Tuesday, July 16, 2013


John Key's chief justification for his spy law giving the GCSB the right to spy on all New Zealanders is cost: it would apparently cost too much for the police or SIS to be given their own capability for domestic law enforcement / counter-espionage use, so we have to legalise GCSB using theirs instead (and allow them to use it on everybody, just in case). So you'd expect them to have at least done the costings to back that up, right?


The Government has no idea what it would cost to have the SIS eavesdrop on New Zealanders and intercept their emails, despite saying cost is the reason for getting the GCSB to do it.

This is simply unbelievable. Working out how much a policy will cost is a basic part of the policy process - and certainly fundamental to any claim that not doing it would be more expensive. Instead, the Prime Minister just hasn't bothered, relying on the GCSB's aura of secrecy to prevent anyone from challenging his claim. But the result is that his arguments for the bill are an exercise in pure bad faith.

The good news is that Peter Dunne appears to be calling him on it, demanding an analysis before he will support the bill. And given that his vote is crucial, Key may just be forced to either substantiate his claim, or admit that it is bullshit and that he is selling us out for chump change.