now we are starting to understand why Ian Fletcher’s appointment seemingly related to,

  • the Crown’s case against Kim Dotcom

  • Illegal downloads/Intellectual Property rights

  • MPAA concerns

  • Hollywood big business

  • Trans Pacific Partnership

This was the first missing piece from Campbell’s investigative story; intellectual property.

Eric Holder’s “Cyber crime” in this instance relates to intellectual property, and as the highly publicised raid on Kim Dotcom showed – illegal downloads.

The final piece follows.

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National is placing considerable time, effort, money, and energy in pushing two Bills through Parliament;

  1. Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill
  2. Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill

Key’s rationale for the expansion of spying over all New Zealanders has consisted of purely bullshit excuses, relating to “weapons of mass destruction”, “terrorism”, and other fantasy scare-mongering. None of it is remotely  true.

The real rationale for pushing these two inter-related Bills is more prosaic.

The common description of the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill (aka “GCSB Bill)  has been that this allows the GCSB to spy on all New Zealanders.

This is correct.

Literally, correct. The Bill, alongside it’s barely acknowledged “sister-Bill” – the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill – is designed deliberately to mandate the GCSB to spy on all New Zealanders.

Everyone.

Not just criminals.

Not just left-wing  radicals.

Not just Maori nationalists.

Not just anti-TPPA acctivists. Or environment campaigners. Or trade unionists.

In fact, those people aren’t the real targets at all.

The targets are all New Zealanders.

The final missing piece? The aim of the two Bills is to monitor for illegal downloads over the internet.

That is what all the activity in July 2011 was all about; the US and New Zealand (along with other members of the “Five Eyes” group) were collaborating on how to eliminate the billion dollar, global,  internet piracy problem.

As manufacturing is moved to low-wage societies such as China, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, etc, the big remaining wealth-producing sector in the West will be – intellectual property.

Which not only ties together the two spying bills and co-operation between the “Five Eyes” group – but the TPP Agreement as well.

Think about it; what is the point of the TPPA (an agreement focusing mainly on intellectual property) – if it cannot be enforced?!

There is no way to protect intellectual property and enforce copyright if corporations are unable to detect who is downloading illegally.

Enter: the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill and the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill.

John Campbell asked in his programme,

“But whose bill is it, really? And who will we be spying for?”

These two laws will be the means by which corporations will enforce their intellectual property rights.

And they’ll be watching over us all to make sure we all behave.

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= fs =

21 COMMENTS

  1. I’m of the opinion that you are uncomfortably close to the truth here frank. I too believe that the role of the bill is to enforce property rights on a scale never previously seen, but also some darker purpose resides here.
    The first is evident once we begin to examin the purpose of the state. Prior to welfare and labour rights won by workers in blood. The primary purpose of the state was to protect the property of the capitalist class and enforce those rights in foreign markets, this forms the economic basis of imperialism.
    The Internet is becoming an increasingly important market for the capitalists, yet in content it is overwhelmingly ‘communist’ with virtually no enforced property rights, thought as we see this is changing. Without the enforcement of property the Internet represents a significant risk to capitalist as ‘their property’ may be socialised (they call it theft). The result is a failure to realise the sole reason for being a capitalist, profit.
    In addition this socialised form has become an avenue of organisation for those disaffected by the capitalist system, while simultaneously demonstrating an alternative system of organisation. Thus the Internet threatens capitalism in three distinct, yet related ways; economically, politically, philosophically.
    If the Internet posses such a risk to capital, why not shut it down? Simply the capitalist under threat of extinction cannot ignore a potential market, they ignore it at the peril that their compeditors will not. By losing ground in the war for markets they must also lose ground in the war of production and finally accumulation.
    But we see this war between compeditors and their representative states flaring anew in cyberspace. The economic crisis has restricted if not contracted markets and the capitalist are fighting over the diminished purchasing power, even as productive power reaches new heights. Where once we saw the burning of warehouses, tariffs and industrial sabotage. Now we see hacking, intellectual property rights and data theft.
    The capitalists are distressed, and are warning the state “if you do not come to our aid, we may lose in part or completely, our capital to foreign capitalists” thus we see the rolling out of enforcement at the behest of the largest and thus most powerful capitalists an extended apparatus of state oppression, to enforce property and profit, with the capaicity to detect political decent, how very fortunately thrown in to the bargain.
    This need to protect ‘intellectual property’ largely emerged due to the new forms of our historical period. I disagree with you on this point Frank. Intellectual property does not realise a profit, until it has been manufactured as use values for general consumption. We could hold all the intellectual property in the world but without factories to manufacture its useable form it is worthless. This is in part why I disagree with the concept of intellectual propery as it somehow entitles the owner to rent.
    However in our historical period an increasing quantity of these useable forms are not being manufactured directly by the capitalist who owns the intellectual property. But under contract by Asian, often
    Chinese industrial capitalists. How are the poor intellectual capitalists meant to realise their rent if the Chinese capitalists decide they no longer wish to hand over a share of their profits (extracted in deplorable conditions off the labour of Chinese workers)? This requires an imperialist form to threaten the Chinese capitalist and their state with dire consequences if they refuse to hand over a (significant) portion of the profit (as a further note the manufacturing of goods in Asia is creating significant employment problems in the developed world for workers, even as profit rise to never before seen heights).
    This is the grounding I believe of the current attacks on the privacy of the global population. The strengthening of American imperialism to ensure a continued flow of profit from china as well as a strengthening of the grip on its satellite imperial nations (Aotearoa).
    The only solution can be one which not only frees Chinese workers from their deplorable conditions but ensures full employment for all, while removing the barriers to production created by private property, replacing them with production to meet the needs of the international working class. Until such a time the oppression needed to enforce the property rights of a obscenely wealthy minority, can only come at the price of the exploitation and oppression of the vast majority, and if the state is required to do this it will happily oblige. This leaves only the workers themselves as both the centre of and the only resistance to their double exploitation, onwards to the revolution, onwards to the rule of the international working class.

    • Intellectual property does not realise a profit, until it has been manufactured as use values for general consumption. We could hold all the intellectual property in the world but without factories to manufacture its useable form it is worthless. This is in part why I disagree with the concept of intellectual propery as it somehow entitles the owner to rent.

      Quite true. I should have made that clearer in my post above.

      IP rights by themselves, as you point out, is useless if they’re not used to build a new “widget” (whether that be a physical object like a new car design – or something more ephemeral such as a song or movie).

      IP rights means that once a new widget is built, the owner can extract their profits.

      But if, say, a widget such as a movie or song can be downloaded, unimpeded by anyone, then the Owner can’t extract their profits. The widget in effect, has been socialised.

      Enter the Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill (aka “GCSB Bill) and the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill, which are the tools to fight the socialisation of on-line widgets.

      Put alongside the TPPA, and the ‘triangle’ is completed;

      1. The TPPA sets the rules for international recognitioon of IP rights (which is what the TPPA is really about),

      2. Implement laws such as described above to give “teeth” to the TPPA and the means by which to detect “violations”,

      3. Allow sharing of data between government departments (See: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/132496/govt-considers-new-%27big-data%27-hub),

      4. And Bob’s-yer-aunty. All done; IP owners and their corporate arms are now able to detect and prosecute anyone who threatens their profit-making ventures.

    • I see the dreaded food rights bill is back before us. This fits perfectly with the above sentiments. It is about copyright. Copyright to seeds. If Monsanto have their way, seed for food can only come from a certified supplier. This supplier is likely to have copyrighted these seeds, therefore you cannot save seeds and plant them without breaching copyright. As witnessed in the USA these seed companies pursue their rights under copyright vigorously. so while pretending to focus on the “illegal downloading” section of copyright law, which seems reasonable, it opens the door for seed companies to own the rights to all horticultural activities in New Zealand.

  2. While the new laws may be driven by a group in power for anti-piracy purposes, it will inevitably be used for all the other reasons mentioned above – anti unions, anti environmental protests etc – simply because it will be available to be used for pretty much anything a government in power wants to use it for. It’s opening the door for pretty much anything ugly that wants to walk right through it.

  3. John Key’s lies in regard to the issue . . .

    – Iain Rennie came to me and recommended Fletcher for the GCSB job

    – I told Cabinet that I knew Ian Fletcher

    – I forgot that after I scrapped the shortlist for GCSB job I phoned a life-long friend to tell him to apply for the position

    – I told Iain Rennie I would contact Fletcher

    – for 30 years, or three decades, I didn’t have any dinners or lunches or breakfasts with Ian Fletcher

    – I did not mislead the House (14)

    – I have no reason to doubt at this stage that Peter Dunne did not leak the GCSB report

    – I called directory service to get Ian Fletcher’s number

    – the GCSB has been prevented from carrying out its functions because of the law governing its functions

    – because the opposition is opposed the GCSB law ammendments, parliamentary urgency is required

    – the increasing number of cyber intrusions which I can’t detail or discuss prove that the GCSB laws need to be extended to protect prive enterprise

    – it was always the intent of the GCSB Act to be able to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of the SIS and police

    – National Ltd™ is not explanding the activities of the GCSB with this new law

    – cyber terrorists have attempted to gain access to information about weapons of mass destruction held on New Zealand computers

    – the law which says the GCSB cannot spy on New Zealanders is not clear

    – the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was an isolated incident

    – first I heard I heard about Kim Dotcom was on 19 January 2012

    – first I heard about the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was in September

    – I did not mislead the House (6)

    – I won’t be discussing Kim Dotcom during my Hollywood visit.

    • BLiP, your score-keeping on Key’s duplicity deserves an award for outstanding achievement.

      I’ve no doubt your data will come in very handy at the next election.

    • BLIP – it is easy for Key to say he won’t be discussing “Dotcom” during a visit to LA, as he may simply have used Dotcom’s real original name of “Kim Schmitz”. Problem solved, he did not lie, he just – once again – split hairs and used smart words, to avoid being caught out.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Dotcom

      • Yep, true. Its a bit like his semantic hopskotch when trying to get out of his lie about retrieving the bodies of the Pike River miners; you have to look at his calculated exact use of language. Often the overt meaning is different from the actual meaning. Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed John Key becoming increasingly slippery in the way he answers questions and makes statements. Watch out for his endless caveats like “as far as I know”, and so on.

        Still, when various protagonists quibble about this or that item in my much larger list of John Key’s lies, I refer them to the first promise John Key made when he was elected –> http://youtu.be/5rVuJ9b0IRU. So much for that, eh?

  4. NEW revelations just out on the Guardian!!!

    Edward Snowden has revealed more about what NSA and their increasingly exposed, complicit internet service and social media providers are up to.

    Now Skype is coming into the picture also, being part of the PRISM surveillance, same as the new Outlook.com email service by Microsoft.

    This is a MUST READ:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data

    No wonder Key was sniping at the Human Rights Commission today, them joining others to demand a stop to the GCSB bill, and a total review and rethink about what needs to be done.

    Key is into the game, he knows full well, what goes on, and he most definitely was well informed about Dotcom before the raid on that “mansion” ever took place.

    Watch this space!

  5. Whatever one may think of one “Kim Dotcom”, it is the ultimate proof that New Zealand and its government are corrupt!

    Read the Wikipedia entry on Kim Dotcom in my post above, and some at least should be enlightened.

    All this happened under National led governments.

    Add the dots together, and Key must be sooo embarrassed.

    • Psychopaths/sociopaths don’t do embarrassment – instead they get angry at you for showing that they lied.

  6. The ability to spy on every New Zealander will come in handy for the latest Nat sponsored idea to Tax overseas internet purchases. So the flowers I buy my Mum each year in OZ will be taxed by NZ IRD, cos my local florist didn’t get to send the email.

  7. Rumours that similar legislation on the way in UK, Sounds like we being used as guinea pigs again, and the UK is looking to enact their own version of our new “SPY LAWS”

    READ THIS

    “the Home Office prepares to publish plans for a significant expansion of state surveillance, with powers for the police and security services to monitor every email, as well as telephone and internet activity. “

  8. Makes you think?????????????????

    US President Barack Obama quietly signed his name to an Executive Order on Friday, allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security.

    President Obama released his latest Executive Order on Friday, July 6, a 2,205-word statement offered as the “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.” And although the president chose not to commemorate the signing with much fanfare, the powers he provides to himself and the federal government under the latest order are among the most far-reaching yet of any of his executive decisions.
    http://rt.com/usa/obama-president-order-communications-770/

  9. I have a feeling (open to correction) that Kim Dotcom had already put plans in place, on Megaupload, for the encryption setup he now has on Mega. Seems to me this alone would have been enough to get the US govt (NSA CIA FBI etc.) worried as it puts a huge dent in their ability to see what’s being sent on the web. Hollywood are just being used as pawns by the real power brokers to get his head.

  10. I also question the motive behind banning protests against offshore exploration. it seemed to me at the time it came from nowhere, and seemed to point to that particular MP pushing someone else’s agenda. Power corrupts. absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Comments are closed.