Key caught lying again | The Jackal

16 Aug 2013

Key caught lying again

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

In a dramatic twist on the GCSB bill, John Key now says he will restrict warrants granted to the spy agency so it can't initially look at the content of New Zealanders' communications in carrying out its cyber-security function.

And he says if the Government Communications Security Bureau makes a good enough case to access content, he expects it to seek the consent of Kiwis before looking, unless there is a good reason not to.

First John Key gets caught out by saying the GCSB won't be able to look at the content of people's communications, then he claims that they will be allowed to but only with the persons permission, unless there is good reason not to ask for permission that is. Unbelievable!

The "good" reason to initially spy on people's private communications will be included in the warrant, so there will likely be no requests for permission from the targets. Key hasn't even informed the 88 Kiwis that the GCSB had been illegally spying on them, so disclosure isn't really his strong point.

Besides, Key has already made an argument (al-Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction) to be allowed to spy on all New Zealanders without their permission. In fact we haven't even been allowed to vote on this issue in a general election.

The major concession suggests the Government is worried that many New Zealanders, not just Government critics, believe the bill gives the GCSB the green light to conduct mass surveillance on New Zealanders and trawl through their emails.

It's not a major concession because what Key is talking about is not written into the proposed law changes. It is simply more excuses from an incompetent fool who is now realising that New Zealanders do actually value and care about their privacy. The GCSB bill is clearly a vote loser for National, but Keys mishandling of the issue could be an election loser.

Mr Key said that when he issued warrants under the cyber-security function in the future, he did not intend the GCSB to access the content of New Zealanders' communications, including email, in the first instance.

Initial warrants won't access content? Does that mean they will only access metadata? I also wonder about the scope of those warrants to allow the interception of metadata and Key's claims that mass surveillance isn't being undertaken?

It appears that John Key is saying that if any of your communications are inadvertently to persons or places of interest to the spooks then another warrant will be required to access the content of those communications?

That's not how the proposed law changes spelt out in the GCSB amendment bill (PDF) will work. That bill allows for the lawful interception by the GCSB of all New Zealanders communications including content. There is no distinction made between metadata and content.

But if a serious cyber intrusion was detected against a New Zealander, he would expect the GCSB to return to make the case for a new warrant to access content, and with the consent of the New Zealander.

This makes John Key look entirely ridiculous! He's continuing to try and say that the GCSB is like an antivirus software program. At a time when he was gaining praise for his performance on Campbell Live, the Prime Minister has once again put his foot right in the proverbial.

National obviously believes that there are enough Kiwis who are techno-illiterate and will believe John Keys seriously flawed explanation. Either that or their internal polling is up the wazoo and Keys chief advisors are off their rockers.

Getting caught out in a lie and bumbling around for excuses isn’t acceptable behaviour in a Prime Minister. It's more the actions of a conman, and a foolish one at that.