Monday, July 22, 2013

Dunne sells us out

Its official: Peter Dunne has sold us out to the GCSB:

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says he will support controversial legislation to expand spying powers.

Dunne said he was willing to vote for the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment bill after ''major amendments''.

The amendments give greater oversight of the GCSB's operations, which is welcome (though tempered by the knowledge that this is a lawless agency which might simply ignore them). But contrary to the clear message from submitters on the bill, there is no change to new powers granted to the GCSB. They will still be allowed to intercept all our internet traffic to allow them "to see who... is being attacked", and they will still be allowed to give that information to their foreign partners. They will still be allowed to use class-based warrants, rather than requiring a specific warrant for each suspect. And of course they will still be allowed to use those foreign partners to bypass the prohibition on domestic interceptions. Meanwhile, there's still been no public justification of this sweeping power grab, let alone an analysis of the costs of giving the powers to the (far better supervised) police.

Dunne's support for this bill flies in the face of all his self-proclaimed liberal beliefs, and will determine his post-political reputation. The "fuck one goat" principle applies here. Rather than being the man who gave us the Families Commission, or even the man who prevented any progress on drug laws for a decade, he will go down in history as the man who sold us out to the GCSB and NSA. If he doesn't want to be remembered for that, then he still has time to change his mind. Simple.