Home > Media, The Body Politic > The GCSB Act – Tracy Watkins gets it right

The GCSB Act – Tracy Watkins gets it right


Spy bungles start to entangle PM

Source: Dominion Post – Spy bungles start to entangle PM


“The GCSB’s interpretation of the law was so loose it managed to spy on 88 New Zealanders even though the law specifically stated it was not allowed to do so.”

Nice to see the MSM finally catching up with the blogosphere.

Since the introduction of the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill on 8 May 2013, the Prime Minister – with his usual talent for mis-representing the truth and talking absolute bollocks – maintained the fiction that the current law surrounding the GCSB (the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003) was “vague” and “not fit for purpose”,

“In addition, the Act governing the GCSB is not fit for purpose and probably never has been.

It was not until this review was undertaken that the extent of this inadequacy was known.”

Source: johnkey.co.nz – PM releases report into GCSB compliance

This was nothing less than a barefaced lie, designed to deceive the public.

The 2003 GCSB Act was actually crystal clear with it’s wording, and Section 14 of said Act states with unambiguous clarity;

14Interceptions not to target domestic communications
  • Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.

Source: legislation.govt.nz – Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003

For a long time, the mainstream media parroted this fiction (see: The GCSB law – Oh FFS!!! ). Evidently no one in newsrooms had bothered to do a simple check.

Not until Audrey Young wrote a piece acknowledging the clarity of the current GCSB law on 24 June. (see:  Audrey Young on the GCSB)

So it’s refreshing that Tracy Watkins, writing for the Dominion Post on 3 August, has also got it right.

Now all that remains is for a journo to actually ask Key why he bullshitted us in the first place.

What are the chances…?

Andrea – time for utu.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 4 August 2013.



= fs =

  1. AB
    7 August 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Buried very very deep on Parliament’s website – you need 6 or more click throughs to get to them – so linked here for convenience.



    Looks like the GCSB law change is more about protecting parliament from New Zealanders.

  2. Theodore
    7 August 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Unfortunately Frank, when the GCSB Bill was first reported by the media, they parrotted Key’s line that the present law was “vague and not fit for the purpose”. Since then we’ve found out this was utter garbage. But the media haven’t focused on Key’s Big Lie, or corrected it, so the public have taken it to be the “truth”. This is what happens when the media is asleep at the wheel.

    It’s the old maxim; tell a lie; make it big; and keep repeating it. Most of the public are thick enough or sufficiently uncaring to believe it.

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