Thursday, May 14, 2015

Intelligence review - a rubberstamp

Headed by Michael Cullen and Patsy Reddy the mandatory review of all security agencies and security legislation was finally announced on Wednesday 13 May.

The review will be a rubberstamp for the government's mass surveillance, the Five-Eyes and the US's endless 'war on terrorism.'

Through recent revelations by Edward Snowden and Nicky Hager it has now been proven that the GCSB is without doubt part of the US's National Security Agency apparatus and New Zealand is an active member of the Five-Eyes. The first few months of 2015 have seen more information coming to light about this country and its role in the Five-Eyes (also known as UKUSA) and the use of the GCSB by the government to ensure political power and control is maintained by them.
Snowden has released documents showing that:
  • the GCSB spies on Pacific countries and everyone residing, passing through or holidaying in that area (leaked 8 March), 
  • the GCSB spies on Vietnam, China, India, Pakistan, South American nations and a range of other countries (leaked 11 March),
  • the GCSB spied on Tim Groser's rivals for the position of director-general of the WTO. The GCSB operation involved covert surveillance of candidates from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Jordan, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and South Korea.
  • the GCSB spies on Bangladesh and shares that data with the Bangladeshi government (leaked 16 April), 
  • the GCSB had plans to hack a data link between the Auckland Chinese consulate and the Chinese Visa Office, five minutes down the street (leaked 17 April), and there will be more to come.

John Key has admitted that it is likely that information gathered and supplied by the GCSB to the NSA has played a role in enabling the US military to carry out drone strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians, including children.

The SIS also has a disturbing history. Release of archives in the first decade of this century showed that the SIS spies on political dissidents, children and vulnerable refugee communities. Last year, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security investigated and upheld allegations that Key's office had used information from the Security Intelligence Service spy agency to gain a political advantage in the 2011 general election.

Both the SIS and the GCSB are a dangerous threat to the security of ordinary people. We don't need a review to tell us what we already know. OASIS calls for the disestablishment of both.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Public Meeting: Digital power & Social control

The State and corporations have ever increasing data about us, while we know less and less about what they are doing.

Come and join the discussion about collection of personal data, how we can resist this shifting form of social control and understand what’s going on.

Tuesday, 12 May, 6pm 
St John's Church Hall  
(corner of Dixon and Willis Streets, Te Aro, Wellington)

  • Thomas Beagle, Tech Liberty
  • Sandra Grey, Senior Lecturer, VUW
  • OASIS on What we know about Five Eyes
and the launch of the What If? Campaign
What If? is a new grassroots education and action campaign working to stop data collection and sharing by the NZ State and private corporations for the purposes of social control and exploitation, and working for community control of information resources for the benefit of all.