Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: Naked Inside the Off-Ramp

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  • Richard Love, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The demonisation of GCSB as deliberately breaking the law and knowing they were doing so doesn't stand up to scrutiny...

    If you read the Hansard debates of the 2003 legilsation, much of the debates consist of Keith Locke saying this bill does not prevent the GCSB spying on NZers and various Labour and National MPs saying "yes, it does prevent the GCSB from spying on NZers". So the stated intent of the law was pretty damm clear.

    There was no ambiguity in the 2003 law. The GCSB could not spy on NZers, but it could render assistance to police etc. Which is fine, these are not inconsistent statements. This just means that the GCSB (if it followed its legislation) could not spy on NZers in the course of rendering assistance to the police, etc. So, if the police were, say, trying to locate French secret service agents, or the members of an international drug cartel, then the GCSB would be eligible to help. On the other hand, if the police were trying to locate, say, an escaped Mongrel mob associate, or a large German with NZ residency, then the GCSB are not eligible to help. It was pretty simple stuff.

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    The Oh Zone...

    It would be nice if our political journalists would stop being so bloody lazy and dream up a more appropriate metaphor.

    The Thorndon Sinkhole
    has a certain ring to it....


    Dunning the Dunne...

    And what’s with all the hating on Peter Dunne?

    He put his head above the parapet, and tried to sell himself as someone who cared, someone who might take a stand, and then just sold himself...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Also, it's not really fair to say Labour's always the party of the status quo on these issues. Nuclear free NZ, anyone?

    Point. But on spying? Abolishing the GCSB and closing Waihopai is official Green policy. What's Labour's?

    (reading that policy document, I'm optimistic for a compromise. But its going to have to include something hugely symbolic for the Greens, in addition to sensible changes around oversight which both parties agree on. Removal of "economic wellbeing" from the definition of domestic "security" would probably do it, and I think would be quite liveable for Labour as well, since all it leads to is SIS politicisation, over-reach and scandals)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Love, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    ...when one considers that pulling out of Echelon means shitting on the rest of the Anglophonic world (and their Western intelligence/security partners), not just shitting on the US...

    Yes. And exactly the same risks were involved in a nuclear free declaration.

    The nuclear free declaration was in fact a worse risk, because it was also a snub to our western European trading partners / allies who were in Nato. Which is a bigger community that the Angolphonic one, which is why the French carried out a terrorist attack in NZ.

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    pulling out of Echelon means shitting on the rest of the Anglophonic world

    Ireland is not in Five Eyes, nor is (at least partly Anglophonic) South Africa. Neither of these countries have suffered any dire consequences as a result.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    David is dead long live the new David...
    David Shearer has resigned as Labour Party leader apparently!!
    on the heels of his Chief of Staff resigning the other day...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    since all it leads to is SIS politicisation

    I thought that happened a long time ago.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    He put his head above the parapet, and tried to sell himself as someone who cared, someone who might take a stand, and then just sold himself…

    Well yes, and I see how his actions are deserving of scorn, but the abuse he's been subject to seems a bit more than necessary to me.

    David Shearer has resigned as Labour Party leader apparently!!

    Wow. This is getting interesting.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    David Shearer has resigned as Labour Party leader apparently!!

    My guess is his not-so-secret meeting with Key, which Key used as a stick to beat him with in the debate last night, was the final straw for elements of the caucus that clearly were not informed the meeting took place.

    Given the new Labour party voting rules, I predict a Cunliffe/Little ticket winning. I am hoping a new leader, combined with the GCSB fiasco, could prove to be the Orewa moment for this National government.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Richard Love,

    The GCSB could not spy on NZers, but it could render assistance to police etc. Which is fine, these are not inconsistent statements. This just means that the GCSB (if it followed its legislation) could not spy on NZers in the course of rendering assistance to the police, etc.

    And, again, if one reads what Sir Bruce said actually happened in the rendering of assistance, it was a secondment of specified personnel to the requesting agency with no reporting-back to the GCSB of what the secondment entailed. Which may or may not have been consistent with both the spirit and the letter of the law. Unless one is arguing that there was actual interception by the GCSB, not just by GCSB personnel seconded to another agency, and that Sir Bruce omitted that detail?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I thought that happened a long time ago.

    Yes. But removing it is a chance to stop that rot.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Ireland is not in Five Eyes, nor is (at least partly Anglophonic) South Africa. Neither of these countries have suffered any dire consequences as a result.

    Fair point about the span of the Anglophonic world, but neither of them has ever been a member of Five Eyes. The consequences would be as a result of pulling out, not as a result of no longer being in. Paul's pretty persuasive, and it's an area he knows well.
    As far as the NATO connection goes, the only country that really threw toys over the no nukes thing was the US. The Frogs were bombing annoying hippies, not NZ national assets.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Fair point about the span of the Anglophonic world, but neither of them has ever been a member of Five Eyes. The consequences would be as a result of pulling out, not as a result of no longer being in.

    The Lange story after we withdrew from the nuclear club is instructive. He had a ton of shit poured on him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The Lange story after we withdrew from the nuclear club is instructive. He had a ton of shit poured on him.

    Quite. And we weren't even a participating member!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The Lange story after we withdrew from the nuclear club is instructive. He had a ton of shit poured on him.

    Me1: Something something bullying.
    Me2: Realpolitik! Something something naive!

    For me the instructive part of the nuclear free and Rainbow Warrior episodes was the realisation that the US had no inherent interest or allegiance to us, merely what service we could provide as a vassal state. We are forgetting that lesson. Australia has never learnt it.

    We got punished for defiance. I say fuck `em!

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    There was no ambiguity in the 2003 law. The GCSB could not spy on NZers, but it could render assistance to police etc. Which is fine, these are not inconsistent statements. This just means that the GCSB (if it followed its legislation) could not spy on NZers in the course of rendering assistance to the police, etc. So, if the police were, say, trying to locate French secret service agents, or the members of an international drug cartel, then the GCSB would be eligible to help. On the other hand, if the police were trying to locate, say, an escaped Mongrel mob associate, or a large German with NZ residency, then the GCSB are not eligible to help. It was pretty simple stuff.

    That's my reading of it as well. I feel that any other interpretation is looking at it through 2013-PR'd-to-death-by-National eyes.

    We do have 88 illegal spying incidents by the GCSB according to the report after all. Is that report wrong?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But did any actual bad things happen to NZ as a result of US displeasure at our nuclear stance?

    We obviously didn't get invaded. If our exports to the US suffered, it didn't impact the economy much (compared with the simultaneous effect of Roger Douglas). McDonalds, Coca Cola and IBM didn't shut up shop (some may think sadly), And the Law of the Sea convention which gave us our EEZ was passed in 1994 in the midst of US distaste.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    But did any actual bad things happen to NZ as a result of US displeasure at our nuclear stance?

    Joh Bjelke slapped some kind of ban on Red Tulip chocolates and Steinlager. That was about it.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Love, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    if one reads what Sir Bruce said...

    Although, to his credit, Sir Bruce appears to not support the new GCSB legislation, he can hardly be relied on as a neutral commentator on what went on at the GCSB when he was in charge of it.

    Unless one is arguing that there was actual interception by the GCSB, not just by GCSB personnel seconded to another agency...

    What exactly do you think the GCSB personnel are doing on secondment? We have heard time and time again that it is the capability of the GCSB that police / NZSIS sometimes require and that the (apparently uncosted) cost of duplicating that capability will be too much. Seconded GCSB staff aren't turning up to PC plod's desk to lend an extra set of fingers on a particularly tedious data entry problem; the police would be going to WINZ if that was the problem.

    Seconded GCSB staff will be using the GCSB's information infrastructure, analysis, and interception capabilities to do whatever it is that the police have asked for. That is the whole point of asking for their assistance. They may well (as Sir Bruce implied) be physically sitting in a police/SIS office, but they will be using something (hopefully significantly more secure than VPN!) to access the GCSB's resources. Even if that more secure method is something as banal as carrying printed reports between the GCSB and police buildings.

    And sure, Sir Bruce, might not know, or ask, exactly what a seconded agent was doing, but the GCSB should have a policy (that should have been consistent with legislation) about what a GCSB agent might be able to do while on secondment.

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    We do have 88 illegal spying incidents by the GCSB according to the report after all. Is that report wrong?

    We do have 88 potentially illegal spying incidents. There's no ruling from a court, so it's not certain whether they were or weren't illegal. And what's been revealed by a former head of the GCSB subsequent to the report as to how assistance was actually rendered makes it that much less clear. It's not "2013-PR’d-to-death-by-National", unless you're suggesting that Sir Bruce (who has been extremely outspoken about his disapproval of this legislation) is part of the National spin machine?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Richard Love,

    Now who's applying 2013 hindsight to things? Which is the problem with trying to discuss the issue at all: it's impossible to examine this without applying hindsight.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Joh Bjelke slapped some kind of ban on Red Tulip chocolates and Steinlager. That was about it.

    And that was just Queensland. Additionally, the scale of his corruption came back to bite him in the arse just a couple of years later. One member of the 'brain drain' that actually benefitted NZ - maybe not so good for QLD though.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Love, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Now who's applying 2013 hindsight to things?

    In what respect?

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Richard Love,

    Now who’s applying 2013 hindsight to things?

    In what respect?

    Your confident assertion that (what some claim is) clarity of illegality now, in 2013, was clearly illegal from inside the GCSB in prior years, based on what you think might be and should be the operating pattern. The only hard information we have, and I know that Sir Bruce is not impartial but he’s also not taking the government’s side, is what we’ve been told happened: secondment, with no reporting-back as to what went on during the secondment. On the basis of that hard information, I am very far from convinced now that there was illegality, never mind having been inside the GCSB at the time and getting confident legal opinions from people who were supposed to be qualified to give such opinions.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Yet another sign the GCSB is entering the public consciousness...

    i-Spy: a GCSB mixtape

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

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