Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


PM welcomes passing of GCSB legislation

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister
Minister Responsible for the GCSB

21 August 2013
Media Statement
PM welcomes passing of GCSB legislation

Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) John Key says the passing of the third reading of the GCSB legislation in Parliament today will allow our security agencies to get on with the important job of protecting national security.

The GCSB legislation – the GCSB, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, and the Intelligence and Security Committee Amendment Bills – all passed in the House today.

“Despite ill-informed claims to the contrary, nothing in this legislation allows for wholesale spying on New Zealanders. It actually tightens, not widens, the existing regime,” Mr Key says.

“This essential legislation makes it clear what the GCSB may and may not do, and fixes an Act passed under the Labour Government a decade ago, which was not, and probably never was, fit for purpose.

“It clarifies the GCSB’s legal framework and substantially increases oversight of the country’s intelligence agencies, which will go some way to rebuilding public confidence in the GCSB,” Mr Key says.

The legislation passed today makes the GCSB’s three functions clear. These are:

• Information assurance and cyber security;
• Foreign intelligence, and;
• Assisting other agencies.

Mr Key says the first of these functions allows the GCSB to help protect government organisations and important private sector entities from cyber-attack.

“This is a growing threat which targets our information and the intellectual property of our best and brightest. Already this year the number of logged cyber-attack incidents is 204 - larger than it was for all of last year.

“GCSB's specialist skills can help protect departments and companies and the legislation gives it a clear mandate to do that. Cyber security is about protecting private information. It’s not about spying,” Mr Key says.

“The second function of the GCSB is collecting foreign intelligence. That has been the largest portion of the agency’s work.

“The third function allows the GCSB to assist the Police, NZSIS and NZ Defence Force. This is something it has been doing for more than a decade, but it was stopped until this legislation was passed.

“The Kitteridge review identified just 88 cases where GCSB had provided assistance to these agencies over the past 10 years – an average of under nine people a year. So this isn’t and never will be wholesale spying on New Zealanders,” Mr Key says.

“The GCSB has unique capabilities and specialist skills. It makes no sense to duplicate those when they are so rarely used.

“The legislation makes it clear GCSB can assist only those three named agencies, and only when they are able to show they have the lawful authority to undertake the surveillance themselves.

“It also puts in place a robust review of the intelligence agencies in 2015 and every five to seven years thereafter. There will now be more transparency, through open public hearings for the financial reviews of the intelligence agencies,” Mr Key says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news