Recent revelations made available from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden have brought the realization that globally and especially to those of us in the West that we are totally immersed in a matrix-like security and intelligence apparatus that has been ticking silently and secretly in the background and over our shoulder. All under the guise of Big Brother - watching us.
Other than the French saboteurs and the Israeli passport spies, we in NZ have fortunately had no terrorist incursions. Thus the premise is put forward that with no external threat to Nuclear Free NZ, that the NZ intelligence community can, and is being used to spy on NZ radicals by the SIS. The Security Intelligence Services.
What is a NZ radical, and what threat if any are they to the State apparatus? Keith Locke who recently was able to view a copy of his NZ security files was spied on by NZ Government agencies since the age of 11 years. Now with invasive electronic means what is the future of NZers going to be like in NZ with the passing of the GCSB Bill? (Government Communications Security Bureau).
Connecting the: DOTS _ _ _
In 2011 Kim Dotcom, a German was living in NZ as a new resident (in the Prime Ministers own electorate) and was running his Megaupload Internet company that was alleged to be illegal pirating copyrighted digital media, globally etc.
On information from the US authorities and the FBI, NZ Police made a spectacular raid on Dotcom's home in January 2012 and arrested him.
The NZ courts ruled that the raid was illegal due to the fact that it was unlawful for the GCSB to spy on a NZ resident, especially as correct protocols were not being observed by the police.
The fall out resulted in the director of the GCSB being replaced by a new recruit.
Ian Fletcher was appointed as director of the GCSB in February 2012. Mr Fletcher is a former diplomat. Fletcher was interviewed by the appointment panel after an earlier short-list of four candidates had been rejected by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the State Services Commissioner. In March 2013, Mr Key admitted he had known Mr Fletcher since they were in school, but denied they were friends.
Answering questions in Parliament about Mr Fletcher's appointment, Key said he hadn't 'seen the guy in a long time' and hadn't mentioned he had made a phone call to Mr Fletcher when the question first came up in Parliament because he had 'forgotten' about it. Former GCSB director Sir Bruce Ferguson said the way Key had intervened in the selection process was 'disturbing'.
In December 2012, the NZ High Court ruled Kim Dotcom could sue the GCSB for damages.
Hence Dotcom is in the forefront of the NZers wanting far more transparency in how the government oversee security and intelligence in this country.
This GCSB Bill is opposed by the opposition Labour and the Green party, the NZ First Party and several left-wing groups, ESPECIALLY the NZ Law Society, and the Human Rights Tribunal, plus NZer of the year Dame Anne Salmond and ex Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer.
As the Prime Minister appoints both the director of the GCSB and the Inspector General. Associate Professor of law at Auckland University, Bill Hodge, says the watchdog should be appointed by Parliament rather than by the Prime Minister. Former prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Palmer agrees: 'There needs to be some separation between the inspector and the agency he overseas'.
With this legislation being put through under urgency, WHY is there such urgency?
Some important clues come through in this interview.
Evidence is also available that if one had too left wing a viewpoint your career would be affected by information collected by the SIS. Promotion would not come and visas may not be forthcoming from the USA for instance.
We learn how innocent people can be affected by spying, that spirals out of control due to a certain mind set of biases and prejudices and the urgency of checks and balances from a judiciary that administer the law of the land in an enlightened manner - is a must!
On another issue, it is important for NZers to also realize that Parliament basically has no say in Treaties. Governments and bureaucrats make treaties, but Members of Parliament basically have no say hence the TPPA the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement if signed of will be done only by Cabinet, who are hand picked by the Prime Minister.
(Authors statement. Personally as a NZer I am not an illegal downloader of copyrighted media and definitely do not make money out of it. I as a person on the sidelines saw Dotcom as milking the system in huge terms and living high on the hog whilst half the world starved. The macabre in this saga is; from being an outlaw, Dotcom (with his money) has now been cast as the savior of the public good from the oppressive hand of local and global surveillance systems).