Monday, June 10, 2013

Making a submission on the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill

General Instructions
  1. Submissions are due Friday, 21 June 2013 (note this has been extended)
  2. Submissions must be emailed to You may compose your submission in Word, or equivalent, and attach it or send it as part of your email.
  3. You can download a copy of the Bill from the Parliamentary Business 'Bills' page. (The Bill is 47 pages long.)
Format of your submission
There is no specific way that your submission, your actual submissions can be as general or specific as you wish but you must include your name and contact details. If you want to make an oral submission to the select committee you must state that specifically in your email. The submission should state whether you support or reject the bill.

Some ideas about why the Bill should be stopped:

There are several reasons why the Bill should be stopped, but some key concerns that you could point out include:
  1. The Bill is being passed through parliament under urgency – but there is no need for urgency.
    A. Like all Bills, this Bill should not be rushed through parliament.
    It was introduced as a result of findings in the Kitteridge Report that the GCSB had probably illegally spied on up to 88 people. However, a subsequent Neazor report (if we are to believe it) found that there had “been no breeches … “ so why is the urgency continued.
    Further, recent and on-going media coverage about the level of spying undertaken by the NSA show more than ever that there should be no expansion of the powers of the GCSB. At the least, the Bill should definitely no longer be introduced under urgency but rather run the normal length of time.
    B. The Crown Law's report on compliance of the Bill with section 7 of the Bill of Rights. The Crown Law's advice was that "the Bill raises questions in respect of the rights to freedom of expression, non-discrimination and against unreasonable search and seizure affirmed by ss 14, 19(1) and 21 of the Bill of Rights Act," but then went onto say that despite that, "the Bill appears consistent with that Act." This is further evidence that the Bill should not be passed in urgency.
    C. The Regulatory Impact Statement. The RIS states "The GCSB Act contains intrusive state powers. Consequently any review of the GCSB Act will involve the consideration of human rights and privacy matters. Respect for human rights, and individual privacy and traditions of free speech in New Zealand were guiding principles in undertaking the review and developing recommendations." These 'guiding principles' can not be given much thought when the Bill is being rushed through in urgency.
  2. The primary purpose of the proposed changes to the GCSB Act 2003 is to change the function of the GCSB. The GCSB was never intended to be a domestic spy agency but this Bill changes the function of the GCSB from that of the collection and analysis of 'foreign intelligence' to a role of national security. The SIS already exists to 'protect the economic well-being' and its functions and powers were expanded in an amendment to the SIS Act in 2011.
  3. Removing the word “foreign” from the Act. By removing the word foreign from the Act, the Bill allows precisely what the previous version expressly ruled out: that the GCSB can be used to spy on NZ citizens and residents.
  4. Expanding the power of the GCSB by 'co-operation with other entities to facilitate their functions '. Changes to Section 8 of the Bill enable the GCSB to spy on behalf of the New Zealand Police, Defence Force and the SIS, including other departments that may be specified by Order in Council. This section of the Bill also allows the GCSB to perform functions for these other agencies even if the activities were not allowed under the GCSB Act.
  5. The mass collection and retention of data to be shared with other agencies. Sections 15 and 25 allow for the GCSB to collect and store electronic communications for an unlimited time. This data can then be shared with the NZ police, the Defence Force, the SIS and 'any other person that the Director thinks fit to receive the information'.
  6. Oversight of the GCSB. The oversight regime is not adequate. At the least the GCSB should be required to produce an annual report documenting its surveillance, including how many requests were made by the various NZ agencies and the numbers of people affected.
  7. Abolish the GCSB. Above and beyond all the points raised above, the GCSB should be abolished. It primarily serves the interests of the USA and helps expand the network of surveillance maintained by Echelon and the UKUSA Agreement.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.