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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news