Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The spy bill: Proposed amendments

John Key's spy bill is back before the House today for its committee stage - and there are a pile of amendments proposed. here's what they do:

  • SOP 305 (David Shearer): establishes an immediate independent inquiry into the purposes and functions of New Zealand's intelligence agencies.
  • SOP 306 (John Key): minor grammatical amendments and transitional provisions. All existing interception warrants and access authorisations will continue, but will expire after three months.
  • SOP 307 (John Key): Standard procedural amendment splitting the bill into three separate bills.
  • SOP 308 (Peter Dunne): Dunne's "concessions": slightly better monitoring by the IGSI and ISC, but no changes to powers.
  • SOP 309 (Russel Norman): tweaks s14 - unnecessary in light of the definition of "intercept"
  • SOP 310 (Russel Norman): adds the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and their Deputy to the OIA
  • SOP 311 (Russel Norman): Adds "Privacy" to the values the IGSI must assess compliance functions against.
  • SOP 312 (Russel Norman): Requires the Minister to formally respond to the Intelligence and Security Committee upon receiving a report from the IGSI.
  • SOP 313 (Russel Norman): repeals the prohibitions on the Intelligence and Security Committee inquiring into complaints or operational matters
  • SOP 314 (Russel Norman): removes "economic well-being" from the definition of "national security".
  • SOP 315 (Russel Norman): prohibits information gathered under the cybersecurity function from being passed to other agencies (except as incidental intelligence?)
  • SOP 316 (Russel Norman): amends the definition of "communication" to include metadata (redundant, but useful for the avoidance of doubt)
  • SOP 317 (Russel Norman): Removes the new objectives clause
  • SOP 319 (Russel Norman): deletes the function of cooperating with other agencies
  • SOP 323 (Winston Peters): requires warrants to include information on methods and timeframes, and inserts a new clause requiring review by an "independent authority" consisting of the police, defence force, and judiciary

So once again it is the Greens who are leading the debate and representing the public - and many of their amendments would enhance the bill regardless of which side of the debate you are on. Saly, I expect the government to vote against them anyway.