The Mendacities of Mr Key #1: The GCSB Bill
In an on-going series, we will look at the half-truths; mis-representations; omissions; and outright lies, told by Dear Leader John Key.
1. The GCSB Bill
Last year, upon revelations that the GCSB had illegally spied on 88 New Zealand citizens, Key legitamised that law-breaking by passing the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill into law.
The official governmdent narrative was that the GCSB law was badly flawed; vague; and confusing.
Either in ignorance, or another of his pathetic lies, John Key maintained this fiction,
“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…
The advice we have recently received from the Solicitor-General is that there are difficulties interpreting the legislation and there is a risk some longstanding practices of providing assistance to other agencies would not be found to be lawful.
It is absolutely critical the GCSB has a clear legal framework to operate within.”
Acknowledgement: John Key – PM releases report into GCSB compliance
The proposition that the 2003 GCSB Act was “ not fit for purpose and probably never has been” is not supported by reality. In fact, the law was crystal clear with it’s wording and intent. Section 14 of said Act stated 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
- John Key wilfully mis-led the country, and in this blogger’s opinion, lied about the effectiveness of the law.
- The actual purpose of the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill was to legalise the GCSB’s illegal spying activities.
- Not only did the Amendment head off potential court action, but it legitamised ongoing spying on all New Zealanders, despite the original intentions of the Act that this would never happen.
Charge: broken promise/deflection/half-truth/hypocrisy/outright lie/mis-information?
Verdict: outright lie.
Newstalk ZB: Govt data casts doubt on PM’s job comments
Fairfax media: Demystifying the GCSB bill: Spies and lies
Previous related blogposts
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 17 February 2014.
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
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