Monday, May 27, 2013

Neazor changing his mind

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor has arguably definitely changed his mind in the last eight months about the illegal spying of the GCSB.

In September 2012, he was asked by the Prime Minister to investigate the spying on Kim Dotcom. In his report, he came to the following conclusions:
The GCSB is controlled by its governing Act in what it may do. That Act makes it clear that the Bureau is intended to collect foreign intelligence only, but that includes the function of assisting the Police by gathering foreign intelligence for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime.
"Foreign intelligence only" and no mention of any ambiguity in the law, even when the GCSB is assisting the police. As far as consequences for the GCSB are concerned, he recommended: 
There will need to be alertness that … the wording of the provisions of the GCSB Act are controlling.
The result was a public apology by John Key: “Of course I apologise to Mr Dotcom, and I apologise to New Zealanders.” Key said he was “appalled” that the GCSB had “failed at the most basic of hurdles.”

All that has changed. Spying on Dotcom was failing a basic hurdle, but spying on 88 others was “arguably legal”. In September, the GCSB needed to learn that its Act was “controlling” – now the same Act is ambiguous and needs reform.

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