Russel Norman rightly points out that John Key’s expansion of the powers of the GCSB is “part of a global picture of an expanding surveillance state.”
What we heard yesterday [at select committee with John Key in the chair doing little more than doodling and keeping time] was about the expansion of the powers of the GCSB. And remember, these people don’t need a warrant from a judge to intercept your communications. They can just intercept them. So what this means is it’s part of a global picture of an expanding surveillance state, which is increasingly able to penetrate all our private areas… All our privacy is being removed …
Essentially [what this bill says] is the state is allowed to act unlawfully, and later on we’ll fix up the law … It’s meant operate the other way around: In a democratic society, the law is supposed to govern the way the government operates.
[If this bill makes it onto the books] I imagine they’ll will figure out how to expand [the powers] further, and further, and intrude into everyone’s private lives. What the Law Society said was that this organisation was supposed ot be an external organisation, a spy agency; it’s now been turned into a domestic and external spy agency, and it’s been done without the normal constraints. When the police want to listen in to your conversation, they have to go to a judge, and they have to show to the judge they’ve got probable cause, so they’ve got a right to do it; these people don’t have to go to a judge, they just go and listen to what you’re doing, read your emails, all that kind of stuff…
To live in a society where you have privacy, where you have places where you’re not worried that the state is not constantly monitoring you, is critical to what it means to live a decent life.
Just be clear. The Key Government is ramming through measures giving government spooks carte blanche to go through your email, listen in to your telephone calls, and compile data about all your online habits.Without a warrant. Without even the say so of a judge. With only the oversight of a Prime Minister who doodles while his bill burns through the house.
Yes, they’re already doing that. But they’re presently doing it by breaking the law. By breaking the few constraints on doing us over that do currently exist.
And very soon, under John Key’s guidance, those constraints will be gone.
I can’t resist quoting from Nicky Wire, whose band the Manic Street Preachers played Auckland last night, who once observed “"here's a worm in human nature that makes us want to be dominated."
Gratifying to see Rand and Norman on the same page in resisting ‘Die Wurm.’ Would that more would join them.