The Anti-Bases Campaign is appalled by the recommendations made in the newly-released Intelligence Agencies review.
The authors have proposed overthrowing a basic tenet of spy operations in this country and paved the way for a massive expansion in surveillance of NZ citizens.
This is just another retrograde step on the road to a police state.
Previous restrictions on domestic spying by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) are to be removed; the basic democratic protection against the spies turning their cutting edge mass surveillance machinery on domestic life is to be eliminated.
The report justifies the increasing power of the agencies by proposing more transparency and oversight.
Ironically, Sir Michael Cullen, the key author of the report, is the man who exemplifies the inadequacy of trying to monitor these organisations as he was the person who, when he was in Government, continually gave false assurances denying illegal activity in the past.
The glaring deficiency in the review is the complete lack of consideration of the activities of the Five Eyes system which are the major part of the GCSB activities.
The super-secret group carries out operations designed to give Washington the means to manipulate political, economic and diplomatic activities around the world.
NZ’s part in this is despicable and reprehensible.
Any suggestion that oversight by a handful of Kiwi commissioners will reveal the truth about the operations being carried out by Five Eyes is laughable.
New Zealand, instead, needs to follow the example of Canada, one of our four Big Brothers in Five Eyes. Canada has suspended sharing Canadians’ metadata with its Five Eyes partners until it is satisfied about safeguards.
Related: Canada stops sharing Five Eyes data
NZ can only restore its reputation in the world by closing down the Waihopai spy base and pulling out of the Five Eyes system.
Plus it needs to close down the SIS and transfer its functions to the Police who (theoretically at least) have to justify their actions in a court of law.