I’m yelling at my TV screen as Paul Henry manages to do the worst interview on the GCSB spy powers I’ve ever seen! It’s not like Paul is stupid, but his wilful ignorance is astounding.
Folks, there seems to be some real confusion about what this phenomenal change of powers does, so please let me spell out the main change.
The law Key rammed through last time under urgency allows for select law enforcement agencies to go to the GCSB and apply for the GCSB to spy on individuals.
Do we all get that?
Checks, balances, a clear paper record of what agency wanted the spying done, and why and the justifications.
We are all on the same page? It was controversial because the GCSB in the past was a signals agency for counter intelligence and allowing them to dabble in domestic spying opened all NZers up to mass surveillance.
Here’s what this new power allows for. The GCSB itself is now allowed to directly spy on NZers.
Can you see the magnitude of the difference?
Under existing law people can be spied on if there is an active investigation of them by a selected few security agencies. Under this new law, the bloody GCSB becomes the decision maker to spy . It decides under these new so called ‘rigorous’ oversights when really the GCSB shouldn’t be allowed to operate its own investigations at all.
Can we see how this is such a huge difference?
The GCSB is the technical ability to spy and it helps our agencies to do that, allowing the GCSB to effectively create its own branch of investigation that grants itself these massive powers is an extreme increase in power that no one seems to understand.
All the evidence shows this surveillance power is used against activists, it doesn’t catch any bloody terrorists.
This allows for the GCSB to build its own investigative branch, seeing as it is utterly subservient to the NSA, this has all the ingredients of an agency directed by Washington over Wellington.