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GCSB report proves need for independent review

GCSB report proves need for independent review of intelligence agencies

Revelations about the extent of potential problems at the GCSB proves there is an urgent need for a wide-ranging independent review of all of our intelligence agencies, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“John Key can no longer ignore Labour’s call for a good hard look at the way all of our intelligence agencies are operating.

“This shouldn’t be limited to internal investigation of one organisation. There is an urgent need for a thorough independent review and reform of New Zealand’s entire spying network.

“The GCSB doesn’t act alone. It interacts with the police and the SIS. There are also serious concerns about the oversight of the agencies from the role of the Inspector-General to the Prime Minister at the very top.

“It appears from the media coverage so far that the review does not delve into the detail of the Kim Dotcom case, including John Key’s knowledge and lack of oversight. We would be deeply concerned if this is the case. After all, this is the very reason the report was commissioned in the first place. This issue must not be glossed over.

“It’s understood John Key has had the GCSB report for some time and the details of it have now been given to Fairfax media. This means that Government has no excuse for continuing to sit on it. It should be released publicly so that the full facts can be debated.

“We are concerned that the Government may use this internal review by its own appointee to try and ram through legislative changes without proper debate among Parliamentarians and New Zealanders. We are aware that changes to the SIS legislation are being considered at the moment.

“Reform is needed. It is something Labour has been calling for. But it must only happen after a robust wide-ranging investigation is carried out across all of our intelligence agencies.

“New Zealanders must have confidence that our intelligence agencies are operating in their best interests and that their privacy is protected as citizens of this country. We will not support any moves by this Government that undermine that,” said David Shearer.


ends


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As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

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