Monday, September 26, 2016

Oppose the Intelligence & Security Bill

Submissions are being called on for the new Intelligence and Security Bill – but we say it is time to draw a line in the sand. The unrelenting expansion of the NZ Intelligence Community must be stopped.

A brief over-view of the last few years shows how relentless the changes have been:
Since 2007 the NZ SIS Act has been amended a half a dozen times. In 2011 the Video Surveillance Bill became law; a year later the Search and Surveillance Bill was passed. This was followed in 2013 by two changes: the TICS Bill (the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security) and the GCSB and Related Legislation Amendment Bill, a Bill passed by two votes. At the end of 2014 the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill became law.

There has also been a seemingly never-ending series of reports, reviews and a concerted PR blitz:
In 2009 there was the Murdoch Report of the SIS, GCSB and EAB. In 2011 Pipitea House was opened enabling most of the NZ intelligence community to operate under one roof and thus uniting the intelligence culture. In 2012 Paul Neazor reported on GCSB spying in relation to the Dotcom saga, this was followed in March 2013 with the Kitteridge Report on the GCSB and then in 2014 the State Sector Review of the intelligence community was released. In 2015 the Cullen and Reddy Intelligence Review began and there was a lot of talk of ‘Jihadi Brides’.

Now, in 2016, we have the Security Intelligence Bill, and also the review of the Search and Surveillance Act. As soon as people finish submissions on the Security Intelligence Bill, the next round will begin on the Search and Surveillance Act.

We say it is time to say stop the spying. We do not need an expansion of the intelligence communities’ powers. As the UN Rapporteur in May 2016 said, the NZ government had ‘no case for more surveillance’.

But the reality is that this Bill will become law.

In 2013 many of us wrote submissions and thousands of us took to the streets to oppose the GCSB Bill, and we lost. That law was passed with a two-person majority. We know that, with only be a few token changes to the Security Intelligence Bill, this new law will be passed, too. 

The reality is that unless the opposition parties vote against it, the Bill will be passed. Submissions may result in a few changes in the Bill but the key aims of the Bill will be passed: the Bill will bring the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) and Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) under one unifying law and remove all restrictions against the GCSB spying on New Zealanders.

You may choose to write a submission on the Bill, but also call upon the parties in opposition to oppose the Bill. Currently, both the Labour Party and Māori Party support it.
Contact them and tell them not to support the Bill – rather than engaging in debate with the government about the 107 recommendations of the review, what is needed is debate on surveillance and its role in society.

Contact both Labour and Māori members of parliament and their electorate offices now:

Maori Party emails:

Labour Party emails:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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