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New Zealand Government About To Legalize Spying On NZ Citizens

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the if-you-have-nothing-to-hide dept.

Privacy 216

Flere Imsaho writes "After admitting they have illegally spied on NZ citizens or residents 88 times (PDF) since 2003, the government, in a stunning example of arse covering, is about to grant the GCSB the right to intercept the communications of New Zealanders in its role as the national cyber security agency, rather than examine the role the GCSB should play and then look at the laws. There has been strong criticism from many avenues. The bill is being opposed by Labor and the Greens, but it looks like National now have the numbers to get this passed. Of course, the front page story is all about the royal baby, with this huge erosion of privacy relegated to a small article near the bottom of the front page. Three cheers, the monarchy is secure, never mind the rights of the people. More bread and circuses anyone?"

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216 comments

Is Sauron in the gov there? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356705)

--A concerned Hobbit.

New Zealand is always in the forefront (2, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#44357199)

From time immemorial nation-states have always been spying on their own citizens.

New Zealand, being one of the most progressive nations on Earth, is again taking the lead in making this ancient practice LEGAL.

As this has come to pass, wonder what New Zealand will do next ...

Re:New Zealand is always in the forefront (5, Insightful)

Chickenlips (33524) | about 9 months ago | (#44357619)

There used to be practical limits to a government spying on its citizens (unless we are talking about a police state, where nothing was above being opened without a reason). The targeted spying of postage communications has always existed. However, a normal citizen could reasonably expect their mail to be delivered unopened, unread and unarchived for future reference. It's possible modern technology has rendered even this doable by a determined spy agency, but it would still be less practical than electronic siphoning.

Re:Is Sauron in the gov there? (0)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 9 months ago | (#44357729)

"Is Sauron in the gov there?"

Sauron has been the US president for some time. "One Spy-Ring to rule them all", etc, etc.

Re:Is Sauron in the gov there? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#44357929)

It seems we've had Sauron in charge for some time now. He looks different, Old white dude, Hick white dude, Goofy white dude and Smooth black dude. Different looks, same old Sauron. The all seeing eye.

Still illegal under NZ Constitution (5, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#44356707)

But, hey, that doesn't stop the UK, Canada, Britain, or Germany from doing the same thing in violation of their Constitutions, either.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356745)

Or the US.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (5, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#44356787)

Or the US.

Well, yes, but we're insane, so we don't count.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (5, Interesting)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | about 9 months ago | (#44357339)

Someday we'll realize all these divisions and patriotism only help to keep us occupied and divided instead of trying to find a way to avoid the corruption of those with power/money.

We're all humans after all, no matter what religion, ideology or place of birth.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (2)

dccase (56453) | about 9 months ago | (#44357935)

Someday we'll realize all these divisions and patriotism only help to keep us occupied and divided

You can pry the Designated Hitter rule out of my cold dead hands.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44358019)

Not according to centuries of legal precedent.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (3, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#44356791)

sad news for you, the UK does not have a constitution; anything that Parliament makes law goes

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356963)

Please stop repeating this ignorant lie.
The UK does have a constitution.
It doesn't have a written constitution.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (3, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 9 months ago | (#44356971)

Not having a written constitution is effectively not having a constitution.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#44357049)

No, no, no - the Queen has her morning constitution pretty regulalry, then wipes with Royal constitution paper!

The Constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom is governed.[1]

Unlike many other nations, the UK has no single constitutional document. This is sometimes expressed by stating that it has an uncodified or "unwritten" constitution.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#44357137)

I'm fairly certain the Barons would disagree with you, as they did at Hastings, sir.

But, technically, it is a series of documents, and then there is the EU constitution, which itself is more of a treaty, somewhat like how Canada had the BNA (British North American Act, in the British Parliament) until 1967.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (0)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#44357657)

that definition is just blather and babbling; since Parliament can and has made laws ot violate and take away those supposed "laws and principles". the UK has no constitution, the citizens have no rights.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#44357943)

You still have the right to breath. I think there's a tax coming for that though.

Re: Still illegal under NZ Constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357579)

enumerating your rights hasn't worked out too well. Our government (US), has conveniently forgotten the part where we told them they have the power to do nothing except what was granted to them. Not the other way around.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (3, Interesting)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 9 months ago | (#44356855)

What NZ Constitution are you talking about?

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356979)

This one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_New_Zealand

edit: I love the captcha for this post: fascism

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357003)

New Zealand has constitutional documents (The Treaty of Waitangi, The New Zealand Bill Of Rights Act etc) just not a single Constitution because we copied England's system.
HAVING a constitution would be a good idea, then we could entrench things like protection from being spied on, environmental protection (including not mining conservation land) etc... Although we'd probably need to do something to stop the people like the current government from editing it under """urgency""".

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (1, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 9 months ago | (#44357117)

As a Kiwi I once heard some talk that the indigenous Maori were all for a New Zealand Constitution as it would enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi. However, someone pointed out that this would also limit the extent of the Treaty of Waitangi, whereas now it is kinda amorphous as to what it covers (Maori apparently had ownership rights of radio waves for TV and radio, and required compensation for the use of use). Note, I'm part NZ-Maori. I'm just pointing out something interesting I heard about the maneuverings of interested parties for a NZ Constitution and why one sector of society supported it and then dropped support. Perhaps what I heard was wrong - but it seems plausible to me.

I also heard that the multi-culturalists seem to think that Sharia is 'harmless' and should be recognized in a New Zealand Constitution. This is such a bad idea I'm surprised it had not been slapped down violently straight away - but the 'left' (Labour and Greens, in NZ political terms) is full of people who are staggeringly fact-free, and only think in the most 'woolly' of terms (let's hold hands and sing kumbaya with jihadis, eh?). Sharia has been trying to make inroads into NZ:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4366743/Sharia-decision-lets-baby-boy-into-NZ [stuff.co.nz]
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6406555/Collins-dismisses-call-to-establish-Islamic-tourism [stuff.co.nz]
Sorry to wander slightly off-topic in my response to post about the NZ Constitution. I'm just trying to point out to fellow kiwis that 'Godzone' is as much under threat by the Cultural Jihad of stealth Sharia as anywhere else (US, Britain etc) except that we have even weaker Free Speech protections than elsewhere.

New Zealand Governments are generally benign. Putting in spying on citizens with very few legal protections and hoping that the Government will always be benign is stupid. Hopefully someone will have a bright idea on how to stop this (anyone?).

Warning: off topic. (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#44357161)

NZ Maori got some cell phone spectrum for a bargain price from the Treaty. They made a network provider called 2degrees using this discounted spectrum, which is now more foreign owned than Telecom.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#44357455)

"But, hey, that doesn't stop the UK, Canada, Britain, or Germany from doing the same thing in violation of their Constitutions, either."

Why are you excluding the United States? The US government has been doing its own astounding circumventions of our Constitution as well.

Take just for one very relevant example: the illegal, retroactive immunity granted telcos for illegally allowing the government to listen in on your communications.

---
"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed." -- U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Sec. 9.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (3, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#44357625)

But, hey, that doesn't stop the UK, Canada, Britain, or Germany from doing the same thing in violation of their Constitutions, either.

Their constitutions/laws generally have fewer restrictions than US laws, and NSA-like spying has been commonplace in Europe.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/how_they_do_it/2006/02/wiretapping_europeanstyle.html [slate.com]

The outrage in the US is over the fact that the NSA and the president are trying to get around the letter and intent of the Constitution and the law. In many other countries, it's more a policy issue, not a question of legality.

Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357877)

And when there is a protest or heaven forbid, domestic terrorism, the governments wonder why.

Good enough for Frodo and Bilbo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356709)

If they can spy on hobbits, so be it for the rest of the land!

jesus H christ. (0)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 9 months ago | (#44356719)

What is it with these dumbfucks in govt, being so pussified by other govts and their clearly "over the line" demands for intelligence feeds, that they feel it is not only justified, but clearly essential that they just blanket-endorse and "MAKE it legal" (to borrow emperor palpatine's line), for them to just roll over and BEG for more ass fucking?

Seriously? Can't they just fucking grow a pair, and tell the US to go get stuffed by a 2000lb bull elephant with genital warts?

Re:jesus H christ. (1)

mi (197448) | about 9 months ago | (#44356789)

And lose the cooperating of their American counterparts? There is very little difference between NZ, Australia, Spain, or United States in the jihaddists' eyes. If a particular target is not as well-defended, they'll strike there, whether it is in the Western, Easter, Northern or Southern part of the world.

Complaining about the potential abuse of a government's surveillance power is all well and good, but their actual results may well be quite good — they just wouldn't tell us so as not tell the enemy of how to evade future detection.

Now I personally am not at all sure, the potential abuse is a fair price to pay for the actual prevention — maybe, just maybe, loosing a few hundred of fellow citizens per year is better for the rest of the country, than giving the Executive branch the power to suppress opposition. Oh, wait [dailycaller.com] ...

Re:jesus H christ. (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 9 months ago | (#44356843)

I think I am going to be violently ill.

It isn't "potential abuse of power", when it is being reported AFTER THE FACT!

Giving those people MORE power to abuse, after they have already demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with the powers they have already obtained, is beyond incomprehensible!

Seriously, all NZ has to do is point a few of those major headlines out, and say "No thank you USA. We would be happy to assist you, LEGALLY, in any LEGAL investigation you may have, but the requests you send us must obey OUR soveriegn rights and laws. Since you seem to have a hard time following even your own laws, we can't really honor your requests for additional intelligence at this time, since the requests you keep sending us are clearly illegal and unconsionable."

But NO! The line of the day? Handwringing, squirming in their chairs like they have super 'roids, sweating, and heatedly whispering among themselves asking each other how they can break the law!

WTF!

Re:jesus H christ. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#44357061)

That actual prevention worked well at the Boston Marathon, didn't it? I was dumb founded at the government's efficiency on that one!

Re:jesus H christ. (3)

flaming error (1041742) | about 9 months ago | (#44357331)

"There is very little difference between NZ, Australia, Spain, or United States in the jihaddists' eyes"

Kind of like there's little difference between putting on a massive stage spectacular at the West End, Broadway, Vegas Strip, or the Aleutian Islands.

Re:jesus H christ. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356805)

Seriously? Can't they just fucking grow a pair, and tell the US to go get stuffed by a 2000lb bull elephant with genital warts?

If you think non-US governments aren't keenly eager to keep tabs on their own citizens, you're a rather large fool.

Protip: The US is broke. We're not going to come liberate the fuck out of you and drop 2500 pound Democracy bombs on you unless you're a nation of dirt farmers. Your politicians are doing this because *they* want to know that you're down with crossdressing midgets crossplaying as women crossplaying as male versions of the cast of Sailor Moon.

Re:jesus H christ. (0)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 9 months ago | (#44356975)

[Imagines female midget cosplaying as tuxedo mask. Realizes that it would be impossible to tell the difference. Retches]

*seriousness:

If NZ really really wants to spy on its own citizens, it makes MUCH more sense for them to deny the US's requests publicly, to draw much needed popular support, while enacting such policy clandestinely.

Re:jesus H christ. (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#44357223)

They can't deny US request publicly, when the whole Kim Dotcom thing brought it all out. We have the "Official Information Act" that brings these hidden things out to the media, who lodge OIA request constantly in the hopes of finding a scandal.

Re:jesus H christ. (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 9 months ago | (#44357597)

You are misunderstanding:

What they do, is make a big show of "cracking down" on the "illegal activities exposed" by the dotcom case, but in reality, the institute their own secret courts, and spy on their own citizens stazi style.

That way when the NZ media goes fishing, they can rightfully deny the snooping done "for US interests", since it is for domestic interests!

NZ just oh so politely GIVES the information away for free! It doesn't have to, but chooses to do so anyway. If ever asked about the documents shared with the USA, it can spout the same nationalist drivel we americans get treated with:

"Oh, that's an issue of national security! We can't reveal any information like that, because it would expose ongoing investigations and endanger lives! But don't worry, we don't conduct investigations of NZ citizens because the US asks us to. We make our own determination in accordance with strict guidelines on how and when we are needed to investigate NZ citizens, and we do so only as needed for our own investigations. Don't worry citizen, everything's fine."

Ashamed (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356739)

I've been a Kiwi all my life and have had some bad moments, and some moments when I'm damn proud to be one.

This however, is the first time I'm outright ashamed.

Re:Ashamed (3, Interesting)

jemmyw (624065) | about 9 months ago | (#44356965)

I've been a Kiwi for about 18 months (do you get to adopt the nomenclature? Alright NZ citizen). You take the ups with the downs, we just legalised gay marriage, an up in my opinion. This is a down. I don't think many here care about this issue. On the up side though I think most people view our security service as somewhat inept blunders.

Re:Ashamed (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44357395)

It'd be a good topic for the fringe to take up. Have the ALCP and Pirate parties take up this as a banner issue. Get some votes away from National so that they can't do anything they want without some other party agreeing with them.

Don't be man - YOU didn't do it... apk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356985)

These folks in governments doing this are - personally? I feel/think they DO go in with "the right reasons" & all that, but the ONLY problem?? The old adage of "Absolute Power Corrupting Absolutely": That's all. I mean, for instance, how often do you hear about things where Feds get caught spying on ex-wives/girlfriends & such??? It does happen. That's the problem & an "example thereof". They're JUST MEN, mortal men, subject to the same weaknesses &/or stupidities ANY OF US CAN POTENTIALLY BE (myself included - I honestly can tell you that I would NOT want access to such abilities as they are gaining, I really wouldn't, because give me the "right" (wrong actually per the spying bit above) circumstances & pressures, I could be just as susceptible. Moreso in my "younger days" than now though, there's no question of that - you DO "wise up" & "grow up" (lol, @ least SOME hopefully) usually, with age - it's called maturity - at least in an example like the one I threw out above. However, ANYONE can get "bent outta shape" & "turn to the dark side", or wasn't using the IRS to target political opponents an example of that, albeit on other grounds than online stuff... shit like it, does happen, period. The problem is again putting a match in the hands of someone living inside a gasoline can basically. What bugged me MOST (beyond the IRS example)? This: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy [guardian.co.uk] those people have rights to protest (especially vs. what they felt was "the man"/1%'ers bullshit) - the results? Bogus imo, totally bogus & yes, an ABUSE of power. That's my point here. That shit, happens. Especially as MegaDeth put it in the tune "Symphony of Destruction" with the 1st lyric "You take a mortal man, & put him in control..."

APK

P.S.=> Man - it's been a "StRanGe" summer with all of this stuff FINALLY "coming out" but, imo @ least? It's been going on more & more since the telecommunications industry "hopped in bed" with the government around 1947 onwards, & only increasing as tech met the challenges faced by GREATER & finer-grained amounts of it needed to be done, along with volume... I honestly don't think the folks doing it realize how much it OFFENDS their constituencies (or they don't care, take your pick) to know that Big Brother TRULY IS, watching you (or could)... Still - I suppose ALL OF THIS IS NECESSARY (part of the 'growing pains' of humanity as a species I guess)...

...apk

Revoluton. I'm calling for a peaceful revolution. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356741)

Any and all politicians need to be peacefully booted/voted out of office.

Vote them out.

Vote against them.

Vote them out.

Assholes.

If we can't vote them out I call for passive aggressive revolt.

Delay their planes.

Put them in shitty investments.

Sell them shitty clothes.

Do whatever you can to make their "careers" shitty.

Let them know that they are scumbags.

Let them know the we know they are controlled and bought and paid for by the big money interests.

Shame them.

Shame them.

No violence.

Shame them.

Let's start with McCain - the sell out.

Shame on him!

Re:Revoluton. I'm calling for a peaceful revolutio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357387)

Burma Shave

Re: Revoluton. I'm calling for a peaceful revoluti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357867)

lol @ "voting".

just like the printing press obsoleted absolute monarchy, the information age has made centralized government of any kind--especially one ruled by fickle majorities--to be not only obsolete as an organizational structure, but utterly antithetical to human dignity.(centralization requires a large and untenable amount of homogenization, which requires monitoring and punishment of divergent behavior)

Future Biobot Serf Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356761)

It's a forgone conclusion. The momentum is out of control. Sadly, I'll just quietly wait for the day when I'm required to be chipped or declared an antisocial with criminal intentions.

You're NOT going to be "chipped"... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357027)

The TECH IS BETTER THAN THAT by far: RFID Ink: http://www.informationweek.com/invisible-rfid-ink-safe-for-cattle-and-p/196802844 [informationweek.com] and this: http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&q=Holographic+tatoos&oq=Holographic+tatoos&gs_l=serp.12..0i22i10i30.1987.7651.1.8892.18.16.0.2.2.0.190.1509.12j4.16.0....0...1c.1.22.serp..0.18.1528.TBOPwp10HKg&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&fp=ed130d34d083288c&biw=1600&bih=896 [google.com] (Holographic Tattoos) - that, if anything, IS how THAT part of prophecy (ala "the Number of the Beast") will be implemented... mark my words.

* What will the 'tatoo' be? A UPC SYMBOL & this is where it gets REALLY INTERESTING on that account -> http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=UPC+666 [youtube.com]

(Yes, I've worked with UPC codes in the past in industrial environs programming around them in my past circa 1999-2001 & IMMEDIATELY NOTED what those will show you... scared the hell out of me, due to its potentials...)

The UPC won't be like you see on products (incredible tracking & history/inventory power) - it'll be MORE like something you ALREADY have (your drivers license) & the "stacked" variety of them (same base design though)... your eye doesn't even HAVE to see it (not visible spectrum stuff) - but, a laser scanner can.

APK

P.S.=> Scary world folks... apk

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356777)

Kill the people proposing and voting for this bill.
Problem solved.

Dialog (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#44356793)

NZ - I don't like this
US - sorry
NZ - won't
US - but you must
NZ - get stuffed
US - ok but don't call us when China comes to your door
NZ - oh all right

Re:Dialog (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357053)

NZ is not worried about China. China is a better neighbor to us here in NZ than the USA. NZ does far more trade with China than the USA. Kiwi's general opinion of China & the Chinese is higher than the general opinion of USA & Americans. For obvious reasons, I might add.

Re:Dialog (3, Interesting)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 9 months ago | (#44357353)

China is a better neighbor to us here in NZ than the USA

For the Kiwis, it's not "US or China," it's "US or Fiji" or even "US or France." Most of the South Pacific (i.e. New Zealand's neighborhood) isn't a very fun place to live, and the folks in Wellington would like to keep that from happening to their own (surprisingly expansive [wikipedia.org] ) corner of it.

The Chinese really don't care who's in power in any particular non-Sinosphere country (if anybody) so long as they have buyers. In contrast, the US (and Australia and France and...) has actual people and territory at stake in the region and have a vested interest in things like local coups, fishing rights, pollution, high-seas piracy, etc.

In that respect, the US government has been relatively consistent (for better or for worse) and has helped to establish order (for better or for worse) in the region. In that respect, the US is at least a known evil, and isn't the one currently trying to "test" nuclear weapons in American Samoa.

Re:Dialog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357423)

Certainly the French are pretty well loathed [wikipedia.org] in NZ.

Re:Dialog (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#44357965)

Interesting that Murder basically went unpunished even though it was openly admitted to. Bizarre. Blowing up a ship in a foreign harbor used to be considered an act of war.

Re:Dialog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357085)

I have just returned from NZ and China is already at the door. The place is packed with Chinese tourists. They can just buy New Zealand and run it as a theme park for their own use. Kiwis are even more laid back than Australians and will do nothing to about being spied on by the GCSB.

Re:Dialog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357215)

Most Kiwis realise that the "GCSB" consists of four blokes in an office in Wellington, an aging collie dog, and a 1980s era tape recorder.

Basically, the NZ 'intelligence' services are so woefully inept that the implementation of this legislation means nothing. This, coupled with the acceptance that all the political parties in NZ are also inept and completely lacking in any intelligence themselves, means that not only will Kiwis do nothing, but nothing will actually change either way.

Life will go on in exactly the same fashion as it always has.

Re:Dialog (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 9 months ago | (#44357101)

Is there any evidence that this is being done because of US pressure? I can imagine a number of other scenarios: New Zealand's government decided on it's own to do this (which is worrying for the sustainability of democracies in general), or maybe the US acted as a role-model but didn't actually pressure anyone. I can't help but wonder if your comment was inspired by the fact that it's in-vogue to blame the US for everything bad that happens -- and I'm not defending the US, merely questioning the pile-on behavior (i.e. if you do something wrong, we'll add on a few other things that you probably aren't guilty of, but we'll blame you for anyway), and meanwhile giving cover to New Zealand's government by pretending that they they aren't responsible or guilty for their own bad behavior. I'm sure New Zealand's politicians are happy that you're deflecting blame.

Re:Dialog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357257)

The security relationship between NZ and the US (and between Australia and the US) is so close that it is beyond the point where "pressure from the US" is even relevant. The security agencies of NZ and the US are so closely knit that NZ shouldn't be regarded as an independent state (at least on matters of security policy). No pressure needs to be applied, it is simply a "harmonization" of the cooperative security policy between the US and NZ, and an oversight that this wasn't done already years ago.

Re:Dialog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357271)

the current political climate in NZ is very 'right-wing' (by which I mean libertarian/capitalist with economics policy you could call laissez faire) although by most measures still 'left-of' what many US residents would consider the 'right'. the current prime minister left a position on the US federal reserve, to work for a bank, prior to becoming the prime minister.

to answer your question, there is a _lot_ of evidence this was 101% because of US pressure. the director of the CIA even came on a privately-chartered plane for off-the-record discussions we still know nothing about.. all we have the the flight plan and photos of him stepping off the plane...

Re:Dialog (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#44357213)

This has already happened, except it ended up differently from how you envision it. Specifically:

NZ - I don't like this [wikipedia.org]
FR - fuck off [wikipedia.org]
US - sorry, but we need the passage rights anyway
NZ - you guys are both dicks, go away [wikipedia.org]
US - but you must!
NZ - get stuffed [wikipedia.org]
US - ok but don't call us when China comes to your door
NZ - zomg we're so scared [wikipedia.org]

Re:Dialog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357939)

Looks like it took all of 15 minutes for folks on slashdot to blame this decision by members of the NZ government on the US. And unless parent is a speed-reader, that's a good bit less time than required to read TFA.

On the bright side, 15 minutes is longer than I had expected.

Game On... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356829)

Looks like this Neo-Fascism is digging its heels in.

This should end well.

I guess they will call it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356869)

The eye of Sauron

Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356959)

Let's not fool ourselves. In no sense of the word are these two nations 'real'. They are facilities that serve the purposes of the UK and its allies. The Yanks, for instance, are currently bombing the hell out of natural Australian resources you sheeple are told are priceless assets of our planet. Priceless, unless the US armed forces need to practice for nuclear war against Iran, that is.

These two land masses are so mineral rich, they should both be sustaining much bigger populations by now. Look at how the population of the USA grew, for example. But natural Human development is impossible in New Zealand and Australia. It doesn't suit the purposes of those that really control the territory.

Australia in particular should have been another Brazil at least. The economic and social advantage Australia has over Brazil is extraordinary. But Brazil is at 200 million people, and Australia is just over ONE TENTH of that.

My point is that the people of both places are monitored and controlled to ensure no-one arises to power who seriously thinks either should be truly independent, and enjoy a future like that of other nations. Military installations litter both nations- installations designed to ensure the UK and USA can destroy the planet with their nukes, should they so wish.

At least NZ avoids the social engineering experiments carried out in its much larger neighbour. The Kim Dotcom scandal came as a nasty surprise, since most people in NZ work hard to actually believe the illusion of independence (laughably, NZ once 'banned' visits by vessels carrying nuclear weapons- a hilariously naive concept but one the powers-that-be were prepared to allow the population to think was true).

Like I said, the security services in NZ are there to prevent a people's takeover of the land they already think they own. New Zealanders can vote all they like,so long as voting is unable to change anything. Should a person arise who wants to challenge/change the system, the system wants to know before the threat has a chance to develop to a dangerous level. Democracy means the right to passively empower your masters, and nothing else.

No-one plays this game dirtier than Britain. It is just that Britain puts such a 'civilised' face on things, providing you do not dare look beneath the surface. The Kim Dotcom fiasco was a classic example of why we say the US has the muscle but the UK has the brains. Just look at how Tony Blair's puppet set the standard for Internet repression across the globe with his announcements today.

You live in Canada, Australia, NZ, or many other 'ex'-colonies, and the Brit authorities will continue to spy on you for the same reasons this has been true since the colonies were first established. Only America was allowed to 'break away' and only then to create a 'fresh start' Britain Mark II. It is hilarious to consider that Yanks still believe they had a choice to NOT participate in WW1 or WW2.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (1, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | about 9 months ago | (#44357021)

The Yanks, for instance, are currently bombing the hell out of natural Australian resources...

Uh, four inert bombs on a small section of the GBR is "bombing the hell out of your natural resources"? After listening to Aussie lesbians drone on and on about how horrible the US is at a party once in Tokyo its no surprise to me that some subjects of the common wealth tend to over-blow anything that has to do with the US. Especially when its bad, of course. I'm not saying the jettison was a great idea, but COME ON.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357293)

That is incorrect, it was a life fire exercise. Two of them were "inert" (I'm not sure what that means, possibly dummy bombs, possibly live bombs but with no detonator). But two of them are live rounds, but not armed.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (1)

black3d (1648913) | about 9 months ago | (#44357491)

Two were concrete-filled dummy bombs, the other two had explosives but no detonator. But, this doesn't equate to "the US bombing the hell out of Australian natural resources". It's a joint military practice exercise where some inactive munitions were dumped in the greater area of the national park known as the "Great Barrier Reef". They're also likely to be recovered - the ones with explosives in, at the very least. Also, OP appears to be mostly crazy.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#44357303)

That bomb drop thing was a case of "drop them somewhere or the plane will crash and explode when it lands".

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (1)

Livius (318358) | about 9 months ago | (#44357269)

Only America was allowed to 'break away'

And now it's enslaved by corporations.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#44357287)

What the fuck are you blabbering about? New Zealand is under the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth II.
Every member of the armed forces swear allegiance to the Queen, not the government or the citizens of New Zealand.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357321)

Fuck you and your pro human infestation agenda.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (2, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44357551)

laughably, NZ once 'banned' visits by vessels carrying nuclear weapons- a hilariously naive concept but one the powers-that-be were prepared to allow the population to think was true

And what US military ship has docked at NZ since? The US even claimed to go so far as to have no presence in NZ (so said an old newspaper article), despite a current US military base in Christchurch as a jumping off point for US Antarctic operations.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#44357739)

My point is that the people of both places are monitored and controlled to ensure no-one arises to power who seriously thinks either should be truly independent,

Controlled how? With America's secret mind control rays? Get real.

NZ and Australia are cozy with the US for one simple reason: it's economically beneficial. If NZ or Australia would like to be "truly independent", they could choose to become like North Korea. But if they want to take advantage of the global economic and political system that exists now, you need to play by its rules, and those rules were largely set by the US. They were set by the US because it filled the vacuum that European and Asian nations left when they self-destructed and their global systems (imperialism, colonialism, military domination, nationalism, closed borders) collapsed.

Re:Neither NZ or Australia are real nations (2)

Kalriath (849904) | about 9 months ago | (#44357967)

Which is fine, because even most Americans admit the current US system seems to be doing a spectacular job of collapsing as well.

Totalitarianism is taking over the world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44356969)

This is becoming a real concern for so called "free societies" all over the world. The question is what can we actually do about it before it's too late?

Obviously most people just don't give a damn.

Possibly the only way these plans for total surveillance will ever been overturned and removed will be when they have been put in place and then been compromised.

I honestly find it remarkable that in this digital age so many people are apathetic to this kind of thing.

It's the right thing to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357075)

Laws that restrict what you can/can't do to people in terms of their citizenship are evil. The US outlawed them some time ago (in the 14th Amendment), and the more other countries follow suit the better.

If it's legal to spy on people in Location A, then it's legal to spy on them no matter who they are. Whether they're a Chinese spy or an American spy or the Prime Minister of New Zealand should make no difference - all that matters is that they're in Location A.

Apologies (5, Insightful)

Hairy1 (180056) | about 9 months ago | (#44357091)

As a New Zealand Citizen I would like to offer my deep heartfelt apologies to every other country of the world for expanding the powers of our secret police and destroying and semblance of privacy in New Zealand. I offer these apologies as this is not who we are as a society. Our Government is not representing the will of it's citizens, as was indicated in a recent poll which indicated that a vast majority of New Zealanders did not support the legislation. It is legislation being put in place to wipe out the balance of power; to enable tyranny in our country. They cannot permit people to stand up to them as Kim Dotcom did. This is not the example I want to make to the world. We pride ourselves on our integrity and independence. This legislation is submission to power, it is a disgrace and a treason against the national interest.

Re:Apologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357787)

Unfortunately, the media seem far more concerned with sporting events and royal babies, and the population gets waaaay more fired up when someone accidently confuses New Zealand with Australia (http://guardianlv.com/2013/07/severe-earthquake-strikes-australia/#comments). Our unenlightened and/or misinformed general public will probably quietly ignore the loss of privacy and growing powers of our laws and security services until the relative freedoms we have had are all but gone. They deserve to be more strongly considered and debated as there is likely some merit contained within them, in spirit at least.

Things concerning our national security and the new laws being put into place don't impact everyday New Zealanders' lives enough just yet, and things like general economic recovery and dealing with (and paying for) the Christchurch earthquake recovery are put first and foremost on the national agenda... well, almost. Don't forget that New Zealand parliament sat under urgency one week after the major earthquake to quickly and quietly sign copyright treaties (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/internet-file-sharing-bill-under-urgency-ck-90750) that might give us favour in future for free-trade agreements.

Slowly and surely our rights are disappearing as the general public (as was mentioned in comments above) basically dismiss various New Zealand Governments as benign, harmless, well-meaning but generally blundering, etc. I'm sure we all hope we won't be beaten with these sticks now and in the future - but it appears to me that we are already (eg. pretty much anything related to Kim Dotcom) or soon will be.

Apathy reigns supreme.

Re:Apologies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44358041)

Our Government is not representing the will of it's citizens, as was indicated in a recent poll which indicated that a vast majority of New Zealanders did not support the legislation.

That's because NZ voters, like voters everywhere else, are like spoiled little children that want the benefits of US friendship without the obligations that come along with it. They want their leaders to take a North Korea-like "f*ck you" attitude, while at the same time still having visa-free travel and easy shipping to most of the Western world.

Brown nose (0)

dinther (738910) | about 9 months ago | (#44357121)

Our prime minister John Key is so far up Obama's ass, you can barely see his shoulders. This whole thing is driven by the USA administration.

Re:Brown nose (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#44357703)

you are wrong.

US or not the US; each country WANTS to spy on its people.

the genie is out of the bottle and there's nothing that can be done (short of world wide revolution, which is pretty unlikely) to put it back.

don't blame any one country. this is about human nature and the concept that 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'.

if you think your country (name any one) isn't in posession or in want of this kind of spying power, you're sadly mistaken.

typical humans: they don't bother asking 'should we?' when a new technology comes around; they just say 'how fast can we adopt this?'.

a sad time for the human race. world-wide. its never been about country X or Y. its about human nature and how humans can't seem to govern themselves without abusing their power.

I guess it's time we all moved to Iceland (1)

Coditor (2849497) | about 9 months ago | (#44357471)

Is there any warm place that doesn't spy on its citizens?

Re:I guess it's time we all moved to Iceland (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#44358005)

Many of the European nations complaining bitterly about US spying have extensive domestic spying and surveillance programs themselves, and they keep large databases on their citizens. I don't know about the situation in Iceland, and Iceland is a nice place, but I'd not jump to conclusions over it.

What does the legistation do exactly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357601)

My understanding is the legislation authorises the GCSB to intercept communications for named agencies (Police, Defence and SIS) under a properly obtained warrant. Otherwise the three agencies would need to their own "copy" of the GCSB internally to do exactly the same thing the GCSB is going to be able to do for them. Net result would be exactly the same outcome, with the taxpayer/citizens paying more for the same level of big brother.

This is not blanket monitoring of the citizenship. It's targeted at specific individuals for who a warrant is obtained.

Posting as AC as I can never remember by ./ credentials...

Bread and circus (5, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about 9 months ago | (#44357755)

The real bread and circus is not the royal baby, it is the war.. the "war on terror". George Orwell was a genius in predicting that a perpetual war would be the excuse to bring in the police state. Even 10 years ago, I thought Orwell's idea of the perpetual war was a bit fantastic. Now it is so on the money, it is scarily prescient.

Not so much prescient... (2)

dido (9125) | about 9 months ago | (#44357799)

...as self-fulfilling prophecy. The trouble is that the leaders of the world read books like 1984 and Brave New World and see them as instruction manuals rather than warnings.

Well, well, well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44357879)

So lets see is the chain of command as follows now? So much for the "number 1" place in the world for freedom, then again, Kim Dotcom.
Israel > USA > NZ

Storm in Teacup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44358001)

The summary seems to indicate that the Labour and Green parties (who oppose the bill) are holier than thou and busy fighting for our rights.
Unfortunately the majority of the 'illegal' spying occured whilst the Labour government were in power and while Sir Bruce Ferguson (appointed by Labour) was in charge of the GCSB. Pot meet kettle.
On top of that, all this legislation is really about is the government wanting the NZSIS and the NZ Police (both of whom have legal authority to spy on NZ citizens - with a warrant) access to the tools/personnel that the GCSB has.

The bill is a storm in a teacup.

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