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Key making up GSCB law as he goes along

David SHEARER

Labour Leader                       

16 August 2013   MEDIA STATEMENT

Key making up GSCB law as he goes along

John Key's belated statement to the media about the warrants he intends granting under the GCSB Bill shows why he has been so wrong to rush this law through, Labour Leader David Shearer says.

“John Key is in damage control mode. Despite his protestations, there is widespread concern about the GSCB bill and he knows it.

“This legislation is in the final stages of being debated by Parliament and suddenly he is announcing via the media that he does not intend that the GCSB will be able to look at the content of New Zealanders’ emails, in the first instance, under the extended powers his new law grants to them. 

"That's all very well, but the problem for the Prime Minister is that is not what his law says.  It is not good enough to make a pronouncement about this in the media. What on earth is the legal status of John Key's email to the media? 

“The Prime Minister is essentially asking New Zealanders to trust him. He is telling the public he won’t let the GSCB use the powers the new law grants them, except in exceptional circumstances. 

“That assurance might be more convincing if it was not for the Prime Minister’s previous lax oversight of the GCSB, and his office’s involvement in the Henry inquiry accessing a journalists email and phone records.

“New Zealanders should not have to take the protection of their privacy on trust.  If John Key is serious about protecting Kiwis’ emails, he should change the Bill so that it does just that.

"If John Key had agreed to a review of intelligence agencies these sorts of issues could have been dealt with properly.   A review would mean that public confidence in the GCSB could be restored, but instead John Key seems to be making things up as he goes along," says David Shearer.

ENDS

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