Friday, July 5, 2013

OASIS blows the whistle on GCSB submissions

Media Release: OASIS blows the whistle on GCSB submissions
5 July 2013

Two members of OASIS (Organising Against State Intelligence and Surveillance) today dumped whistles on the desk at the Intelligence and Security Committee during the GCSB submissions saying that the people need whistle blowers because politicians are not listening.

The committee was chaired by Tony Ryall because John Key was absent for the duration of the hearings today.

“John Key has been telling us that the national security depends on this Bill and today he doesn’t even find it important enough to attend the committee hearings,” said spokesperson Anna Thorby.

“It just shows that he is not up to the job of minister in charge of security and intelligence”.

The government was intent on expanding the machinery of state surveillance at any cost. The only ways the invasive powers of the state come to light was when people working within the agencies blow the whistle on the growing surveillance state, the committee heard.

“Politicians sit there and spout words about democracy and transparency, but the only way to shed any light on the innards of the state agencies is through whistle blowers,” said Ms Thorby.

Members of the GCSB, SIS, NZ police, NZDF, other NZ agencies, and international intelligence agencies were asked by OASIS to become whistle-blowers and leak documents.

“Whistle-blowing and leaks will be needed more than ever when the GCSB Bill becomes law. We already know that the GCSB has acted illegally.”

“Over the past year the GCSB has been caught out spying illegally on a group of people: some of them, like Dotcom have been named but there are 88 others and the GCSB is refusing to tell people if they were victims of state crime,” said Ms Thorby. “And this Bill is not going to change any of that.”

“The call for reviews and investigations into the GCSB is pointless - the GCSB can simply refuse to co-operate with the Intelligence and Security Committee by saying that everything is an operational matter. The committee and the Inspector-General are explicitly unable to examine the operations of the GCSB.”

“We have had 12 years of the war on terrorism cravenly being used by politicians of all colours to advance the surveillance state. We do not consent to this surveillance, and this is not the world we want to live in.”

ENDS

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