Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: Naked Inside the Off-Ramp

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  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    But Kiwis don't care about the GCSB. If that mix tape were about snapper, though...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    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?

    No, but he's also not about to admit to illegality under his command, either.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to nzlemming,

    No, but he’s also not about to admit to illegality under his command, either.

    If seconding personnel to other agencies is illegal, then he already has made that admission. And the argument is being made right now that secondment is illegal.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    No more messin' around...

    If that mix tape were about snapper...


    ...here comes the 'No More Buddy, Buddy New Look Labour'!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Did the other agency (police) have a warrant to intercept (e.g.) Dotcom's communications?

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

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Did the other agency (police) have a warrant to intercept (e.g.) Dotcom’s communications?

    Dotcom was a clear case of GCSB interception, not secondment. But GCSB acted under the incorrect belief that Dotcom was not a resident, so the police having a warrant (or not) doesn't matter. They absolutely broke the law in that case, and ended up there by not paying attention to the law about immigration status.
    As for the other cases, Sir Bruce was quite specific that he needed to see a warrant and a request for specific GCSB personnel (by name) before he would sign off a secondment.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I'll let this stand, but continuing in this vein would be unhelpful.

    Presumably because it's impolite rather than untrue.

    PAS is different from other blogs because it tends not to attack the person and instead address (politely) the ideas and reasoning.

    That is one of the major reasons PAS is fun to read. Please try not to take PAS down a hole most folks really don't want to go down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Hebe,

    Key seems to have tipped into the Rob Muldoon “you can think what you like but if you disagree with me you are a fool” political mode.

    Exactly! It almost makes me think he's had enough of this PM lark and is just trying to see how far he can go before anyone (the public) will actually call him on it. At times it is just plain weird.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    So basically in the sample we know about (because a court extracted the documentation), they broke the law, and in the samples we don't know about they didn't.

    And they denied breaking the law up to the point where they were forced to admit it.

    You can draw your own conclusions.

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

  • andin,

    Some distinguished New Zealanders did try and tell Key this, but they were all dismissed in scattergun attacks on their virtue, assisted gracelessly by his Attorney-General Chris Finlayson during the bill’s Third Reading Debate. God and sin seemed to have caused its own rot there, but never mind, if Peter Dunne wasn’t such a ‘willing seller’ of his vote he could have prevented the bill from passing by such a wafer thin margin.

    All of this says we need to do something startling if this country is even going to start having a unique future. Dunno what G&s have to do with anything, but something other than knee jerking based on a political point of view and showing some depth intellectually and emotionally, from those who somehow rose to positions of influence, would be welcome. Rather than proving the old adage true over and over again "Shit floats"

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What Kier should have written, unconnected to anyones post, subtweet style:

    It would be nice if uninformed commentators wouldn't pretend to knowledge they don't have.

    It would be nice if those who shill for politicians would make that clear in their occasional posts, especially when those politicians are notorious pedlars of their vote to the highest bidder.

    Come to that, it would be nice if politicans would run for the party they support, rather than hoodwinking their none-too-bright electors that they are some kind of independent centrist who looks at issues as they appear

    Keep that aggression passive, for such is the house style...

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

  • Keir Leslie,

    It would be nice if some commenters checked their spellings.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    dream up a more appropriate metaphor

    the Thordon Bubble has long appealed

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Love, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    And the argument is being made right now that secondment is illegal.

    No. Secondment (or co-operating with other agencies) was entirely legal. It is plainly there in the 2003 GCSB act.

    What was illegal, regardless of whether on secondment or not, was GCSB agents/resources being used to spy on NZers. Which was also plainly there in the GCSB 2003 act.

    It is not being seconded that was illegal, it was spying on NZers that was illegal. Being on secondment didn't mean it suddenly became legal for GCSB agents to spy on NZers.

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Richard Love,

    It is not being seconded that was illegal, it was spying on NZers that was illegal. Being on secondment didn’t mean it suddenly became legal for GCSB agents to spy on NZers.

    Correct. And thinking it was legal didn't make it so, or excuse the actions. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" must apply to government as well as citizens.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I intensely dislike "the belt-way": it's difficult to keep reading when that term comes up in a piece about NZ politics. It's good to find my hitherto sneaky dislike of the silly term is shared.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    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?

    It's unlikely to ever be tested in court, as we don't know who the people are, so they can't take the GCSB to court.

    And by 2013-PR'd-to-death-by-National I mean that the line that they've been taking is "the law wasn't clear, we're just tidying this up". The law was pretty clear. GCSB could not spy on NZers or NZ Residents. Allowing them to be seconded to other organisations doesn't overrule that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Richard Love,

    No. Secondment (or co-operating with other agencies) was entirely legal. It is plainly there in the 2003 GCSB act.

    What was illegal, regardless of whether on secondment or not, was GCSB agents/resources being used to spy on NZers.

    It can't be both. It can't be both legal and illegal. Secondment for the purposes of fulfilling a warrant cannot be both legal and illegal, it's one or the other. Which is it? If NZSIS or NZ Police were the requesting agency, by definition it involved someone on whom GCSB were forbidden to spy because otherwise GCSB would have been doing the work directly.

    If I am seconded from my employer to someone else, actions I take are held accountable to the "someone else", not to my employer, though obviously my employment relationship remains with my employer. If I have authority to sign documents as part of the secondment, I'm not signing them as my employer's employee I'm signing them on behalf of the company to which I'm seconded.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Allowing them to be seconded to other organisations doesn’t overrule that.

    O'rly? My understanding of the law about secondment is that it is far from as black-and-white as you appear to believe. AFAIK, the seconded employee becomes, for the purposes of agency and principal, an agent of the seconding organisation, with whatever authorities are appropriate to their role.
    If you can provide a legal authority which says otherwise I'm always open to being corrected, particularly on matters of law.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Love, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    If NZSIS or NZ Police were the requesting agency, by definition it involved someone on whom GCSB were forbidden to spy...

    That would be true only if the NZ police never investigated foreigners.

    Note, that in the GCSB 2003 Act an important reason for other agencies to request GCSB assistance is for cyber-security (not spying). Which would be fine. But also wouldn't target 88 individual NZ citizens/residents.

    AFAIK, the seconded employee becomes, for the purposes of agency and principal, an agent of the seconding organisation, with whatever authorities are appropriate to their role.

    Note that "secondment" was not mentioned in the GCSB Act 2003. It talks about giving assistance.

    But anyway, the point is "seconded" GCSB agents would not be just turning up to police HQ and helping PC thicky to use his own computer.

    The whole point of asking for assistance is to access the GCSB's gathering/analysis/interpretation tools. Hence the rules for how those tools can be used apply.

    If you can provide a legal authority which says otherwise...

    A legal authority that said what GCSB agents could do? The GCSB Act 2003.

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicarious_liability_in_English_law
    may be relevant.

    ISTR you can spend a whole class in law school on that subject.

    But if the definition of "secondment" involved the employee using their access to GCSB's interception systems as opposed to merely their technical knowledge, then I suspect that isn't relevant, they were agents of GCSB.

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

  • linger, in reply to Hebe,

    the term “the belt-way”:
    most often found encircling complete & utter pants?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I think trying to use principal/agent analysis here is kinda pointless. Likewise vicarious liability. (Apart from anything else, both are civil concepts.)

    The indeterminacy of the law means that all acts are ambiguously legal. The GCSB (as a secret agency evading the courts) is particularly prone to that.

    It is hard to escape feeling though that the GCSB was (a) acting badly and (b) had no effective oversight and so were never going to be held to account. Neither of those things are really acceptable.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    The indeterminacy of the law means that all acts are ambiguously legal.

    Exactly. The law is not explicitly clear, no matter what some commentators think. My point about principal/agent was that ordinarily secondment alters the relationship between the seconded individual and the organisation to which they are seconded. GCSB officers aren't warranted so they are accorded no specific legal status by virtue of being employees of GCSB, as opposed to, say, police or customs officers. I know it's not a perfect comparison, but in the absence of black-letter law the courts will have to fall back to ordinary civil and employment law concepts.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Eh I have no ide what the courts would fall back on but I suspect it's way more likely to be doctrines around evidence, privacy, and the rights and liberties of the subject rather than employment or tort law.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

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