Posts by Lucy Telfar Barnard

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  • OnPoint: "Project SPEARGUN underway",

    Thanks Keith. Your description here was exactly what I thought as I read the Cortex papers. I thought: this is some other programme, not the one that Snowden and Greenwald are talking about. How convenient, that there was some innocuous other programme proposed at the same time, which they canned.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to nzlemming,

    Greenwald’s interview indicates that we do indeed target other countries at our partners’ “request”, particularly countries where the US feels unable to penetrate, because of diplomatic troubles.

    But there's a difference between targetting countries outside of 5 eyes at a partner's request (which one would expect to be part of any shared collection arrangement), and targetting a 5 eyes country at that country's request because it can't legally target itself.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Key denies that, with extra refutingness.

    la la la not listening ew! He talked about the length of his tongue! I can't unread that you know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election, in reply to SteveH,

    That and his good looks do much for his popularity.

    Erm, which good looks would those be? I don't see it, but maybe he’s attractive to men. I mean, I’ve read that apparently he’s considered attractive to some voters, but I think they’ve confused familiarity with good looks, a common mistake.
    It’s not my political persuasion that makes Key not attractive. Simon Bridges, for example, is very good looking, despite being a National MP.
    And I wouldn’t even go so far as to say Key’s unattractive, he’s just… there. If he was in a room full of people, I wouldn’t notice him.
    ’Course, I haven’t met him. Maybe in person he has charisma. I met Bolger once and was quite shocked to discover he had charisma, because I wouldn’t have guessed it from his photos or appearances on television. But charisma’s a funny beast.
    Anyway, I think it’s the vanilla-ness of Key’s looks that work in his favour. People can project onto him whatever they want.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to nzlemming,

    It’s even more interesting than that. The Minister in charge of the SIS/GCSB is not permitted to use information gained by or about them for political purposes. Which this would obviously be. Gentlemen, start your lawyers ;-)

    If the GCSB has been accused of mass surveillance of New Zealanders, and the Minister in charge releases information to refute that acccusation, how is that using information gained about them for political purposes?
    s8D(3)(c) of the GCSB Act requires that “The Director must take all reasonable steps… to ensure that the Bureau does not take any action for the purpose of furthering or harming the interests of any political party in New Zealand,” but I don’t think refuting an allegation of improper behaviour would be furthering the interests of the National Party, but rather maitaining the status quo, since deciding NOT to release the information (if it exists) would harm the interests of the National Party.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    From reading the GCSB Act 2003, it’s pretty clear (to me at least) that if the GCSB is/was engaged in any content* spying on New Zealanders, it would have to be doing so under s8C, on behalf of the Police, the Defence Force, or the SIS. If that’s the case, then although it’s technically the GCSB doing the spying, the buck stops with whichever of those agencies requested the GCSB spy on their behalf.

    Content spying on New Zealanders, whether gathered by GCSB or its 5-eyes partners, would be illegal (s8B) unless it was gathered under s8C, in which case GCSB wouldn’t have to rely on 5-eyes partners to do it.

    John Key could also say that GCSB doesn’t carry out mass surveillance of New Zealanders by arguing that it’s not “mass” surveillance if it doesn’t include, I don’t know, Stewart Island; or by arguing that it doesn’t count as the GCSB doing it if it’s being done on behalf of another agency. “Well, at the end of the day, I think you’ll find, technuckly, that it’s eckshly the Pleece doing their job to keep ordunry kiwis safe”. Or something

    *I’m trying to distinguish between metadata and communications content. There is a difference between recording that you sent an email to someone at a particular time, and actually reading what was in the email. Metadata spying is still mass surveillance, but probably less likely to bother the John Key fanclub than content spying. i.e. metadata spying would not be the bombshell Dotcom is hoping for, but content spying would be.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    The question of how countries decide who gets citizenship is a different (but still interesting) issue. My cousin wouldn't get citizenship if she were born in NZ now, because the rules have changed and you no longer get citizenship just by being born here; you need to have an NZ-citizen parent as well.

    When you extend citizenship down the generations, but don't allow citizenship by birth, you end up with some curious circumstances.
    My children have Irish citizenship because their great-grandfather was Irish and Ireland allows continuous inheritance of citizenship so long as you sign up within (18 months? 2 years?) of birth. But Ireland no longer allows citizenship by right of birth. So my children, who have spent a total of 10 days in Ireland, have the right to live and work there - and the concommitant advantages of being EU citizens - while some children who were born there don't. That seems pretty peculiar to me.
    (Neither they nor my husband have the right to vote there. Do you think they should?)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    my admiration for Key was taken as an opinion and not a reason to ridicule.

    Can't it be both?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to David Hall,

    I’m am informed about, attached to and invested in New Zealand society – but can’t for now physically live there. I damn well want my right to vote.

    If anyone can present evidence showing that the majority of New Zealand citizens overseas currently denied the right to vote by the 3 year rule do eventually return to New Zealand, I might consider changing my opinion. I’d like to see a chart showing likelihood of return to NZ by years away from NZ. At the point it crosses below (I’ll be generous) 66%, that would be the cutoff for me: if you’ve been away from New Zealand for the length of time after which two-thirds of NZers overseas don’t come back, you’re probably not coming back, so you don’t get to decide what happens here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Danielle,

    I left for four years and my visits back were fleeting, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t invested in my country. I would have been really peeved to have my voting rights removed.

    But I'm allowing absences of up to 4 years, so long as you were living here before then. I could probably be persuaded to extend that to 5 years. I think that's more fair than just allowing votes to anyone who's visited in the last 3 years, which, as others have pointed out, is highly dependent on finances and available leave.

    If I understand correctly, lots of you are arguing that voting should be allowed to any New Zealand citizen, anywhere, (plus anyone who lives in New Zealand without a mandated exit date.)

    I just don't think there's anything very magic about citizenship. There are lots of people who happen to be New Zealand citizens but who don't consider themselves New Zealanders; and lots of people who consider themselves New Zealanders who for one reason or another aren't or can't be citizens. According to your argument, someone who lived in NZ from the age of, say, 2, and who is a permanent resident but not a citizen, but who's overseas studying for a few years with no funds for holidays home, couldn't vote - but my aforementioned cousin could.

    Maybe you think the permanent resident should be able to vote too? OK, let's change the example to someone who lives in NZ from the age of 2 on a resident visa, and who thus loses the right to return to NZ as soon as they leave the country, but they'll probably apply for and get a visa to return once they've finished studying overseas. I'd say this person has a better argument to be able to vote here than my cousin, wouldn't you? I'm not arguing that this person should be able to vote, but I am arguing that my cousin shouldn't - and that therefore it's not citizenship alone which should dictate the right of people overseas to vote in NZ elections.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

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