Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bad faith II

When we first learned that the GCSB had been illegally spying on New Zealand citizens, people who suspected they were victims were urged to contact GCSB and ask for their file. A few people took the offer at face value, and did just that - but now GCSB has refused to answer their queries on the grounds of "national security".

This is all very convenient for GCSB, of course. Anyone they have spied on has a strong case for compensation under the BORA. By refusing to tell them, GCSB removes that possibility. Fortunately, there's another option:

Ms Morse told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme she has made a request to the Privacy Commissioner, and she may also consider a starting a class action.

A barrister specialising in privacy law, John Edwards, says once people take their claims to the courts or the Privacy Commissioner there may be no grounds for the agency to withhold the information.

He says it may have to come clean on cases where it was monitoring people as part of a police prosecution.

I'm looking forward to this. Drag the fuckers into court. get discovery. Make them squirm. And ultimately, hold them to account for their crimes. Because it's crystal clear by now that the responsible Minister has no intention of doing so.