This is apparently how politics works if you ask the foreign intelligence agency of New Zealand, the GCSB, or the country’s prime minister, John Key. Both the organisation and the man have taken real flak over the past few months for being involved with illegal surveillance of NZ citizen, Kim Dotcom, the founder of Mega and Megaupload. Dotcom has in-fact been given clearance by the courts to sue both the GCSB and the police for the illegal spying. What is the government’s response to the whole episode? Just change the law so it isn’t illegal.
As it stands, the GCSB is a foreign intelligence agency, focused on internal web security and foreign threats to the nation of New Zealand. With the purposed changes however, it would be legally allowed to spy on NZ citizens, without reproach. As it stands, the GCSB is accused of spying on as many as 88 of its country’s people. How the law change would affect these outstanding accusations remains to be seen.
Kim Dotcom was pre-occupied when asked for a statement
Dotcom himself is of course unhappy with the news but he’s not the only one. The leader of the Labour Party opposition, David Shearer said (via RawStory) that: “The state should not extend its powers to spy on citizens lightly… (John Key) is asking New Zealanders to trust him to personally to decide who can be spied on, despite his record of lax oversight of the GCSB.” He went on to describe the solution as a “band-aid,” that did nothing to address the mistrust the public now felt towards its intelligence agencies.
KitGuru Says: This seems like such a strange idea for the government. Its own organisation did something completely illegal, so instead of doing something to prevent it happening again in the future, the PM decides to legalise it. Someone should be fired at least.