Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill passed

The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill was passed on 9th December 2014.

The Bill makes changes in three Acts: the Passports Amendment Act 2014, Customs and Excise Amendment Act 2014 and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Amendment Act 2014.

It amends three existing laws to give the SIS greater powers of surveillance and to give the Minister of Internal Affairs greater powers to suspend and cancel passports.

The SIS will now be allowed to conduct surveillance on terrorist suspects without a warrant for 24 hours, to conduct video surveillance on private property (in relation to suspected terrorism), and to have access to the Customs data in relation to suspected terrorism.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Terror Bill Urgent!

The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill is getting rushed through the NZ Parliament with the plan for it to be law before the House adjourns for summer.

The Bill was introduced in Parliament on Tuesday 24th November, submissions due on Thursday 27 November, oral submissions will be heard on both the 27th and 28th November, the Bill is to be reported back by Tuesday, 2nd December – eight days after it was introduced and then it will be law by Thursday 11th December.

The reason for such urgency and speed is that 'our' way of life and the values that shape 'our' society are under threat. Some people would argue that what passes for democracy is actually what is under threat with the passing of this Bill – for this Bill enhances state surveillance power and expands state control.

With the continuous singing of the mantra 'terror, terror, terror', we seem to live in an increasingly hysterical time where Bills such as this one can be introduced and passed. Just within the last few years there have been numerous surveillance and 'terror' Bills, including: in 2013 both the ‘GCSB and Related Legislation Amendment Bill' and the TICS (Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security) Bill, in 2012 the Search and Surveillance Act, in 2011 the 'SIS Amendment Bill', in 2007 the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill. The list goes on. This country has a reputation for passing laws quickly.

We have also just had the introduction of the 'Strategic Risk and Resilience Panel' (SRRP). This group of 'Free Thinkers' role is to alert the government to 'unknown' terror possibilities. The group consists of corporate and state 'leaders'. Their role in this Bill has been kept quiet, but if they are the ones tasked with alerting the state to dangers, they must be involved in creating the urgency for this Bill.

The director of the Security Intelligence Service, Rebecca Kitteridge, says that we need this Bill to keep us safe. She said on National Radio on the morning of the 26th November, that we are in danger . The Bill is needed to stop the 'same events such as happened in Australia and Canada recently'. That is the truth; this Bill will increase hysteria and police raids of communities. We will have raids like that in Australia, raids which found plastic swords. This Bill increases criminilisation and the myth of terror.

These laws strengthen the power base of the state. We do live in a dangerous world. An extremely dangerous world.

A link to the Bill can be found here, submissions can also be made on this page.

An article about the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security' Report into the leaking of classified SIS documents (released on the same day as the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bil was introduced into Parliament) can be found here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

SIS Law Changes: 'Remember, remember – terror, terror, terror' & the Group of 10

Is it deliberate or ironic that John Key's 'security threat' talk was on Guy Fawkes Day, the 5th of November?

As children in some parts of the world sing 'Remember remember the fifth of November: gunpowder, treason and plot' and light bonfires and explode fire crackers, John Key's mantra has been 'terror, terror, terror - we are in danger'. 'We' need to be kept safe because 'our' way of life and the values that shape 'our' society are under threat.

We need protection and John Key's government will provide it.

This morning at Victoria University, Wellington, John Key talked about the need for quick law changes to strengthen SIS surveillance powers and curtail people's rights to travel. These are changes that cannot wait until next year's scheduled intelligence review.

The five key changes announced are:
  • the cancellation of passports for up to three years
  • the suspension of passports temporarily for up to 10 working days in urgent cases whilst preparing the paperwork to cancel the passport
  • video surveillance by the SIS (NZ Security Intelligence Service) in 'a private setting or which would involve trespass onto private property' ie. in people's homes and on marae
  • 48 hour surveillance by the SIS without a warrant
  • a cash injection into the SIS so they can increase the number of people working to monitor and investigate 'foreign' terrorist fighters.
The last time SIS powers were expanded was back in July 2011 with the passing of the SIS Amendment Bill. That Bill had been announced in December 2010 despite the Privacy Commissioner's recommendation that there be a review of the security laws. Key said at the time that the legislation had to be changed quickly to keep us safe during the Rugby World Cup.

He also said at the time that we did not need to know what the changes to the legislation would be.

This year John Key hasn't stooped that low, he has specifically announced some of the proposed expansions of power. But just like the last changes – these too, are occurring before a review of our security laws. At the rate at which we are going there will never be a time for a review as there will always be a new threat to 'our' security (next year, maybe it will be ANZAC).

But even though in today's speech Key may have actually articulated supposed changes, there are still unanswered questions: how did they identify the 80 people who Key says are supporting ISIS? (Or are they a subset of the GCSB's 88?) How does one become a suspect and subject to passport cancellations and surveillance? How will people be added to the list of 80?

Is this knowledge coming from the newly created 'Group of Ten'?

Just this morning, the Herald published the results of an Official Information Act request – the creation of a 'group of free thinkers' to help save us. This group, named the 'Strategic Risk and Resilience Panel', will detect unseen threats to our national security and advise the PM of danger before it arrives. Why didn't he mention the Group during today's talk?

The Group, headed by Ian Fletcher, GCSB boss, is a mixture of corporate and state bigwigs ranging from the chair of Fisher and Paykel Appliances to the CEO of the Cricket World Cup. The group will report to ODESC (Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Co-ordination), a group within the DPMC (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet).

John Key says we live in a dangerous world. I agree. We do. We live in a world where we have to constantly fear the steady expansion of state and corporate power at the expense of civil liberties.

We have a lot to fear from Key and Co. 
Remember remember - state terror.

The members of the 'Group of Ten' are:

Ian Fletcher - head of the Government Communications Security Bureau
Sir Peter Gluckman - PM's chief science adviser
Therese Walsh - chief executive of the 2015 Cricket World Cup
Karen Poutasi - chief executive of NZQA
Keith Turner - chairman of Fisher and Paykel
Richard Forgan - consulting partner at PWC
Hugh Cowan - Earthquake Commission executive
Lt Gen Rhys Jones - former Chief of Defence Force
Helen Anderson - director of Dairy NZ, Niwa and Branz
Murray Sherwin - chairman of the Productivity Commission.
SOURCE: NZ Herald, (5.11.2014) Free thinkers target security risks.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Whose Speargun is it?

In a hard to find post in the technology section of the stuff website, it was reported that the GCSB had confirmed on Friday the existence of ‘Project Speargun’, as Glenn Greenwald had claimed on Monday.

The site quotes an unnamed “GCSB spokesman” saying that Speargun was “a core component of the cyber defence project in its earlier iterations”, i.e. that it was the discarded ‘Option 2’ mentioned in the papers released by John Key few days earlier.

This is supposed to confirm what John Key said - that it was an option that never went past a business case, and that he stopped it because it was too intrusive.

What it does confirm is the veracity of Greenwald’s documents. But it doesn’t let Key or the GCSB off the hook, really.

According to the hastily declassified papers, the Cabinet Committee on State Sector Reform and Expenditure Control in April 2012 “directed the GCSB to develop a Detailed Business Case for implementation of Option 2 [Speargun] in 2013”, noting that “the implementation of Option 2 is preferred.” The committee includes of course John Key, therefore it was also his preferred option in 2012.

The NSA document from early 2013 states:
GCSB's cable access programme SPEARGUN phase 1; awaiting new GCSB Act expected July 2013; first meta data probe mid 2013.
This definitely sounds more like a project plan than the development of a business case.

Then in September 2013, cabinet “rescinded the decision [...] on the development of a detailed business case for Option 2”. Note the wording – it does not say that cabinet looked at the business case and decided not to proceed with it, as John Key claims, but that cabinet no longer required the development of the business case. Without the project being detailed, how did Key come to the conclusion that his previously preferred option was suddenly too intrusive?

One would have thought that a year and a half after being asked to develop a business case for a project that was “a core component of the cyber defence project” (according to the anonymous GCSB spokesperson), the GCSB would have done so. It sounds unlikely that the GCSB would not have made it a high priority to get on with it. Are we supposed to believe that the GCSB doesn’t really care about cyber security?

So we have the NSA document pointing to project ‘Speargun’ being well under way, with a first test having been planned for mid 2013, and a (previously top secret) cabinet paper from several months later, telling the GCSB not to bother with writing the business case for it. Could it be that this was because by that time the project had been taken over by the NSA?

What speaks for this theory is that the first paper from 2012 mentions that ‘Option 2’ “requires significant scoping and consultation in order to identify the full range of risks and dependencies for the government”, i.e. it was quite complex and possibly beyond the capabilities of the GCSB.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cortex, 'Operation Speargun' and Surveillance in NZ

This week saw the introduction of another surveillance term to the world: 'Operation Speargun'.

It is another of a growing list of surveillance programmes and tools that have come to light over the last year: Prism, Boundless Informant, XkeyScore, Tempora, Shelltrumpet, Honeytrap, Egoistic Giraffe, Evil Olive, Blarney, Stormview, Thin Thread, Muscular, Moonlightpath, Spinnernet, Trial Blazer, Treasure name a few. Most of the names are as bad as the Five-Eye powerpoint slides revealed by Edward Snowden since leaving his job as a sub-contractor with the NSA.

Glenn Greenwald, the former lawyer turned journalist who has been helping Snowden, came to NZ to release the documents. Within hours of Greenwald's arrival Prime Minister John Key was on the attack, describing Greenwald as 'a loser' and 'Dotcom's little henchman'. Key also played the jingoist nationalist card and several times pointed out that Greenwald was a foreigner and not with New Zealand's interests at heart. He even went so far to say, “We are a good country doing good things. This guy turns up ... he's not a passionate New Zealander.”

John Key has also once agan been repeatedly reassuring us that the GCSB is not involved in mass surveillance in NZ. He is keen for us to believe that the GCSB, in fact all the Five-Eye members, always act legally and never spy on their own citizens – they only spy on 'threats'.

Yet one only has to look at the swathe of material revealed by Snowden to know that the Five-Eyes are a force unto themselves. The five original key agencies that make up the Five-Eyes: the United States NSA, the British GCHQ, the Canadian CSEC, the Australian DSD and the NZ GCSB, have been and are involved in mass surveillance and data collection of people worldwide, including in their own countries.

They are not government run organisations that only focus on 'signals intelligence'. The Five-Eyes are intelligence agencies involved in mass data collection and surveillance. They are also agencies involved in pro-active spying, entrapment schemes and smear tactics.

'The Moment of Truth' – Operation Speargun
On Monday 15th September Greenwald and Snowden revealed Operation Speargun – a Five-Eye programme to be operated in NZ. A surveillance programme that the GCSB was working on, and had laid the foundations for, prior to the changes to the GCSB Act going through last year.

Operation Speargun was a programme to hack into the Southern Cross cable and install covert cable access equipment capable of monitoring all communications to and from NZ. The programme was ready to go, the first phase had occurred. According to NSA documents, it was only waiting for the new GCSB Act for it to be activated. (For some reason the government had decided to follow the law. Possibly the scandal over the illegal surveillance of the 80 plus New Zealanders that came to light in the Kitteridge Report meant the government wanted to play safe.)

But before Greenwald even got to speak about Speargun at the Monday meeting – John Key did his own exposing and revealed Project Cortex. On one hand, Key appeared to be bravely declassifying and releasing previously 'top secret' documents to show that his government is not involved in mass surveillance. On the other hand however, Key's leaks seem to be little more than a side-show to distract the media and public from the spectre of mass surveillance.

Project Cortex and Operation Speargun are different programmes.
Project Cortex is the government's initiative to protect NZ infrastructure from cyber attacks – just like a giant 'Norton Anti-virus'. In hindsight, in August 2013 when John Key described the GCSB as just “providing protection like Norton Antivirus, he had probably been doing some work on the Cortex project.

The documents released by Key show Project Cortex involves the NZ National Cyber Security Centre (which is hosted by the GCSB), the GCSB, various government agencies and a number of key businesses (probably Telcos and ISPs).

The Cortex documents could fool people into believing that John Key is right – the programme is just like a giant Norton Anti-Virus. But it is not.

The aim of Project Cortex is to defeat cyber attacks that cannot be detected by commercially available systems. This means Cortex does not simply monitor what goes in and out of the 'participating organisations' but collects meta-data to predict cyber attacks. In order to do this, large amounts of data first have to be collected in order to analyse it for patterns that allow these predictions. This is where Cortex can be linked to Speargun.

The Cortex business case also states that the GCSB will not undertake any software development itself, or contract it out. Instead Project Cortex will use existing programs and technologies. Yet one cannot read what these technologies are as the sentences following are redacted. It is possible that these redacted sentences contain references to the technologies already developed for use in Operation Speargun.

John Key said when releasing the Project Cortex documents, that it helps prove his case some surveillance options were rejected as going too far. In the documents there are mention of two options but little to support his statement. Nor to the documents mention any widespread surveillance option that was prevented.

Key has not offered any evidence of his purported stopping of a surveillance programme.

'We would know about surveillance' – really?
Others have also denied that a programme like Operation Speargun could happen here.

The CEO of Southern Cross put out a press release stating that it was impossible for spy agencies to tap into the cable without his company noticing. The NZ Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn also said she had "not identified any indiscriminate interception of New Zealanders' data in my work to date."

This raises the question – do these people think that NZ cannot be out-witted or fooled by the NSA and any of the other four agencies in the Five-Eyes? Brazil was out-witted, Indonesia was, Germany was – US citizens and British citizens were, so why would we not be?

Just this week, Spiegel Online published a report about a Five-Eyes spying programme used on German Telcos. The reaction of some of those companies was absolute shock at the level of spying that had taken place. 'Fuck!' was the reaction of one CEO.

Angela Merkel never knew she was been spied on. Nor did the president of Indonesia and his wife. But Key thinks it will be different for NZers. He is certain none of the other Five-Eye agencies are spying on NZers, because “If Barack Obama wanted to know something about New Zealand I suspect he'd just give me a ring.”

'Spied on and surveilled?' - Yes
The media and public can get bogged down in the technical terms and the red-herrings thrown up by politicians – but all one has to do is step back and look at the whole of the evidence that has come to light about surveillance over the last few years.

We need to not only look at what Snowden has revealed since he quit the NSA, but also recall what has happened since the raid on Dotcom in early 2012.

The Kitteridge Report alleged that 88 people were illegally spied upon by the GCSB. The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security said the spying was “arguably legal”and the GCSB Act was changed accordingly.

Meanwhile the Telecommunication Interceptions Capability and Security Act (TICS) was passed. The TICS Act requires the Telcos to cooperate with the GCSB, something the Telcos rejected and numerous submissions were made against the Bill.

Many see the TICS Act as establishing the basis for mass surveillance in this country, it is legislation giving the GCSB power to surveil all NZ digital traffic.

Project Cortex specifically states “there will be no 'mass surveillance', and data will be accessed by GCSB only with the consent of owners of relevant networks or systems.” In tautological reasoning, this is consent that is required by law under the TICS Act.
And more lately a declassified summary of the NZ State Services Commission's report on the NZ Intelligence Community was released. The report said that the NZIC do not have clear priorities, do not work together well and have a naïve faith in wanting to copy the structure of the NSA. The NZ Intelligence Community rely too much on the Five Eyes network.

NZ is part of the Five-Eyes network. The Five-Eyes do undertake mass surveillance. We are part of it.

Is Key still waiting for that phone call from Obama?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sept 2014 Report on Communications Surveillance in New Zealand.

The Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) has recently published a report on communications surveillance in New Zealand.

The report concludes that as a result of the GCSB and TICS laws introduced in 2013, surveillance of communications in this country has increased. The "new laws provide much stronger, direct state-sanctioned surveillance (including the use of metadata) by the GCSB, which it can use in domestic law enforcement."

The report is a concise report of the state of communications surveillance and the changes that have occurred since the raid on Dotcom's home in early 2012. The report summarises the GCSB spying that came to light as a result of that raid, the publication of the Kitteridge Report and the resulting acknowledgement by the Prime Minister that the GCSB had been spying on NZ citizens. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

NZIC Report July 2014 - Report on the NZ Intelligence Community

Late last year the NZ State Services Commission reviewed the New Zealand Intelligence Community and their findings have finally been written up in a 'Top Secret' Report.

It reads like a high school report for a student who is struggling:
There are signs,” says the report, that “the leadership of NZIC has ‘grasped the nettle’ and is starting to prioritise the changes needed and to implement change.” But, the report says, urgency is needed as “...there is a huge amount of change to be undertaken. The changes will be progressive but already associated parties are indicating signs of obvious improvement, and this is welcomed.

The public version of the report quite clearly states that the NZIC do not have clear priorities, do not work together well and have a naïve faith in wanting to copy the structure of the NSA and that they rely too much on the Five Eyes network. It seems they are basically working as an external department for the NSA.

The review covers all aspects of the intelligence community, that is – the GCSB, the SIS and both the NAB and ICG of the DPMC. (Or to try and put it more simply, the report looks at the Government Communications Security Bureau, the Security Intelligence Service and two agencies that operate out of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: the National Assessments Bureau and the Intelligence Coordination Group.)

The full report has been presented to the Head of the State Services Commission – it is not meant for public viewing, but the 19 page review gives a sampling of what the report contains.

Foremost in the Report are 10 key objectives for the agencies to achieve over a 'Four Year Plan'. These objectives include the need to:
  1. clarfiy their role
  2. ensure they work together effectively
  3. only gather intelligence that is needed; as stated so succinctly in the report “All information, including intelligence, is useful only if it is used.”
  4. upgrade their financial and managerial control systems (the current systems have not been maintained to the levels expected of modern government agencies.)
  5. ensure they comply with the law
  6. operate within budget
  7. work on their public image

The report admits that the four year plan will be difficult for the Intelligence Community and will require “strong governance, ruthless prioritisation and experienced change managers”.

John Key has already taken steps towards achieving the objectives. Just days after the report became public he finally announced the appointment of the first-ever deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. Paul Neazor would be happy if he were still in that role.

And an analysis can be found here:

Information about Paul Neazor and his wishes can be read (and listened to) here

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Drone Die-In at NZ National Party Conference

Demanding the dismantling of the GCSB and the exiting of NZ from the 'Five Eyes Club', people opposing New Zealand´s involvement in the so-called "drone wars" staged a die-in outside the annual National Party Conference in Wellington during John Key´s closing speech Sunday, 29 June.

Motivated by the Prime Minister´s recent comments that he is "quite comfortable" to provide GCSB assistance to the US to murder "bad people" and his absurd comment that he thought it was legitimate to "prosecute" New Zealand citizens and others with Hellfire missiles, the "dirty wars" was taken to the doors of the National Party.
At the conference, a symbolic drone struck down those who were "targeted" as well as bystanders. 
"Just like real drones, this one produces plenty of collateral damage," said Valerie Morse, member of OASIS. "When John Key says he is comfortable with drone strikes, he is really saying he is comfortable with extra-judicial assassinations, because that is what they are."
"New Zealand is complicit in the US´s dirty wars around the globe. Through our involvement in the Five Eyes, information gathered by the GCSB is shared with the NSA."

"The US is waging an undeclared war in countries like Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and probably soon Iraq."

"The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has been given a free reign to kill any target that it believes to be a possible threat to US security, without any accountability or control."

"Since Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has taken office, more than 2600 people have been killed in more than 400 drone strikes. Is that really something anyone can be comfortable with?"

"New Zealand must leave the Five Eyes club and the GCSB must be dismantled." 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Never Ending Drone Wars and NZ

The fatal spying warrant

On May 19, 2014, prime minister John Key formally acknowledged that the GCSB has been, and presumably still is, providing information to the US which is used in the so-called drone wars. He said “it is almost certain” that the GSCB’s information was used “in identifying targets” for drone attacks in Afghanistan and possibly in other countries.
However, he was “quite comfortable” with it and said that everything the GCSB did was within the law.

What sounds like another one of Key’s blanket assurances about the lawfulness of a government agency without knowing anything about it, is in fact a serious admission of involvement by the NZ government in a US government assassination programme.
The issue came to the fore because of revelations that a NZ citizen, Abu Suhaib al-Australi, was killed in Yemen in a drone strike in November 2013, and that Key had issued a warrant to the GCSB to spy on him. Although US officials say that al-Australi wasn’t the main target but rather “collateral damage” (along with 4 other people), it’s likely that the GCSB’s information was used in this killing.

All that was needed to convince the prime minister to issue the fatal warrant to the GCSB to spy on al-Australi was that “he had gone [to Yemen] and gone to a terrorist training camp” and was “reported to be an al-Qaida foot soldier” (TV3, 16 April 2014). Other people say, he was teaching English in Yemen.

Normally, the killing of a NZ citizen by another government without any form of trial would be the cause of moderate to serious diplomatic rows, but in this case it is simply accepted. NZ is so far involved in the “Five Eyes” (the spying agreement between the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and NZ) that the government blindly accepts the US’s jurisdiction over NZ citizens in a foreign country. 

The war on terror out of control

US journalist Jeremy Scahill explains in his documentary “Dirty Wars” how the US government’s “war on terror” has developed its own deadly dynamics, leading to the establishment of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that has been given a free reign to kill any target that it believes to be a possible threat to US security. According to Scahill’s sources, JSOC wages its own war in some 80 countries without being accountable to anyone.

A particular tool of JSOC is the use of drones. While in the past, US military forces have raided many homes and killed many people, these raids were carried out by foot soldiers who at least had to face their victims before they pulled the trigger. The use of drones has removed this minimal threshold, making the killings even more abstract. Now Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) aka drones are operated from a remote location via video link, without any personal risk to the operator. The threshold to pull the trigger is minimal when the targets are hazy images on a computer screen and the trigger feels just like that of a play-station.

A few years ago, this would not have been possible. But at the same time that the technical quality of computer games has reached a level where the images seem totally realistic, the real war has been abstracted to the level of a computer game. There is simply no distinctive difference between playing a computer game and killing people in Afghanistan, Somalia or Yemen. A drone operator can kill dozens of people in different locations during one shift – something that no foot soldier could ever achieve. Increasingly, the US military hires people specifically to be drone operators, without them ever undergoing the regular military training that supposedly includes learning how to distinguish between combatants and civilians.

In October 2013, former US drone operator Brandon Bryant went public about what it felt like being a “sensor operator.” His accounts debunk the myth of the “precise, lawful, and effective” (a US Defence official) strikes. He told the story of watching a child running into the target area and being hit by a missile. After his first ever killing, he watched an injured man bleed to death. When Bryant quit his job, he was given a certificate praising him for killing 1626 people in his 4 years of service.

Since Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has taken office, more than 2600 people have been killed in more than 400 drone strikes. 

NZ implications

Irrespective of the lack of any evidence that Abu Suhaib al-Australi had done anything that might be considered a “terrorist act”, the assassination of someone without trial should be reason for outrage by the NZ government and the NZ people. NZ does not have the death penalty and normally NZ politicians are very eager to point to the “rule of law” and “due process” in this country and how superior this system is over so-called backward Muslim countries.

Why is it then, that the NZ prime minister finds it OK for a US agency to kill a NZ citizen in a sovereign other country? Why is it that the political mainstream does not raise the issue of NZ’s sovereignty?

The war that never ends

But even the US administration must somehow sense that the assassinations have the opposite effect of what they are officially set out to achieve. In September 2011, the US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was suspected of being an Islamic militant, was killed in a drone strike in Yemen. Two weeks later his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman was also murdered. Abdulrahman was not even suspected of anything, he had only become a target after his father had been killed. The murder of the father had turned the son into a potential threat that had to be eliminated. A US army whistleblower can be heard in “Dirty Wars” recounting how the list of targets in Afghanistan grew in size after each killing.

This is the paranoid logic of the “war on terror.” A war that has no target or end point must continue forever. And through the Five Eyes, NZ is part of it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dirty Wars: film screening & discussion


Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America's expanding covert wars.

Join OASIS and Peace Action Wellington for this compelling movie and discussion night at 19 Tory Street, Wellington, on Saturday 14 June at 6pm, and find out more about New Zealand's role in the 'Dirty Wars.'

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Key admits role in illegal drone wars

Media Release: Key admits role in illegal drone wars
From: OASIS - Organising Against State Intelligence & Surveillance
Date: 20 May 2014

"John Key must be held responsible for New Zealand´s involvement in the US´s illegal secret drone war that is murdering thousands of people," says OASIS member Valerie Morse. "His proud admission that the GCSB has been providing information used by the US in drone wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere shows what a sycophant he is."

John Key today admitted that the GCSB is supporting the US state sanctioned assassination programme. He said that the GCSB provided information to the United States that was used to conduct drone strikes in Afghanistan and possibly elsewhere. 

"Under the continued guise of `fighting terrorism´ or `bringing stability´, the US has simply replaced the heavy tanks with which it invaded Iraq and Afghanistan with drones that strike in any country where it suspects `enemies´," said Ms Morse. "New Zealand and the Five Eyes signals intelligence partners are complicit in this assassination programme."

"The US drone war has no legal basis under international law. The UN´s Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, has said that the use of drones is not combat as much as `targeted killing´. He has repeatedly tried to get the US to explain how it justifies the use of drones to target and kill individuals under international law.  The 2011 murder of US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and his son in Yemen caused serious debate in the US, and the murder of Daryl Jones should do the very same here."

"John Key obviously thinks the US government has the right to decide who - including NZ citizens - is allowed to live and who has to die."

"On June 14, we are calling for NZ actions as part of the international day against the drone wars and against the surveillance state. If the National or Labour parties imagine that being part of the US´s `Dirty Wars´ is perfectly OK, they clearly need a little education. Thousands of New Zealanders took the streets last year to protest the extension of GCSB powers of surveillance. People are totally opposed to the involvement of the GCSB with the NSA and their mass surveillance programmes."


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Crypto Party

A Crypto Party in Wellington:
When: Saturday 26th April 2014, 7pm, 
Where: Enspiral Space, Level 2, 18-24 Allen Street, Te Aro

A Crypto (encryption) Party is an opportunity for people to learn how to keep their online lives private and free from surveillance. It should be a fun-filled evening talking about and practicing email encryption as well as learning programs such as Tor and TrueCrypt.

A CryptoParty is free, public and fun. People bring their computers (but not essential), mobile devices, and a willingness to learn! There will be special trainers on hand to show people how to install and use the software.

CryptoParty is a decentralized, global initiative to introduce the most basic cryptography software and the fundamental concepts of their operation to the general public.