Friday, May 02, 2014

Pulling the plug on the spies

The Internet Party has released its policy on spying, and has promised to pull the plug on the spies by immediately repealing John Key's spy bill. The accompanying TICS legislation, which requires ISPs to be registered with the GCSB and allows the spies to micromanage their security and staffing decisions will also be repealed. They're also promising to pull out of the "Five Eyes" spy-alliance and exercise "sovereign control" of our intelligence agencies.

These are good policies, ones which will right a wrong and restore our independence. And its good to see a political party actually advocating them.

But there's more. The spy bill process highlighted the fundamental problem of our constitution: that Parliament cannot be trusted to defend our human rights. So the Internet party is pushing for the BORA to be entrenched as superior law - meaning Parliament will be able to be checked by the courts when they overstep the mark. I welcome this - Parliament has forfeited all trust in this area, repeatedly passing legislation which violates core rights without justification or in some cases even real debate. By contrast, the courts are trusted, and their decisions must be robust and withstand scrutiny. If the courts decide to uphold a law which prima facie violates the BORA, you can be sure they won't give us bullshit like this as a "justification".

The full policy document is here.