Sunday, July 28, 2013

GCSB, Dotcom, NSA and Snowden

I apologise for the over use of abbreviations in this post.

I've been really quiet on this front. The truth is, I haven't really wanted to investigate it. It's easy to go off on these weird tangents based on third hand information which just further muddy the information out there. So... I haven't really gone looking.

And then yesterday, I went to the GCSB protest and heard some things that have me really concerned. Last year in December I did a post on worrying trends. The idea that our laws appear to be being written, not with the New Zealander in mind, but rather, with commercial concerns in mind.

For example, the few leaked documents from the TPPA show that the agreement will allow companies to challenge law changes. You read that right. It seems that the government is in a great big "let's protect business" lovefest. Forget the New Zealander. The country's economic standing might be in jeopardy!

Am I sounding paranoid yet? How about this. It turns out that the proposed GCSB bill (the one that we were/are protesting about) will be to "Protect New Zealand's national security or economic well being".

What's wrong with that you ask? And if you don't know, you may well ask. Here it is. The big problem. The GCSB may spy on you, and by association your family members and friends, because you "threaten" New Zealand's economic well being.

For example, you run an anti-obesity campaign. But you don't just run the campaign, but you use MacDonald's as an example of convenient food that isn't at all good for people.

What if this argument got traction? MacDonalds' sales go down (though to be fair, it wouldn't be that much of a problem for them. They don't make money from burgers. They make money from real estate) thus they start to pull out of New Zealand (yeah right!). The NZ Government is no longer collecting taxes from MacDonalds and the jobs they created have gone. You have not only been a threat to New Zealand's economic well being. You have affected it. Do you only need to say something about reducing obesity to be a threat?

If that's not the intent now, how about the wording of the bill? Will it open up this sort of bollocks in the future?

The GCSB shares information with Australia, Canada, America and the UK. So a tap on your phone/cellphone/email etc. could also end up in several intelligence agencies.

So then we're at the Kim Dotcom bit of the piece. This has already happened. Kim Dotcom was in no way a threat to national security. Love him or loathe him, the fact is, the GCSB had no legal cause for spying on him which kicked off actions such as raid upon his home as if he were little more than a drug lord.

This information was shared with America at the very least.

While all of this is going on, Edward Snowden is blowing the whistle on the NSA. While Americans everywhere are outraged that they too might be getting spied on, the rest of the world is asking "What the fornication?!?". Is nothing private?

But while the powers that be in America see him as a traitor, to the everyday man he is someone to be celebrated. He spoke out against something he saw as wrong. There's a major disconnect here. The powers that be are no longer representing the everyday man.

We're now in this really scary time. While I starred off absently while two lefties played "more lefty than thou" today, the issues are there and they're quite big. It was said several times at the protest yesterday but "this isn't a [political] party issue!". Which is why I was a little disappointed to see so many party flags up. And if the flags were flying, I would have loved to have seen a few National flags in the mix. Getting different sectors of people involved would have indicated that this is a huge issue for New Zealanders.

As it is, I found myself annoyed by the multitudes of spectators on Queen St who weren't joining the march. I don't think people quite get just how important this is. While there's loads of hyperbole out there, we need to look at the facts.

My biggest fear is that the government does back off - but only so far as to be able to say that they've backed off. i.e. this bill, under any other name, is still this bill. Oversight is not enough (as John Key essentially assigns all of roles involved - and any other future prime minister will also have this power. That's not oversight). Remember the Internet Blackout in response to "Section 92A"? The clause that caused so many issues is still there but is not enacted i.e. people will not be disconnected... until a government decides to enact it. This was a "compromise" i.e. to be enacted at some later date.

Basically, the bill needs to go.

1 comment:

  1. It now seems to me, after having watched "The Moment of Truth" that S92A is most likely a result of an agreement with the US. There was/is very little incentive to implement such laws for NZ.