Tuesday, June 28, 2016

National wants domestic GCSB spying

The Law Commission has just announced the statutory review of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. But in addition to the expected material on whether the Act has worked and whether it needs to be fixed, the terms of reference also include this:

As suggested in the report of the First Independent Review of Intelligence and Security, the review will also consider whether the Act (or any related legislation) should be amended to enable broader use of the capabilities of the Government Communications Security Bureau and/or New Zealand Security Intelligence Service to support police investigations.

Those "capabilities" of course include mass surveillance, spying on private communications, and covert burglaries and bugging with no judicial oversight whatsoever. The capacity for abuse is obvious.

There will be public submissions on this, and we need to speak up about it. The question is whether it will do any good, or whether National's stooges on the commission have already been told what their conclusions will be.