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GCSB Bills threaten ICT jobs

GCSB Bills threaten ICT jobs

New spying laws before Parliament not only have the potential to significantly compromise our privacy, they risk future job creation and the growth of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.

The Green Party reasserted its call for proper public and Parliamentary scrutiny of the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security (TICS) Bill and the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment (GCSB) Bill.

“Sweeping new spying laws being rushed through Parliament risk putting a handbrake on the growth of our ICT sector,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“The GCSB will soon have new powers to approve any new piece of telecommunications infrastructure to ensure that it can continue to spy on us in a broad, indiscriminate way.

“New powers being given to the GCSB will slow software development and make our whole ICT industry susceptible to the additional costs and uncertainties of dealing with a non-transparent Government department.

“Even US internet giant Google has said that the significant additional costs, time, and challenges imposed by the proposed law change could discourage investment and jobs.”

InternetNZ, TUANZ, NZRise, CatalystIT and the Institute of IT Professionals have all called on the Government to slow down the law making process given the significance of legislation on the industry and the privacy issued involved.

“The solution is better public and Parliamentary scrutiny of new spy laws being rushed through Parliament and greater public oversight of the agencies being given these wide-sweeping powers,” Dr Norman said.

“We need a completely independent review of our spying agencies and new systems of accountability to ensure they are working efficiently, legally, and in New Zealand’s best interests.

“The ICT sector is a key part of a smart green economy in New Zealand. We want to unlock its potential, not hold it back with draconian legislation.”


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