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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why give the State more powers to spy on us?

Surveillance bill clears another hurdle
A bill that gives the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) stronger surveillance powers has been reported back to Parliament with only minor amendments.

The bill was introduced in December last year and earlier this year the Intelligence and Security Committee heard submissions on it in secret, against the wishes of the Labour Party and the Greens.

The Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill gives the SIS explicit authority to use modern technology for surveillance, such as electronic tracking devices.

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? Terrorists 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.

Why should the SIS who are so incompetent that they couldn't even do a basic CV check on a fantasist they gave a top security level clearance to in the NZ military be given expanded powers that will be granted to them in secret?

* That the SIS did not check with its counterpart overseas agencies to see what they knew about Mr Wilce. This was contrary to standard practice in cases where the application for a securing clearance had worked overseas;

* That the SIS did not follow up on Mr Wilce's failure to disclose convictions once a police check revealed that he had convictions; and

* That the SIS did not record or follow up on information received on Mr Wilce after the announcement of his appointment.

The last time we just allowed the SIS to make up the rules to suit themselves, they spied on Sue Bradford and Keith Locke when they were children and spied on the sex lives of Green Party members.

Let's not forget the utter abortion the last great supposed terror threat managed to achieve...

Urewera trial taking too long, Goff says
Delays to the Urewera trial is denying defendants their access to justice, Labour leader Phil Goff says. Last week it was reported that the trial of 15 people, arrested after police raids in 2007 at alleged training camps in the Urewera Ranges, appeared unlikely to go ahead as scheduled on May 30 and could be delayed until next year.

...as Matt McCarten so precisely notes...

Urewera trial delay to hide egg on faces
Remember those domestic terrorists who were discovered right under our noses in the Ureweras nearly four years ago?

Well, the court case against them, which was to start on the 30th of this month, is falling apart. On Thursday the courts announced the case had been delayed another year.

Insiders tell me the priority for the anti-terrorism unit and the police hierarchy is to continue to drag the whole matter out as long as they can.

There is a strong possibility that if the Supreme Court suppresses or dismisses some of the police evidence (which is likely) the prosecutors can then claim on that basis they can't proceed with the case.

That will give them an excuse to apply to have everything permanently suppressed. That way they get all the senior players who started this nonsense off the hook.

But we shouldn't forget what they did. Former prime minister Helen Clark, the police commissioner Howard Broad and the entire anti-terrorism unit hyped themselves into believing a secret cell was about to launch a terror campaign against the citizens of this country.

They signed off sending 300 police dressed up in SWAT uniforms to raid houses and detain innocent citizens, search school buses and cordon off a whole town.

The "terrorists" were held mostly in solitary confinement for a month.

As I've argued previously, the local cops should have been asked to pop up and see the so-called terrorist leader, Tame Iti, take his guns off him and serve him a summons to appear in court.

Then they should have sent uniformed cops to visit all the suspects at home and give them formal warnings for running around the bush with weapons.

...Tama Iti and his merry militia are no more terrorists than I am, and Matt is right, this should have been a local policing issue, not the farce they made it into. As an activist, you never pick up a gun, ever. But the over reaction by the Police will merely be repeated over and over again if the State is allowed to increase their powers with the barest of oversights.

Let us also remind ourselves these powers are not just limited to the SIS, the Government are also pushing for vast expansions of surveillance powers for ALL 70 State Departments.

We are being conned into believing these powers are aimed at 'da gangs', really - da gangs huh? Vast erosion of civil liberties doesn't impact on you because it's da gangs da gangs, dem gangs, da gangs, da gangs, dem gangs, da gangs da gangs, dem gangs and it doesn't impact on me.

Do you know what the police definition of a gang for these powers is?

You think dear asleep NZer that da gang is the Headhunters or the Mongrel Mob or Black Power don't you.

Do you know what the police definition of a gang is for these powers?

3 people who know each other. THAT IS THE DEFINITION THAT TRIGGERS THESE POWERS, 3 fucking people who know each other.

NZ - you are being conned into handing over YOUR rights with zero debate just the way you were conned into the manufactured crises at the Hobbit which resulted in Warners laughing al the way back to the Hollywood bank..

This is not a political issue, it doesn't matter of you are right wing, left wing, in the middle, white, brown, yellow, green, male, female, gay, straight, trans, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jedi - WE SHOULD NEVER GIVE THE STATE THE POWER TO LEGALLY SPY ON US!

3 day 'fishing' trips for the police who can spy on you with no warrant whatsoever

No right to silence

Domestic spying by 3rd parties

The media losing their right to protect sources.

While our civil liberties are under the most disturbing attack in modern history, National are trying to 'streamline justice' with Simon Powers cheap pet-food grade abattoir conveyor belt of mercy. While announcing he wants a 'rethink' of the Bill of Rights (cue Emperor's march from the Empire Strikes Back), Simon wants this black hole of Justice to suck anyone caught in it to save some measly dollars.

Look NZ, you hopped up and down and screamed over power saving lightbulbs and water saving showerheads and the repeal of section 59 that didn't do any of the ridiculous things you thought it would and you screamed for unionist heads over the manufactured crises at the Hobbit, all pointless protests over shit that never mattered, yet here the Government are about to pass the largest erosion of civil liberties ever passed in NZ and nothing from the country?

Who knew how far smile and wave political capital could pacify sleep hobbits?



At 18/5/11 7:11 am, Blogger Angela said...

I dont care, it wont effect me, Im just a normal family paying my taxes and following the rules. Sure, if the local cop all of a sudden takes a fancy to my wife I have total faith he will NEVER misuse his powers against me. All hail these new powers!

I love how pwoplw forget the people who get these powers are still people like you and I and just like the whole 'lets check if their paying power bills on time' to get a loan, this info NEVER stays private! your having a laugh if you think it does!

At 18/5/11 12:24 pm, Blogger garden said...

Do you really want the truth? NOBODY'S worried! (except you).If you are planning an attack on Parliament or organising a drug shipment then yes, it's unfair to you.
We are New Zealanders! Do you truly think we will be ushering in an era of a facist regime that will abduct you in your sleep and make you disappear?
Give me a break. You're starting to sound supiciously like a paranoid American


At 18/5/11 4:33 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Angela - all systems need a check and balance, by shrugging your shoulders and saying you don't care, you are in fact simply stating your ignorance. Ignorance isn't an opinion.

Garden, that's just no true. As a member of the auckland council of civil liberties, all of us are concerned by this erosion of civil liberties. Many people are concerned with these extensions of power (check out the numbers of people concerned on the various facebook groups), you think its aimed at gangs, yet as I point out the definition of a gang is simply 3 people. We are NZers and as such should not be forced to have our homes broken into and spied on minus any warrent for 3 days.

Tell me garden, why does the Pork Board need the power to spy on you?

At 18/5/11 7:19 pm, Blogger jane said...

This is the Orwellian Thought Police come to your home town and because they're trying to pass a law to allow them to do it, means they already do.

At 18/5/11 7:28 pm, Blogger jane said...

3 people that know each other? huh that's everybody on facebook for starters....

At 18/5/11 8:11 pm, Blogger Mike said...

The 'Identity Information Confirmation' Bill has just come back approved from select committee also with little in the way of meaningful amendments. It essentially gives private corporations access to government databases which hold information on individuals.

Our rights to privacy (as well as many others) are being eroded piece by piece and it's not even happening slowly anymore. It seems that no matter how many submissions are made to select committees they completely ignore the ones that go against the bills in question.

At 18/5/11 8:29 pm, Blogger Angela said...

Bomber do you even read the fucking posts put on here or just the first sentences?

At 18/5/11 9:44 pm, Blogger Barnsley Bill said...

I can't remember the last time you wrote a post that I agreed with.
I despair at the intellectual poverty in this country. Fucking lemmings walking to a police state.

At 18/5/11 11:00 pm, Blogger Antifa Wellington: said...

Aye? Back in 2007, when the raids went down and you were slamming everybody arrested while Matt McCarten was doing a lot of support work. And now, three years later Matt's comments get approval from you? Lame dude (can only speculate as to why you want to cozy up with everybody who is now - three years on - in Hone's new party who stood strong with everybody raided... political career on the horizon for you?)

Also "As an activist, you never pick up a gun, ever." - ever thought that one through? Like for more than a hyper-pseudo moralistic 10 seconds? As in - you were a left-wing activist in Spain in the 1930s... So 'Bomber' sits in the middle of Barcelona and tells his fellow workers 'No no, don't pick up guns and fight against the fascists. I know they are coming with tanks and planes they are borrowing from the German Nazis - but I am ideologically opposed to use guns. Let's all die here and make sure our kids will be ruled by fascists for the next century or so. Or hey, maybe we all start a blog, or a newspaper, and it will all go away!' Dude.

At 18/5/11 11:22 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Anitfa I have made my position on this clear several times on several blogs, you are VERY late to this debate, perhaps you need to do some reading first before blowing off hot air over something you know very little about? Perhaps? And as for Mana, I predicted this would happen in November of last year on Backbenchers. Again, VERY slow to the debate Antifa. Very slow.

At 19/5/11 5:33 pm, Blogger Antifa Wellington: said...

Pretty lame response Bomber. Rather than either stopping or defending your moralistic 'never touch a gun' approach, you tell me to read through hundreds of your blog posts to find out where you 'actually' stand. I thought you had made yourself pretty clear in this post - ie. 'never pick up a gun.'

If you want your readers to understand your position(s), then either what you are writing needs to be true and you stand by it or needs to be changed when challenged.

Spain 1936 anyone?

As for Mana: you claim that people are spot on now in their analysis who stood solid over this issue while you seem to change your position as it suits you.

At 19/5/11 11:57 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Pretty lame response Bomber. Rather than either stopping or defending your moralistic 'never touch a gun' approach, you tell me to read through hundreds of your blog posts to find out where you 'actually' stand. I thought you had made yourself pretty clear in this post - ie. 'never pick up a gun.'

You come on my blog and talk trash to my face and then accuse me of being lame on this issue that is 3 years old which you seem to know only from what the mainstream media printed, and when I challenge you on your utter lack of knowledge of what I actually said, you claim I am being 'lame'.

I wrote about the media ban in September 2008

This will be a fascinating case, the TSA was a piece of legislation that should never have been passed and was roundly criticized by the Greens and the Maori Party when it went through as a fools piece of legislation that the Police used as a fishing expedition to record evidence that couldn’t be used which was then released to the public via the Dominion Post. I said that when the evidence that was recorded via surveillance as opposed to bugging was released in this firearms case, those photos of activists running around with semi-automatic rifles would go down like a sack of shit with middle NZ. Tama Iti and his merry militia are not terrorists and never were terrorists and I didn’t agree with the Police tactics in land as steeped in grievance as Tuhoe, but I also refuse to go along with activists ever picking up guns.

Guns don’t just kill people, they kill righteous ideas as well.

I wrote this on October 31st 2008 when the accused faced new charges...

So what criminal gang were they participating in or are the Police creating a criminal gang out of them? In the latest Police News there is a discussion over the new powers the Police want to ban gangs where they get to choose who is a gang member and who isn’t after they have had the gang banned by the Attorney-General, is that what we are seeing here, the Police are creating gangs out of people so that they can use ‘participating in gangs’ laws – and if they can charge as easily as this for participating in a criminal gang, why do they need these extra powers they are pushing for?

Seeing as the Police failed horribly under the TSA one gets the feeling that this is a grudge match now, while I certainly believe there should have been an investigation into activists running around and playing with guns, the manner of that investigation in land as steeped in righteous grievance as Tuhoe and the powers that were used to gather that evidence went well beyond the threat.

and here is my criticism later in November 2008 when the Police proposed new charges

What are the police trying to pull here, the electronic evidence was all written off as not being usable because they didn’t get over the threshold necessary under the TSA, which was a farce piece of legislation in the first place – what is this ‘participating in an organized criminal group’ crap, are Police trying to test out new powers of being a member of an organized criminal group because the Police themselves are determining it? Is this another fishing trip for them desperately trying to find something, anything that defends the millions they spent on this investigation?

My position on not picking up guns is a principle, I am an activist and I don't pick up guns. Guns are violent and not part of any modern political struggle identifiable in NZ - I'm with Nelson Mandela, the oppressor states the nature of the struggle and in NZ, that 'oppressor' uses proportional elections once every 3 years - hardly a rallying cry to take up arms is it?

are you seriously attempting to compare 1936 Spain with 2008 NZ? Really? Aren't you embarrassing yourself?

We win this war against the wealthy and the elites by having better ideas, we don't win with guns.

As for Mana, my position was always that of Matt's. You are simply 3 years late coming to the debate.

At 22/5/11 11:59 pm, Blogger Antifa Wellington: said...

Chill out dude.

I challenged you on your moralistic statements on firearms. I made no comparisons at all between Spain 1936 and NZ in 2007. While you have clarified that you are opposed to using guns as part of a political struggle in 'any modern political struggle identifiable in NZ', you still state your moralistic position before that (and therefore ignore my comment around Spain). Hence one would have to conclude that you would have been one of the most useless activists in Spain in the 30s for not supporting a popular uprising of the people.

At no point did I claim that taking up arms today is useful or desirable. So stop attacking me for pointing out flaws in your argument.

At 23/5/11 6:26 am, Blogger Bomber said...

That's all you have Antifa? Claiming that I have flaws in my argument because YOU used Spain as an example? You brought up Spain, I didn't and you clearly had no idea what I had said or what I was saying regarding the terror trials in NZ- YOU were the one who challenged me and used stupid examples to do it and then whine when I attack your bullshit.

How totally Wellington of you.


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