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 The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news