Home > The Body Politic > The real reason for the GCSB Bill.

The real reason for the GCSB Bill.

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Campbell Live on 10 July was an exercise in outstanding journalism. Campbell looked at a sequence of events, around July 2011, and culminating in the raid on Kim Dotcom’s home in January 2012.

Before you go any further, click on the link and watch the video. It’s worth it.

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Campbell live GCSB 10 July 2013

Click to view

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Once you’ve watched the video – the next step follows.

In the above video, John Campbell opens with the comments,

In short, the GCSB bill allows the organisation to spy on New Zealanders and to pass what they learn on to foreign governments.

“If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to hide” is a common response to criticism of such unprecedented power.

But the SIS can already spy on New Zealanders and so can the police.

The GCSB bill connects domestic spying to global spy networks, which, as we’ve recently learnt, are listening to almost everyone.

Now, the bill is being passed under urgency.

But why? Shouldn’t we get this right?

The Prime Minister is now trying to win support from either Peter Dunne or New Zealand First to get the bill through.

But whose bill is it, really? And who will we be spying for?”

Throughout the whole video, John Campbell is precise and thourough with his facts. He cannot be faulted for any inaccuracies that I could spot.

But he left out two extremely pertinent facts (unless he will be referring to this in a coming, follow-up story) – two pieces which complete the puzzle  of why National is promoting the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill so earnestly through Parliament.

We’ll come to the missing pieces shortly.

Four months ago, I published this blogpost,  The Fletcher Affair – a warning for Labour.

I wrote regarding Ian  Fletcher’s appointment as the new GCSB director;

On 4 April, Scoop Media wrote about the rationale behind Ian Fletcher’s appointment as GCSB director. Fletcher had no prior military of Intelligence experience. But he did have an extensive  background in intellectual property, commerce and “free” trade (see: The CV of a Spy Boss ) .

Fletcher’s appointment was announced  in September 2011, and was due to take up his new job in early 2012.

At the same time, police were planning their raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion, scheduled to take place  on January 20 2012.

Scoop wrote,

Suppose Dotcom’s arrest and extradition was the clincher in the deal that secured Warner Bros’ agreement to produce The Hobbit in New Zealand. But any link to John Key, who led the negotiations with Warner Bros, would tend to confirm Dotcom’s claim, supported by the strong connection between Hollywood and US vice-president Joe Biden, of political persecution. So the prime minister had to be protected by having total deniability, leading to the completely implausible claim of not knowing about the most prominent resident in his own electorate until the day before the raid.

Acknowledgement: Kim Dotcom Part Two

Conspiracy fantasy?

Remember that Key has had several top level meetings with Warner Bros executives,

October 2010

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No decision yet in Hobbit talks - Key

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – No decision yet in Hobbit talks – Key

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July 2011

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PM's 'special' movie studio meeting

Acknowledgement: Fairfax – PM’s ‘special’ movie studio meeting

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October 2012

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Key - Dotcom won't be discussed during Hollywood visit

Acknowledgement: TV3 – Key: Dotcom won’t be discussed during Hollywood visit

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Four days later,
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Dotcom raised at PM's Hollywood dinner

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And those are only the meetings which we, The Masses, are aware of.

It’s interesting to note Chris Dodd, the CEO of  the Motion Picture Assiciation of America (MPAA) referred to the Trans Pacific Partnership Aggreement (TPPA) in the 5 October NZ Herald article above.

The TPPA has more to do with intellectual property rights than with “free” trade. (See: “Global Research -  The “Trans-Pacific Partnership”: Obama’s Secret Trade Deal; See: MFAT -Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations – Intellectual Property Stakeholder Update)

It’s also worthwhile noting that Ian Fletcher’s appointment coincided to the month with the raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion.

  • Raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion:  20 January 2012.

And both men were involved in intellectual property rights – though from different angles,

  • Kim Dotcom – the man who Hollywood executives wanted brought down because of alleged copyright violations on his ‘megaupload’ website. (see: The MPAA on Dotcom)
  • Ian Fletcher – the man who had worked in the UK to protect oroporate interests in intellectual property rights. (see below)

When Ian Fletcher’s appointment was announced on 8 September 2011, Key himself proudly boasted of the new Director’s  career,

Announcing the appointment Prime Minister John Key said he has ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters.”

Acknowledgement: New Zealand’s new top spy boss revealed

Fletcher’s ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters” seemed to matter for John Key for some reason?

Kim Dotcom was very high on the list of issues relating to “international economic and trade matters“; namely intellectual property rights.  Indeed, in March 2007, Fletcher was appointed as Chief Executive of the UK Office of Intellectual Property.

On 20 March 2007, Ian Fletcher said,

“I am delighted to be joining the Patent Office. It already plays a vital role in the UK’s economic prosperity, its scientific excellence and its innovation system. As the Office moves on to tackle to challenges set out in Andrew Gowers’ review, the Office’s role will become even more central to the UK’s response to the challenges of globalisation.”

Acknowledgement: Intellectual Property Office – New Chief Executive for the Patent Office

(Hat-tip; Karol, on The Standard)

It has been widely commented that Ian Fletcher has no background in the military, nor Intelligence – yet was considered the one candidate who was eminently suitable for the role of Director of the GCSB.  Perhaps now we are starting to understand why Ian Fletcher’s appointment seemingly related to,

  • the Crown’s case against Kim Dotcom
  • Illegal downloads/Intellectual Property rights
  • MPAA concerns
  • Hollywood big business
  • Trans Pacific Partnership

And as Key himself admitted, the issue of Kim Dotcom had been raised by a Hollywood executive. Just what does our Prime Minister have to discuss with said executives? Who knows – it’s all done in secret, behind closed doors. We’re just expected to pay our taxes and shut up.

[...]

New Zealand is a small country. Secrets are notoriously difficult to keep. And even if the whole story behind the Fletcher-Dotcom-GCSB-TPPA thing has not been fully revealed – I think we’ve had a glimpse into the murky shadows of political perfidity to smell something rotten.

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Remember the connections and trails that John Campbell revealed on his 10 July show.

Remember the cast of characters involved, all around July 2011 and following months;

  • John Key meeting President Obama.
  • Attorney General Chris Finlayson met Attorney General Eric Holder, along with three AG’s from Canada, UK, and Australia
  • Holder was conducting a war on cyber “crime”
  • Ian Fletcher appointed as the new GCSB Director
  • Kim Dotcom was later charged with cyber crime

Remember also – and this was also pointed out by John Campbell – that Ian Fletcher had no Military or Intelligence experience.

But Fletcher did have experience with international economic, trade matters, and  Intellectual Property.

Key himself proudly boasted of the new Director’s  career,

Announcing the appointment Prime Minister John Key said he has ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters.”

Acknowledgement: New Zealand’s new top spy boss revealed

As I wrote in April,

Fletcher’s ” policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters” seemed to matter for John Key for some reason?

Kim Dotcom was very high on the list of issues relating to “international economic and trade matters“; namely intellectual property rights.  Indeed, in March 2007, Fletcher was appointed as Chief Executive of the UK Office of Intellectual Property.

On 20 March 2007, Ian Fletcher said,

“I am delighted to be joining the Patent Office. It already plays a vital role in the UK’s economic prosperity, its scientific excellence and its innovation system. As the Office moves on to tackle to challenges set out in Andrew Gowers’ review, the Office’s role will become even more central to the UK’s response to the challenges of globalisation.”

Acknowledgement: Intellectual Property Office – New Chief Executive for the Patent Office

(Hat-tip; Karol, on The Standard)

Perhaps now we are starting to understand why Ian Fletcher’s appointment seemingly related to,

  • the Crown’s case against Kim Dotcom

  • Illegal downloads/Intellectual Property rights

  • MPAA concerns

  • Hollywood big business

  • Trans Pacific Partnership

This was the first missing piece from Campbell’s investigative story; intellectual property.

Eric Holder’s “Cyber crime” in this instance relates to intellectual property, and as the highly publicised raid on Kim Dotcom showed – illegal downloads.

The final piece follows.

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4.

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National is placing considerable time, effort, money, and energy in pushing two Bills through Parliament;

  1. Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill
  2. Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill

Key’s rationale for the expansion of spying over all New Zealanders has consisted of purely bullshit excuses, relating to “weapons of mass destruction”, “terrorism”, and other fantasy scare-mongering. None of it is remotely  true.

The real rationale for pushing these two inter-related Bills is more prosaic.

The common description of the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill (aka “GCSB Bill)  has been that this allows the GCSB to spy on all New Zealanders.

This is correct.

Literally, correct. The Bill, alongside it’s barely acknowledged “sister-Bill” – the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill – is designed deliberately to mandate the GCSB to spy on all New Zealanders.

Everyone.

Not just criminals.

Not just left-wing  radicals.

Not just Maori nationalists.

Not just anti-TPPA acctivists. Or environment campaigners. Or trade unionists.

In fact, those people aren’t the real targets at all.

The targets are all New Zealanders.

The final missing piece? The aim of the two Bills is to monitor for illegal downloads over the internet.

That is what all the activity in July 2011 was all about; the US and New Zealand (along with other members of the “Five Eyes” group) were collaborating on how to eliminate the billion dollar, global,  internet piracy problem.

As manufacturing is moved to low-wage societies such as China, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, etc, the big remaining wealth-producing sector in the West will be – intellectual property.

Which not only ties together the two spying bills and co-operation between the “Five Eyes” group – but the TPP Agreement as well.

Think about it; what is the point of the TPPA (an agreement focusing mainly on intellectual property) – if it cannot be enforced?!

There is no way to protect intellectual property and enforce copyright if corporations are unable to detect who is downloading illegally.

Enter: the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill and the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill.

John Campbell asked in his programme,

“But whose bill is it, really? And who will we be spying for?”

These two laws will be the means by which corporations will enforce their intellectual property rights.

And they’ll be watching over us all to make sure we all behave.

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 12 July 2013.

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= fs =

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  1. 12 July 2013 at 5:34 pm | #1

    Makes sense. More sense than anything dribbling from ShonKey’s mouth.

  2. mcclairy
    16 July 2013 at 11:18 am | #2

    Welcome to New Stasi Zealand….quite a round up of events, links and pulling it altogether Frank.
    We have had some ‘colourful’ PM’s, bullying PM’s, incompetent PM’s, ‘just made the grade’ PM’s and I am sure we all can name ones favourite PM……. but now we have a PM who is dangerous to hard won democratic ideals, delusional – little frog in big puddle – deceives…..long Pinocchio nose…… and gets away with using denial and obfuscation to fool the foolish non thinkers out there. If the opposition allows him to get away with this then we really are up the proverbial creek without a paddle. What he is proposing is totally unacceptable and his refusal to listen to the Law Society, HRC Dame Margaret Salmond. and others of repute, is both arrogant and cynical, showing he cares not a dot for anyone but himself.

  3. 16 July 2013 at 12:27 pm | #3

    The only thing I would add to your reporting above – and the Campbell show – both excellent pieces is downloading is not piracy. This term is used to compare stealing a physical thing and take physical copies of it and sell to others – none of this occurs. The FBI shot themselves in the foot when they commented that copying all of Kim Dotcom’s network drives’ data was not stealing it – that “data is not a physical thing and therefore cannot be stolen”. That is precisely the point in this argument, sharing data over the internet does not take any thing away from the source material, the source material is still there. This whole issue started back when the likes of Sony stated selling tape recorders and blank tapes.

    • 16 July 2013 at 2:45 pm | #4

      ” The FBI shot themselves in the foot when they commented that copying all of Kim Dotcom’s network drives’ data was not stealing it – that “data is not a physical thing and therefore cannot be stolen”.”

      Interesting point. In effect, the FBI were committing the very act they were asccusing Kim Dotcom (or, more accurately, his customers)?

  4. 16 July 2013 at 12:50 pm | #5

    Have a read of this column Frank. Think you may not subscribe to it – make interesting reading….. http://torrentfreak.com/language-matters-framing-the-copyright-monopoly-so-we-can-keep-our-liberties-130714/

    • 16 July 2013 at 3:01 pm | #6

      Read it. Bookmarked it.

      I think the author – Rick Falkvinge – has sussed the whole language/definitions thing perfectly. thanks for the “heads up” on that, Neil. I may well use some (most? all?) of his suggestions from now on.

      Hence,

      “These two laws will be the means by which corporations will enforce their intellectual property rights.”

      Becomes,

      “These two laws will be the means by which corporations will enforce their industrial protectionism rights.” The word ‘rights’ seems to negate the “IP” term…

      Re-reading my blogpost now puts it into new light… (Damn, I’m never too old to learn, it seems.)

  5. Priss
    23 July 2013 at 9:51 pm | #7

    Shared via Facebook. Well sussed Frank!

  6. Mr & Mrs Smith (the Other Smiths)
    24 July 2013 at 11:44 pm | #8

    This is the reason we won’t be voting for Dunne ever again.Screw him and the goat he rode in on.

  1. 28 January 2014 at 7:21 am | #1
  2. 29 January 2014 at 12:11 pm | #2
  3. 17 February 2014 at 6:48 am | #3
  4. 23 February 2014 at 8:01 am | #4

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