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Key mustn’t change law to suit GCSB

10 April 2013
Key mustn’t change law to suit GCSB

The Government Communications Security Bureau should follow the law rather than have the Government change the law to allow the agency to spy on New Zealanders, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Prime Minister John Key has suggested a law change would allow the Government Communications and Security Bureau (GCSB) to spy on New Zealanders. The suggested law change came about after the Government released a report into GCSB after it was revealed 88 New Zealanders could have been illegally spied on.

“Prime Minister John Key seems to want to reward the GCSB for its incompetent and illegal behaviour over the last decade,” Dr Norman said.

“Changing the law to allow the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders would be out of step with other jurisdictions that separate domestic and international spying.

"This is unfortunate as the Government has an opportunity with this current mess to review the role of the spy agencies and implement proper oversight of them.

“A good first step to make the intelligence services more accountable is to bring them within the proper scrutiny of Parliament’s select committee system by making the Intelligence and Security Committee a regular committee of Parliament with powers to examine the activities of the spy agencies. Where necessary the Committee could meet behind closed doors” Dr Norman said.

“Secondly, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security needs to be established as an officer of Parliament, like the Auditor General, and needs more resources and staff so as to avoid capture by the intelligence services.

“After the latest revelations, it is high time that these agencies received proper scrutiny rather, than the Government rewarding their incompetency with a law change that will mean New Zealanders private lives face further invasive snooping.”

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