Friday, August 10, 2012

Why is the GCSB working for the copyright mafia?

The Kim Dotcom case continues to give us unsettling revelations: not only that our police are cowboy gunbunnies, but that they had the assistance of an unnamed government agency in planning the raid:

The involvement of a secret Government organisation before the raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion emerged during cross-examination of a police witness in the High Court at Auckland yesterday.

The witness, Detective Inspector Grant Wormald, refused to name the organisation when questioned about a meeting police attended before the raid.

Dotcom's lawyer, Paul Davison, QC, asked him if an unidentified group of people at the meeting were from the Security Intelligence Service.

Mr Wormald replied that they were not. But asked where they were from, he declined to say, "because of the nature of the organisation".

"They work for the Government."

There's really only one candidate for this: the Government Communications Security Bureau. And it raises the question of why the hell they were involved at all. Yes, the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 allows them to perform their functions (e.g. intercepting foreign communications, cracking codes) "in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime" - but you'd expect that to mean things such as murder, not mere copyright infringement. In fact, it seems that the protection of the GCSB Act is overstated, as "serious crime" means "anything in the Crimes Act". So the GCSB can assist in preventing or detecting such "serious" crimes as bigamy, blasphemous libel, being disguised, or just plain, ordinary burglary. Which seems just a little bit like overkill.

Spies should not be involved in criminal law enforcement in any way whatsoever. Like the military, their mindset is simply wrong for it. Its time we amended the law to ensure that powers are separate, and police and spies do not try and do each other's jobs.