Dodgy deals Dunne dirt cheap | The Jackal

20 Aug 2013

Dodgy deals Dunne dirt cheap

In a post today, Peter Dunne's numero uno (and perhaps only) fan republished the United Future leaders generic response sent out to people who've been emailing him and requesting that he vote against the GCSB amendment bill (PDF).

In his response, Dunne claims to have negotiated:

The removal of the proposed Order in Council mechanism which would have allowed other agencies to be added to the list of agencies able to request assistance from the GCSB. Any additions beyond the Police, SIS and NZ Defence Force will now be required to be made by a specific amendment to the legislation, and not just by regulation as the Bill currently proposes.

This is untrue. The GCSB amendment bill allows for the GCSB to transfer any communications that are "incidentally" recorded onto any foreign agency of their choosing. However, the amount of incidental recording is not defined. New subsection (2) means they don't need a warrant to undertake this task and Dunne's amendment will not change that fact.

To ensure effective oversight in the issuing of a warrant the Bill be amended so that the Inspector General is informed when a warrant is put on the register relating to a New Zealander.

Except clause 3 of the GCSB amendment bill states the GCSB Act 2003 (PDF) allows for warrantless interception of people's communications. It is only when a NEW device needs to be PHYSICALLY attached to a network to intercept a domestic or foreign communication that a warrant is required.

This section of the act will not change, which means warrantless spying will continue. Under Dunne's amendment the inspector general won't need to be informed of spying conducted without a warrant, which means oversight will not be increased.

The GCSB will be required to report annually on the number of instances when it has provided assistance to the Police, SIS or NZ Defence Force.

A report that will likely not be made public. Under Dunne's amendment the 88 New Zealanders who were illegally spied on by the rogue agency will not be informed that their legal rights were breached. Any further illegal activity by the GCSB will clearly not be divulged under Dunne's pathetic provisions for an annual report.

The GCSB will also be required to report annually on the number of warrants and authorisations issued.

Which effectively means nothing! With the law enabling warrantless surveillance of New Zealand citizens, reporting on the number of warrants and authorizations issued is largely irrelevant. The figures provided will not divulge the true extent of spying by the GCSB on New Zealand citizens nor the reasons why most of that spying is being undertaken.

The Intelligence and Security Committee will hold public hearings annually to discuss the financial reviews of the performance of the GCSB and the SIS.

What a load of rot! These agencies, or should I say their boss John Key, has refused to release information relating to the full extent of their government funding and foreign investment. There is nothing within Dunne's amendments that will increase disclosure.

There will be an independent review of the operations and performance the GCSB and the NZSIS and their governing legislation in 2015, and thereafter every 5-7 years.

Something that was already mooted by the Prime Minister. Dunne is merely agreeing to Key's defunct idea, that a review be conducted well after the GCSB is let off the hook for their illegal spying on 88 New Zealand citizens. That's what this legislation is really all about, making the GCSB's illegal activity legal by the passing of this bill into law.

Instead of treating the general public like fools, what Peter Dunne should do is vote against the badly written and rushed through legislation. Clearly the bouffant should #crossthefloor.