John Key's Secret SIS legislation doesn't protect our democracy
Spies seek new powers for World Cup
Prime Minister John Key wants the bill passed into law by the start of the Rugby World Cup next year. Photo / Natalie Slade
A proposed law change would allow security agents to spy on foreign communications with impunity, including messages to world leaders who will visit New Zealand for next year's Rugby World Cup. The Security Intelligence Service Bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament tomorrow amid strong opposition to how it is being processed.
The Privacy Commissioner recommended that the new SIS powers John Key wants heard in secret take 3 years, National will ram it through before the rugby world cup, what's more dangerous? Osama Bin Laden or drunk rugby fans?
Why do we need these powers? On 9/11, 2001, the UN reports 36 615 children died from poverty, yet we don't seem to be rushing through laws to protect the most vulnerable in society now do we? Funny what motivates us to rush through secret powers don't it?
This combined with the vast erosion of our civil liberties by the proposed search and surveillance police powers which will be expanded to 70 other state departments, represents the largest attack on our rights we've ever seen in NZ. The fact it will be heard in secret and rammed through in less than a year when advised to take 3 years doesn't serve our democracy in any way shape or form, it serves the interests of those hiding it. As Armstrong points out...
If the reasons are so good, tell us what they are
Banning the public and the media from hearings on a new law increasing the powers and reach of the Security Intelligence Service is a giant leap backwards.
And not just to the Cold War era. It falls not far short of a return to the Dark Ages of parliamentary scrutiny - or rather the lack of it.
As the minister in charge of the SIS, the Prime Minister may have very good reasons for not allowing submissions on the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill to be heard in public by Parliament's intelligence and security committee.
It would be useful if he shared them with the rest of the country.
...I don't care how much John Key smiles and waves, increasing state powers in secret is is not acceptable in a democracy. It's as simple as that.