Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Who Guards The Guardians?

Who Guards The Guardians?


On the Dangers and Futility of Expanding Surveillance Powers in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin.

Professors Kevin P Clements and Richard Jackson of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago are deeply worried by the Government’s plan to change the laws under which the GCSB operates.

“The move is being promoted in order to address a legal anomaly, but in fact it has important and worrying implications for individual privacy, civil liberties and national security. It provides expanded powers of surveillance without evidence of real necessity or effectiveness, or corresponding safeguards of individual liberty and privacy.”

The expansion of surveillance capacity needs to be balanced against benefits to national and regional security. While such capacity might be useful in relation to criminal activity, there is no hard evidence , we are aware of, that such intrusive surveillance mechanisms have played a significant role in the prevention of serious political violence or terrorist activity. On the contrary, so much information is gathered in organizations like the GSCB that analysts often have difficulty making sense of it. The legal rationale for such a bureau is the detection of political and military threat rather than criminal activity. If there is no evidence that such electronic capacity has been genuinely useful in relation to any recent examples of political violence, then why are we contemplating the expansion of such powers for domestic surveillance?

“Who Guards the Guardians “ is an important question here. There is nothing in the legislation about proper oversight or accountability in relation to who is spied on, or why.

The legislation is being rushed through to provide some post facto justification for illegal government surveillance over the past 18 months.

The law change will effectively merge the GCSB and the SIS, plus the intelligence wings of the military and the Police, moving New Zealand towards what is known as a “national security state” with all that this means in terms of intrusive surveillance capacity, challenges to freedom of speech, control of citizens and potential civil rights abuses.

We do not think that this critical law should be changed without more extensive public discussion and enquiry about its potential costs and benefits. At this stage, and on a basis of our expert knowledge on such matters, we see more costs than benefits and real challenges to individual liberties and privacy rights.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news