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

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads.

This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD.

That showed that the City Rail Link, together with surface bus improvement, provided the best regional solution. However, it also identified that the city centre is already facing serious congestion across all major road entry points which, if not addressed now, will worsen. More>>

 

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: New Zealand Takes UN Security Council Seat

“New Zealand’s term on the Security Council will place us at the heart of international decision-making for the next two years,” Mr McCully says. More>>

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news