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

 


Privacy, Digital Economy at Risk From Spy Agency Dysfunction

MEDIA RELEASE

July 2, 2014

Privacy And Digital Economy at Risk From Spy Agency Dysfunction

A damning report on the shameful state of New Zealand’s intelligence services highlights why an overhaul is needed now, says the Internet Party.

The State Services Commission’s independent report into the country’s intelligence community – the Government Communications Securit yBureau, the Security Intelligence Service and the strategic agencies operating out of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – paints a gloomy picture of dysfunction.

Agencies lacked clear priorities, distrusted each other and tolerated poor performance. The report also highlighted New Zealand's reliance on the United States-led Five Eyes network.

“The public rightly has no confidence how our intelligence agencies operate,” said Internet Party leader Laila Harré. “Even the SSC thinks the GCSB is less transparent than its Five Eyes partners. It shows that our intelligence agencies aren’t operating intelligently. They’re not sure what they should be doing, and what they are doing isn’t up to scratch.”

A frightening lack of oversight and accountability demanded an immediate end-to-end review of New Zealand’s intelligence operations.

“It’s something that should have happened when the Kitteridge Report came out last year but, instead, the Prime Minister – the man in charge of our intelligence services – rushed through dodgy legislation to paper over some serious illegalities and shortcomings in how these agencies operate. Kiwis are now having their personal information and online communications collected by Government spies who seemingly have no idea of what they’re doing, or even why, and that information is being handed over to foreign agencies without public scrutiny.

“Our basic right to privacy is under attack. Given the GCSB’s ineptitude, we are concerned with its ability to undertake the additional roles given to it by the change in law with the GCSB Bill last year. In particular, the GCSB is now charged with making decisions about the design and equipment used by the country’s telecommunications operators. That’s going to be a real drag on our digital economy and undermine the trust that overseas customers place in our technology services.

“The time’s come to finally shine some much-needed light on how our intelligence agencies operate, as well as their relationships with each other and overseas agencies. There has to be stronger oversight and action from the Prime Minister when it comes to his department’s performance. Poor performance and a lack of public trust cannot be tolerated.

“We will put in place an independent, cross-party oversight committee, chaired by the Leader of the Opposition and including independent non-political experts, to ensure intelligence agencies are working for the good of all New Zealanders and the country’s sovereign interests.”

The Internet Party has promised to repeal the GCSB Bill (2013) and the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill as priorities. The Internet Party will also immediately review intelligence co-operation agreements with a view to exiting the Five Eyes network.

“It’s not acceptable for New Zealand intelligence agencies to rely on a network that doesn’t have the interests of New Zealanders at its core, least of all agencies that clearly don’t know what they’re doing or why,” said Ms Harré.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Flag Campaign

So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between disinterest and disdain. Most New Zealanders have instinctively seen through the marketing hype involved. More>>

Change For 2017: Local Govt To Decide On Easter Sunday Trading

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced. More>>

ALSO:

(And Targets Worse Than Australia's): Foresters Abandoning Emissions Trading Scheme

The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news