Sunday, February 08, 2009

A threat to democracy II

Can the SIS get any worse? First we learn about their decades-long surveillance of a peaceful activist group, now it turns out they were spying on Green MP Keith Locke, not just when he was an activist, but after he had been elected to parliament. They spied on his travel, they spied on his meetings with his constituents, and they monitored his activities in the House. Particularly, it seems, when they might affect the SIS:

The file includes clippings about his activities as an MP, including the official Hansard report of his speech in parliament proposing a bill to increase oversight of the SIS.
Because obviously, anyone who wants to stop the spies from undermining our democracy is clearly a threat to "national security".

Again, this is clear evidence that the SIS has gone too far. Rather than defending our democracy as they proclaim, they are in fact the greatest domestic threat to it. It's time we ended that threat, either by disbanding the whole organisation, or paring it back to a rump sufficient to its task (which in peaceful NZ, is probably about ten people). There is simply no place in a democracy for an organisation like the SIS, which spies on people solely on the basis of their political views.