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


Expansion of GCSB intelligence gathering intrusive

New Zealand Law Society
Media Advisory

02 . 07 . 13

GCSB Bill – Expansion of GCSB intelligence gathering intrusive

The New Zealand Law Society presented its submission on the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill to the Intelligence and Security Committee today.

Law Society spokesperson Dr Rodney Harrison QC says the bill empowers the GCSB to spy on New Zealand citizens and residents.

Dr Harrison says the bill is intrusive and that no clear justification has been provided for the extraordinary extension of powers of the GCSB to conduct surveillance on New Zealand citizens and residents.

The new objectives and functions for the GCSB effectively transform it from an agency which gathers foreign intelligence to one which also obtains domestic intelligence.

“This is inconsistent with the rights to freedom of expression and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and with privacy interests recognised by New Zealand law,” he says.

The Law Society recognises the critical role intelligence-gathering plays in ensuring New Zealand’s security, but believes that extensive amendments to the state’s surveillance powers should not be passed by Parliament lightly.

“More information should be provided to the public about the justification for the proposed changes to the operation of the GCSB. Further public debate is needed, and safeguards should be incorporated into the law if the reforms are to proceed,” Dr Harrison says.

The Law Society is concerned that Parliamentary urgency has been used to push through the bill, which has resulted in a shortened timeframe for public consultation and submissions.

If the reforms are to proceed, the Law Society recommends a range of amendments to the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 and related legislation. In particular, the Law Society recommends that:

• systemic checks are put in place to ensure the GCSB’s extended powers are exercised appropriately;

• the office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is strengthened;

• the Inspector-General undertakes a full operational review following amendments to the GCSB Act, and reports to Parliament on whether the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act remains fit for purpose in providing for effective independent oversight; and

• the Intelligence and Security Committee Act 1996 is amended to assist in the overall objective of strengthening the oversight provided by the Intelligence and Security Committee.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news