Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Good news on the spy bill

Labour and NZ First hardening their stance against John Key's spy bill:

While Prime Minister John Key is still scrambling to get enough support to pass his GCSB spy bill by one vote, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said his concerns about the bill had widened beyond the four he specified in his first reading.

And Labour leader David Shearer scoffed at Mr Key's offer to review the new law in 18 months and provide for a mandatory review every five years after that.


At the first reading, Mr Peters suggested he could support the bill if his concerns were addressed.

But yesterday he said having sat through part of the committee hearings on the bill last week, those concerns had broadened to include at least the issue of metadata.

The latter in particular is very good news - it means that Winston actually paid attention to submitters and their concerns about privacy. Submitting actually made a difference!

And meanwhile, Peter Dunne isn't exactly keen either. So as it stands, this bill will fail unless it is given major amendments.

My outer cynic says one of these politicians - most likely Shearer - will inevitably betray us, and sell out our privacy for an image of "responsibility" and a pat on the head from John Key. But there is a tiny glimmer of hope there that they'll actually stand up for something and refuse to turn us into a totalitarian surveillance state. I guess we'll find out at the end of the month.