GCSB Bills impact on our privacy.

Last night Peter Dunne on Campbell Live said his seven proposed amendments fix all the concerns that were raised by people who submitted to the John key chaired Select committee on the GCSB Bills. Campbell at first seemed sceptical, but he let it go. Didn’t even ask what the seven amendments said or how they would address ‘all the concerns of all the submitters’ of which Dotcom was but one.

Many people don’t seem to give a hoot about the GCSB Bills. The impression I have got from Wellington beltway journo’s and Opposition MP’s is that they are all more interested in being professionally outraged by it all, turning it into a political circus which they are loving and of which they have become both the leaders of, and the prize acts too. Centred themselves, in some cases, in the story itself.

I do care. I do not want anything that could take us to a police state and be used by a bad totalitarian like government. Yet I know there are or will be security risks and the state’s first obligation is to take care of its citizens security. To protect them but not to use it against them for political reasons.

Labour gave us the current GCSB legislation. It was no good. It was ambiguous. It allowed or maybe it did not, no-one is sure, the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders.  Eighty odd were spied upon including Dotcom. Only then was the question asked, ‘was this legal’? No is the likely answer or at least, “no, it was not supposed to be”.

So, National is now trying to make it clear when and under what conditions New Zealanders’ may be spied on. The noise from the media is deafening. It’s drowning out any attempt to explain that anyone is trying to make. In fact, as I said, John Campbell didn’t even ask for an explanation as to why Dunne’s seven proposed amendments would ‘fix all submitters concerns’. Superficial.

It’s enough to make me wonder if the journo’s really want to know? Maybe they just like the intrigue or the circus? Look at twitter and see the journo’s, bloggers and others having an ‘anti John Key’ romp over it all. Am I too harsh on these journo’s ? I know some are trying to deal with the substantive issues rather than harp on about their own feelings or about what a horrible dictator John key is.

Last night I tweeted with John Drinnan at the NZH and with Peter Dunne. I asked that Peter Dunne please write an answer to the questions John Campbell should have asked him last night and give it to NZ’s largest daily, the NZH for publication. Drinnan tweeted back , ‘Agreed’. The PM John key too needs to do more to publicly explain what the GCSB Bills are about and what the protections are and most importantly, whether data and what data will, as a consequence, be allowed to be collected on New Zealanders.

My advice to the John Key is bypass the beltway journo’s and go to TV1 and ask for a half hour slot to tell the whole story about the GCSB Bills. The US president does this from time to time. New Zealanders, at least those of us who care about our future democracy, deserve the unspun truth. Right now I don’t feel I can rely on either the politicians or even the media (sad really) to tell me it.

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Posted in Media, Policy, Politics

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