I’d like to start my speech by addressing a major issue to the lives of many young people. As you know I am doing my best to represent the youth of New Zealand and in my role I simply cannot watch this continue any longer. What I am talking about it is the appalling and invasive GCSB spying act. GCSB stands for Government communications security bureau. This act allows the previously ‘unlawful’ spying on any civilian, Lawful. That means any data about you the government can access without any sort of warrant. With my generation being the first fully integrated ‘Internet generation’ this is a major and unacceptable law that must be reformed immediately. My generation live online and that’s the thing the government does not understand. It’s like if John Key was sitting in your backyard with binoculars watching you eating dinner. That would be considered invasion of privacy and invasion of property. But that my friends is exactly what the government is doing to you, me, and every citizen in this country.
As I previously stated I am from the internet generation and things have changed considerably when compared to all of the other MPs in this building. I have never used the home phone, I haven’t got a slightest clue what a ‘fax machine’ is and I certainly dont find information from books. Times have changed and now with more people sharing their lives on the internet this is the worst time for us to be spied on.
Our Prime minister denies many claims against this bill putting the blame on ‘misinformation’ and further goes on to compare this legislation to a glorified ‘norton antivirus that will not spy on New Zealanders. Well if this is a glorified norton antivirus where’s the uninstall button? Now let me ask you this Mr Key, you’re blaming us for misinformation when the bill states as clear as day, “would extend the powers of the GCSB to enable it to collect information from all New Zealanders for the use of other government departments”. Now that is ‘misinformation’ Mr Key sprouting from your baseless and untruthful testimonial designed to trick unaware citizens to support your agenda.
Another ‘Great’ aspect of the GCSB legislation is the fact of the 5 eyes intelligence alliance. New Zealand is a part of this also including America, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. Basically this means that , if approved by the prime minister any of these countries can access your information at any given time. Now how do you feel about that. Knowing that not only can the GCSB take and use your information in New Zealand, but also share that information more easily with other countries! So this act is basically the facebook of spying agencies.
The counter argument to this bill is “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you shouldn’t have to worry”. As simple as this statement is there is a problem, in many cases the GCSB is spying on you allready. For example even if you have done nothing illegal but are a major opposition leader or human rights activist the GCSB could be targeting you!
And another thing, why do the authorities need this new power of mass surveillance. John Key says it’s for threats on New Zealand, but what threats? I had no idea New Zealand was under terrorist threats! In July 2011 John Key had had
1. a meeting with the US president about spying intelligence
2. John Key appointed Ian Fletcher as the head of the GCSB essentially reinventing the GCSB and 3. Eric Holda US justice minister meet with the New Zealand intelligence spokesperson along with Canada, Great Britain and Australia about Cyber crimes, Intelligence and extradition.
All these things have 1 component in common, America. This is not what New Zealand wants this is America pulling John Key’s strings. America was after Kim DotCom for his file sharing website Megaupload and so he moved to New Zealand. Under the American Justice minister the New Zealand police conducted an illegal raid on Dotcom’s mansion. Then John Key had a meeting with Obama, called Ian fletcher to appoint him the head of the GCSB and subsequently created the GCSB bill as we know it.
In conclusion this bill should be abolished as it takes away a very important right and we as human being should be entitled to, Privacy. It is also a show of how much the national government is willing to suck up to America and disregard what the people want. I ask you now, are you prepared to be responsible for the impacts of this bill. Maybe the short term impacts are not as important as i make them seem, but the long term impacts could be disastrous. If the government gets away with this law, whos says they won’t implement more & more draconian laws to suppress us and limit our rights. I for one say no and i hope after this speech you can stand up and say no with me.
Daniel Steedman is a student at Mt Albert Grammar. This was his speech to his English class.