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

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election