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Urs Signer and Valerie Morse: GCSB - we demand the truth

GCSB - we demand the truth

11th April 2013

"We have no confidence that the Prime Minister, the Inspector-General or the Director of the GCSB is telling the full story of the illegal spying by the GCSB. We demand to know unequivocally if we have been spied on - either in relation to the Urewera case, or in relation to our political activity - by the GCSB. Nothing short of full disclosure of those spied upon will suffice," says Valerie Morse, one of the initial accused in the 'Urewera case'.

“John Key’s approach to legalising the illegal surveillance for the GCSB is an absolute slap in the face. It makes a total mockery of the 'robust oversight' these agencies are supposedly subjected to. Illegal surveillance is a deeply disturbing trend not only for the GCSB, but the Police and SIS,” says Urs Signer, one of the defendants in the 'Urewera case'.

“After the Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that police had acted illegally in our case by installing surveillance cameras onto private land, the government simply passed new legislation to legalise the illegal police activity, even retrospectively legalising police breaches. Now, GCSB has been caught out breaking its Act routinely and what does the government do? Rather than being outraged and telling them to stop, John Key announces that he will change the law in question to allow the 300-plus staff at the GCSB to legally spy on New Zealand citizens and residents, just as they had done illegally for the past 10 years.”

“From the 1996 Aziz Choudry case, we already know the SIS acts illegally. There has been little public spotlight put on their role in the GCSB fiasco; they could not have reasonably thought the GCSB could spy on locals, but asked them because they thought it would never be discovered,” says Morse.

“For those of us at the receiving end of the spying, we can try and fight them in the courts and not be intimidated by their scare-mongering. The rich and powerful will use all tools at their disposal to ensure they stay at the top. All we have is our collective strength to bring about a just, free and equal society.”

“It is crystal-clear that that the GCSB will not obey any new laws that John Key writes up for them. It is in the very nature of spy agencies to simply do what they want. Given that’s the case, the only option is to follow through on the suggestion made in Tuesday’s Dominion Post editorial and scrap the Waihopai spy-base,” says Signer.

ENDS

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