Internet mogul Kim Dotcom is set to go head to head with New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, this Wednesday, in an intelligence and security committee to discuss potential changes to the GCSB bill, which would give the intelligence agency increased powers for surveillance of NZ citizens. Essentially, it would legalise the type of unlawful spying of Dotcom, that took place before his arrest in January 2012.
Dotcom made the initial announcement of his attendance, speaking out against changes to the bill and also issuing a challenge to John Key, suggesting that he wouldn't attend: “I'm in parliament July 3 telling the security and intelligence committee why the new GCSB bill is wrong,” he said via his Twitter account. “I bet Key won't show.”
It's a public hearing too, so there will be plenty of people observing the committee meeting, to which Dotcom has suggested many people attend: “please come,” he said, “you'll love it.”
He also described the bill as one that wasn't designed to benefit New Zealand citizens, but in-fact US authorities, who he believes are behind such surveillance legislation. With good reason too, since there is a lot of evidence that American officials had a lot to do with his arrest and the seizure of his property. The warrant issued for Dotcom's arrest and the spying perpetrated against him during the build up towards the raid on his home, were also found to be invalid under current NZ law.
As it stands, the bill requires one more vote to pass, which Dotcom and others will be hoping to prevent this Wednesday. If you want to attend, the event details can be found here.
KitGuru Says: It seems very shortsighted of the NZ governmmentt to try and push through a surveillance bill when so much criticism is being thrown America's way because of the PRISM scandal. And here, with Tempora and that Snooper's Charter.