Monday, April 15, 2013

Labour: Soft on protecting our rights

Last week we learned that the GCSB had been unlawfully spying on New Zealanders, and that they may even have passed the resulting information on to their overseas masters "partners". John Key's response is to make it legal. And now Labour, which had been doing a great job of holding the government to account for this mess, is saying they might actually vote for it:

Labour would consider allowing the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders in limited circumstances but only if that was recommended by a full independent review of intelligence agencies, party leader David Shearer says.


"If that comes out as the result of an independent review, and it's carefully prescribed and recommended on the basis of the balance of intelligence versus privacy, then we would certainly look at it," he told the

And this is why you just can't trust Labour: they're soft on protecting our rights.

The purpose of the GCSB is the collection of foreign intelligence. It should stick to it. There is simply no justification in a free and democratic society for intelligence gathering on the civilian population. The police already have the power to tap phones for law enforcement purposes, subject to appropriate safeguards - and the reason we've learned about this abuse of power by the GCSB is because the police tried to use them to evade those safeguards. And that is simply not something we should permit.

I will not vote for any party which votes to give the GCSB a domestic mandate. Other people should do the same.