After two long weeks of waiting, New York Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten finally issued a decision in our case late yesterday afternoon, affirming the court-appointed referee’s report in its entirety, and ruling that the High-Rise Safety Initiative will not appear on the November 4, 2014 ballot.
We are tremendously disappointed that Justice Wooten did not reverse the referee’s recommendations, in particular, the referee’s poorly reasoned conclusion that the petition amounts to a “merely advisory” referendum.
Wooten did call the City’s attempt to have the case dismissed on a procedural technicality “irrational and misplaced, particularly, when the result would be the voter disenfranchisement of more than 30,000 registered voters, without due process.” But we also expected him to weigh in on the legal issues, which he did not, instead simply deferring to the referee.
We Have Decided Not to Appeal
Based on the advice of our legal team, we believe our chances of winning on appeal are slim. Our priority at this point is to preserve our ability to attempt another ballot initiative in the future – if, after evaluating the lessons learned from this effort, we determine that a revised petition has a good chance of overcoming the seemingly insurmountable legal hurdles. For reasons discussed below, appealing would only endanger our chances of success in the future, while offering virtually no chance of success now.
Therefore, after long and careful consideration, we have decided not to appeal, which therefore brings an end to the High-Rise Safety Initiative campaign.
We are so deeply grateful to the thousands of people who contributed financially, and to the thousands more who promoted and cheered on our efforts. Together we came very close to giving New York City voters the opportunity to vote for a new WTC 7 investigation, and to mandate that any future high-rise collapses be properly investigated. In so doing, we elevated our message in the eyes of many who previously did not take it seriously, or knew nothing about WTC 7, and we forced the issue into the public dialogue in a big way, even if that dialogue continues to be dominated by politicans and reporters still too clueless or afraid to question what they’ve been told about WTC 7.
Today we bring the High-Rise Safety Initiative to a close knowing that it represents yet another major step forward in the journey toward truth and accountability.
New York’s Ballot Initiative Process Is Not Voter Friendly
As many of you know by now, the ballot initiative process in New York State is limited and extraordinarily difficult to navigate successfully. The only form of citizen-initiated referenda allowed at the local level are those that amend a city’s charter. As such, a law that would be more appropriate for a city’s administrative code cannot be proposed through a ballot initiative.
Furthermore, proposed charter amendments must be substantially related to an existing provision of the city charter; they must also include their own revenue source if they cost money to implement; and they must not be “merely advisory.” Beyond that they must be consistent with all other state and federal laws. Over the years, the courts have made it increasingly difficult to meet each of these requirements.
Most importantly, the process requires voters to go through the work of collecting tens of thousands of signatures prior to submitting the petition language and having it certified as legally valid. In almost every other state with an initiative process, the government certifies the language before the petition can be circulated. In some places, such as California, the government even assists in drafting the language. In New York State, it’s the opposite. The law discourages rather than encourages citizen-initiated referenda.
The result is that only two ballot initiatives out of the dozen or so that have been attempted in the past 50 years have successfully made it onto the ballot in New York City, and no initiative that has cost money to implement (and therefore required a financing plan) has ever made it onto the ballot. Because of the long odds of success, ballot initiatives are not attempted very often in New York City, and usually only by groups believing that they have no other avenue for accomplishing their goals.
With full awareness of this context, we determined that we had a better chance of achieving our goals with a local ballot initiative than through any other means. And so, using the lessons learned from the 2009 ballot initiative, and working with the most accomplished election attorneys in New York City, we set out to draft a petition that would give us the best possible chance of overcoming the customary legal hurdles.
Where We Fell Short; Where We Believe the Court Fell Short
As it turned out, our financing plan was not bulletproof. While drafting the petition, we and our attorneys did not anticipate the problems that would eventually become clear – namely, that the .9% surcharge on construction permit fees could be construed as a “tax” that the City is not authorized to impose, rather than a “fee” (which the City can impose without state approval), and that having a fund to set aside moneys to be used in future years could be found to violate the balanced budget requirement of the Financial Emergency Act, which prohibits the City from rolling over unused funds from year to year.
To be sure, we made credible arguments on both issues, and on the petition’s severability. However, the court did not find in our favor. Our decision not to appeal is based in part on the fact that we are very unlikely to win on the financing plan at the appellate level.
We do, however, believe that Referee Crespo and Justice Wooten seriously erred in finding the petition to be “merely advisory.” Through convoluted and erroneous reasoning, Referee Crespo somehow concluded that enactment of the High-Rise Safety Initiative would, in essence, have no material effect on the City of New York.
To arrive at this conclusion, he ignored the fact that the petition’s obvious effect was to require the Department of Buildings to investigate the collapse of WTC 7 and any future high-rise collapses. Under current law, the Department is not required to conduct these investigations, but has the discretion to do so. Referee Crespo also concluded, based on an erroneous reading of the petition’s subpoena power and without factual basis, that an investigation of WTC 7’s collapse “cannot be effectuated.” Sadly, Justice Wooten simply went along with the absence of logic and erroneous findings proffered by the referee.
In short, we believe the “merely advisory” issue is winnable on appeal. But, given the short timeframe for that appeal to take place (at most a few days) and the likelihood of losing on the issue of the financing plan, it is almost inevitable that the appellate division would simply affirm the lower court’s decision. This would have the consequence of cementing the court’s finding on the “merely advisory” issue, thus making it impossible to attempt another ballot initiative with a revised financing plan in the future. While we do not know at this time if we will pursue another ballot initiative, we do not want to make another attempt impossible by appealing now when we have virtually no chance of winning.
A Monumental Achievement
While we at NYC CAN are of course very saddened by the court’s decision, we view the campaign as a monumental achievement that has served to bring ever-greater legitimacy and attention to our cause. The mainstream press took significant notice of our campaign, and we grabbed the attention of the New York City Mayor and City Council leadership. Further, tens if not hundreds of thousands more citizens are now aware of the collapse of WTC 7. We believe that what we have achieved will be a steppingstone to greater accomplishments in the future – whether directly leading the way to a third, successful ballot initiative, or channeling the support that has been mobilized toward a new type of effort.
We would like to thank everyone who supported the High-Rise Safety Initiative along the way. Our achievements were made possible only because thousands of people came together to support us. Without you, there would have been nothing. Thank you very much for being a part of our effort.
Executive Director, NYC CAN
Why do Good People Become Silent When Faced with Facts Which Disprove the Official 9/11 Story?
By Dr. Gary G. Kohls
Global Research, October 01, 2014
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan
“It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them.”– Adolf Hitler
“What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.”– Adolf Hitler
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”– Joseph Goebbels, German Nazi “Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment”
“Propaganda must always be essentially simple and repetitious. The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly… it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”—Joseph Goebbels
The question posited by the title of this three part series explores the dilemma faced by truth-seekers who have the facts that totally refute the Big Lies about 9/11/01.
These so-called “9/11 Truthers” or “conspiracy theorists” (pejorative terms designed to demean them) have been attempting to inform individuals and institutions that have chosen to disregard and/or disbelieve the overwhelmingly provable and documentable truths about the pre-planted controlled demolitions that pulverized into fine dust the three WTC towers on 9/11/01 could not have been accomplished by anybody other than insiders.
It is obvious to many that 9/11/01 was a false flag event that has successfully destabilized the world and has started a state of perpetual US-led wars all around the world, wars that have destroyed and are continuing to destroy the lives of soldiers (and their families), unarmed innocents abroad, women and children, tribes, cultures, religions, economies (including our own) and the very planet we live on. And, it must be mentioned, our illegal, ill-advised and stupid military aggression has raised up billions of mortal enemies all around the world whose enmity and justified desire for revenge will never be appeased until “the Great Satan” is finally beaten.
Read more here
Published on Oct 1, 2014
A 9/11 British activist hands himself in to UK’s counter terrorism police following British Prime Ministers David Cameron’s speech at the UN General Assembly last week, Press TV reports.
In response to Cameron’s remarks equating people, who question 9/11 and 7/7 attacks in the US and UK as well as the West’s policy towards the Middle East, with Takfiri preachers who radicalize extremists, Nick Kollerstrom handed himself in.
“As the evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by preachers who claim not to encourage violence, but whose world view can be used as a justification for it. And we know what this world view is, the peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot or the 7/7 London attacks were staged; the idea that Muslims are persecuted all over the world as a deliberate act of Western policy,” Cameron said while addressing the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 25. Explaining his actions to the Press TV correspondent in London, Kollerstrom said, “David Cameron has redefined terrorism at the UN to include people, who believe that the London bombings involve government complicity, were to some degree arranged, which I certainly do believe, and I’ve published a book on the subject and also I believe the 9/11 was an inside job. I do think Islamic nations are being selectively targeted, it’s perfectly obvious, and if the police force are going by his directive what constitutes terrorism, it seems to me that they need to arrest me.”
The Press TV correspondent was present while Colestrom handed himself in.
“We want to report a possible terror threat, we’ve got a bit of evidence and wonder if we could come in and report it,” Kollerstrom said at Scotland Yard headquarters in London.
The British police refused to arrest Colestrom, but he said that Cameron’s definition of nonviolent extremism will lead to the arrest of many Muslims, who share his views, and described it as another example of racial profiling.
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British PM David Cameron: “Non-Violent Extremists” Including “9/11 Truthers” and “Conspiracy Theorists” are Just as Dangerous as ISIL Terrorists
By Peter Drew
Global Research, September 29, 2014
Url of this article:
Dear Mr Cameron
I write this open letter to you in response to your recent speech at the United Nations calling for military intervention in Iraq and Syria over the threat of ISIL. In particular I would like to make mention of your reference to the so called threat to society of what you have termed ‘non-violent extremists’, including those who are attempting to bring forward information and evidence about 9/11 which contradicts the official version of events.
Putting aside the direct issue of ISIL for a moment, I find this position on 9/11 evidence to be quite incredible. It is a position that is either extremely ignorant, or it is a position that goes against freedom and democracy in British society to such an extent that it is scarcely believable. Huge numbers of extremely credible and professional people across the world are now bringing forward incontrovertible facts and evidence showing us that the events of 9/11 have been systematically covered up, and that the public has been deceived and manipulated on this issue at a quite incredible level. Just like the public was deceived and manipulated about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
While you are labelling these people who bring this evidence forward about 9/11 as ‘non-violent extremists’, are you aware of what is currently happening in New York City regarding 9/11?
Are you aware that more than 100,000 New York residents have just signed the petition calling for a new investigation into the collapse of World Trade Centre Building 7 through the ‘High Rise Safety Initiative’?
Are you aware that through the fundraising efforts of public groups in the US, there is currently a massive digital screen in the centre of Times Square showing rolling video footage of the controlled demolition of World Trade Centre Building 7 to three million New Yorkers? This is footage of a collapse of a massive 47 story building (not hit by a plane) that most people have not even been aware of or seen before now. How can this level of information cover-up be possible in this day and age?
Are you aware that many members of US Congress are now demanding that President Obama release the 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission Report because there is information in those pages that will shock the nation, according to the two members of Congress who have been authorised to view the pages?
But yet you have just stated to the world that you consider members of the public to be ‘non-violent extremists’ and a part of the ISIL challenge if they merely wish that these facts, evidence, and information about 9/11 be made available to the wider public and that appropriate investigations are held.
I repeat my previous point. To make that statement to the world as you did, you are either extremely ignorant about this issue, or you are attempting to take a position which is so at odds with a decent, free society that it beggars belief. I find it difficult to believe that the Prime Minister of Britain would be unaware of what I have stated here, and therefore I have to believe that it is the latter scenario that is most likely.
Just to reinforce my point here, according to what you have said, because of their views on 9/11, or because of the evidence they have brought forward, you consider the following people to be ‘non-violent extremists’ who are a part of the challenge that society faces with the ISIL threat:
· Members of US Congress who have called for the 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission Report to be released
· 100,000 members of the New York public for formally supporting and requesting a new investigation into the collapse of World Trade Centre Building 7 on 9/11
· Dozens of first responder fire fighters who risked their lives on 9/11 and who lost 343 of their colleagues that day, including those who formed the organisation ‘Fire Fighters for 9/11 Truth’
· More than 2,200 professional architects, engineers, and demolition experts from the organisation ‘Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth’
· Norman Minneta – US Secretary of Transport during 9/11 who had his formal testimony to the 9/11 investigation panel stricken from the record
· Richard Clarke – US Head of Counter Terrorism during 9/11
· Numerous family members of the victims of 9/11
The above list is just a very quick start, but gives a feel for the type of people who you are now labelling as ‘non-violent extremists’ and a part of the battle against ISIL because of their views about 9/11 or the evidence they are bringing forward. According to your speech to the United Nations, we now need to bring in legislation that will be able to shut down internet sites that bring forward the information and the evidence that the people listed above have been trying to highlight for investigation. That to me sounds like extremist behaviour. In fact, that sounds to me like the words of someone who is supporting an attempted cover up of monumental proportions.
It seems that everyone now acknowledges that we were deceived and manipulated on the issue of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to take us to war. It also looks like we have been deceived and manipulated on a grand scale regarding the true facts about 9/11. So, on this basis, why should you or anyone else believe one word about what the United States is saying about the threat of ISIL?
You have already attempted to take the UK to war in Syria on the basis of alleged evidence against the Assad government that has since proven to be inconclusive at best. Now just a few months later you are once again attempting to take the UK to war with Syria, this time because you now have conclusive evidence of a new and different threat. Meanwhile, you consider anyone who holds views about 9/11 that are contrary to the official story to be ‘non-violent extremists’.
Putting aside the direct issue of ISIL, which seems to be clouded in uncertainties in terms of exactly who they are, who and how they have been created and supported, and what their wider threat is to the world, I find your comments at the United Nations about the other aspects of this issue to be quite incredible.
9/11 is the event that launched the so called global war on terror and military action in the Middle East. It is now incontrovertible that we have been deceived and manipulated on a large scale about the true facts of 9/11. Getting the true facts about 9/11 runs right to the heart of all the issues we currently see in the Middle East and the so called war on terror. For you to label ordinary, caring, and patriotic members of the public as ‘non-violent extremists’ simply for asking these questions about 9/11 and bringing forward this evidence, and to state that these types of internet sites should be censored, then I have to say that it is you who are the extremist, in the extreme.
The truth facts and evidence about 9/11 are now coming forward and there is a tidal wave of growing awareness as people are now getting to see this information, as shown by what is happening in New York City as we speak. It cannot be covered up by any crude efforts by the UK government to censor the internet or to give these people an extremist label. It is far too late for that. For anyone in office to continue to support the attempted suppression of this information will simply result in them being positioned on the wrong side of history.
Peter Drew – MSc
UK Facilitator – Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth
The History of 9/11: “September 11, The New Pearl Harbor”. A Film to “Restore Democracy”
Review of Massimo Mazzucco’s Documentary
By Elizabeth Woodworth
Global Research, September 25, 2014
“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.” JFK, 1963
In September 2001 President George Bush II declared, “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”
In the headlong rush to defeat terror, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights have been gutted, torture has become routine, and spying on citizens and allies has become rampant.
The “war on terror” has been described as “a war both on an unknown enemy, and on an abstract noun — and therefore it’s a war with no end and a war that cannot be won.”
Regarding war, Thomas Jefferson advised the country regarding principles in his first inaugural address, 1801: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”
If anything has the power to halt the wars manufactured by 9/11, and to restore democracy and world friendship, it is Massimo Mazzucco’s unassailable evidence that 9/11 was a false flag operation designed to support a new generation of US imperialism.
Upon this knowledge, we have the opportunity to rebuild justice both at home and abroad.
A year after its release, the exhaustive documentary, “September 11- The New Pearl Harbor,” is widely considered to be the definitive historical record of the events of that day.
Seldom does a masterpiece of such scope, gravity, and sheer brilliance arrive on the scene.
And almost never does truth emerge so clearly – a truth with the potential to resurrect our world.
Veteran Italian film-maker Massimo Mazzucco’s encyclopedic work integrates, in three fast-paced DVD’s, a vast collection of original media reports, mutually supportive witness testimonies, and declassified government documents.
In doing so, it presents the most complete videotaped evidence that has been assembled in one place about the extraordinary – and until now – mostly hidden events of September 11, 2001.
Read review here
Panel includes: William Binney, NSA whistleblower; Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, EPA whistleblower; Jessica Desvarieux, journalist [moderator]; Phil Donahue, journalist; Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower; and Kirk Wiebe, NSA whistleblower – September 22, 14
Second 9/11 See the Evidence Exhibition Rotorua – A Worthwhile Event
Report by Peter and Mike
The 9/11 See the Evidence exhibition was held for the second time at the Rotorua Convention Centre on Saturday 20, Sunday 21 and Monday 22 September 2014.
We were delighted this year to display the images of the digital billboard of WTC7 in Times Square in a prominent poster with Mike’s new impressive model of the WTC complex underneath.
The exhibition also featured the looping clip of the compilation film of the ae911truth Experts Speak Out (the first four minutes summarising the new laws such as the NDAA) plus Solving the Mystery of Building 7 which captivated many of our visitors.
It was disappointing that our saturation leaflet mail drop and the media coverage we received in the Rotorua Review, along with Phillip’s interview on More FM, did not bring as many people as we expected, as the numbers attending were down on last year’s exhibition. There could have been several reasons for this: Saturday was voting day and the weather was bad with heavy rain. However, we still had over 60 people attend on Saturday, 80 people attend on the Sunday and over 50 on the Monday which was good for a working day.
Despite the lower numbers, the people attending were fascinated with the exhibition. As we experienced last year, many people had never even heard of WTC7. This year we had a diverse group of people through, including visitors from the US. A young American student and his mother read every word and took all our information cards and the Experts Speak Out DVD. Even though they walked around a bit stunned and were very quiet, they thanked us afterwards and said “Incredible, I never knew about any of this”.
We observed some people who were obviously in a state of cognitive dissonance as they soon realised that the information on the panels was conflicting with the official story. Some people made some disparaging comments such as “Why are you doing this exhibition?”, “Why are you telling us these things?”, “Why did we not see this information at the New York Memorial Exhibition?”. However, the majority of visitors supported what we were doing. For many people it was extremely informative and they thanked us as they left or made generous Koha donations.
One woman initially made a $2 donation, then a few minutes later after going back to read some of the panels, returned a second to give another $5. Then amazingly after she had left, returned half an hour later just to drop another $10 in the Koha box! Clearly the exhibition had a strong effect on her.
We received the typical questions people have when learning about this information for the first time such as “What happened to the four planes? and what about the passengers?” We encouraged people not to get bogged down with those details and to just focus on WTC7 and the unnatural ‘collapses’ of WTC1 & 2 and encouraged them to do their own further research. Free copies of Experts Speak Out and the ae911truth info flyer were available for visitors to take away.
Overall we felt the exhibition was a worthwhile event, and we are sure it will remain in the hearts and minds of those who visited. If anyone in other areas would like to exhibit the work, please contact email@example.com
This “docu-thriller” from father-turned-filmmaker, David Hooper takes us on a journey of awakening that begins with an innocent question. Soon, his life is turned upside down as he grapples with the life-changing conclusions of his findings. The film was made to wake up his friends and family. Now, it’s poised to wake everyone else.
http://www.AGDmovie.com On Sale Now!! Shipping Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014
Auckland Town Hall meeting to publicize, New Zealand’s spying on own citizens.
Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden
“Let me be clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called XKEYSCORE” – Edward Snowden
Snowden: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Isn’t Telling the Truth About Mass Surveillance
By Edward Snowden
September 15, 2014 “ICH” - “The Intercept” – Like many nations around the world, New Zealand over the last year has engaged in a serious and intense debate about government surveillance. The nation’s prime minister, John Key of the National Party, has denied that New Zealand’s spy agency GCSB engages in mass surveillance, mostly as a means of convincing the country to enact a new law vesting the agency with greater powers. This week, as a national election approaches, Key repeated those denials in anticipation of a report in The Intercept today exposing the Key government’s actions in implementing a system to record citizens’ metadata.
Let me be clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic. I know this because it was my full-time job in Hawaii, where I worked every day in an NSA facility with a top secret clearance.
The prime minister’s claim to the public, that “there is no and there never has been any mass surveillance” is false. The GCSB, whose operations he is responsible for, is directly involved in the untargeted, bulk interception and algorithmic analysis of private communications sent via internet, satellite, radio, and phone networks.
If you have doubts, which would be quite reasonable, given what the last year showed us about the dangers of taking government officials at their word, I invite you to confirm this for yourself. Actual pictures and classified documentation of XKEYSCORE are available online now, and their authenticity is not contested by any government. Within them you’ll find that the XKEYSCORE system offers, but does not require for use, something called a “Five Eyes Defeat,” the Five Eyes being the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and yes, New Zealand.
This might seem like a small detail, but it’s very important. The Five Eyes Defeat is an optional filter, a single checkbox. It allows me, the analyst, to prevent search results from being returned on those countries from a particular search. Ask yourself: why do analysts have a checkbox on a top secret system that hides the results of mass surveillance in New Zealand if there is no mass surveillance in New Zealand?
The answer, one that the government of New Zealand has not been honest about, is that despite claims to the contrary, mass surveillance is real and happening as we speak. The GCSB provides mass surveillance data into XKEYSCORE. They also provide access to the communications of millions of New Zealanders to the NSA at facilities such as the GCSB station at Waihopai, and the Prime Minister is personally aware of this fact. Importantly, they do not merely use XKEYSCORE, but also actively and directly develop mass surveillance algorithms for it. GCSB’s involvement with XKEYSCORE is not a theory, and it is not a future plan. The claim that it never went ahead, and that New Zealand merely “looked at” but never participated in the Five Eyes’ system of mass surveillance is false, and the GCSB’s past and continuing involvement with XKEYSCORE is irrefutable.
But what does it mean?
It means they have the ability see every website you visit, every text message you send, every call you make, every ticket you purchase, every donation you make, and every book you order online. From “I’m headed to church” to “I hate my boss” to “She’s in the hospital,” the GCSB is there. Your words are intercepted, stored, and analyzed by algorithms long before they’re ever read by your intended recipient.
Faced with reasonable doubts, ask yourself just what it is that stands between these most deeply personal communications and the governments of not just in New Zealand, but also the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia?
The answer is that solitary checkbox, the Five Eyes Defeat. One checkbox is what separates our most sacred rights from the graveyard of lost liberty. When an officer of the government wants to know everything about everyone in their society, they don’t even have to make a technical change. They simply uncheck the box. The question before us is no longer “why was this done without the consent and debate of the people of this country,” but “what are we going to do about it?”
This government may have total control over the checkbox today, but come Sept. 20, New Zealanders have a checkbox of their own. If you live in New Zealand, whatever party you choose to vote for, bear in mind the opportunity to send a message that this government won’t need to spy on us to hear: The liberties of free people cannot be changed behind closed doors. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to restore our democracies. It’s time to take back our rights. And it starts with you.
National security has become the National Party’s security. What we’re seeing today is that in New Zealand, the balance between the public’s right to know and the propriety of a secret is determined by a single factor: the political advantage it offers to a specific party and or a specific politician. This misuse of New Zealand’s spying apparatus for the benefit of a single individual is a historic concern, because even if you believe today’s prime minister is beyond reproach, he will not remain in power forever. What happens tomorrow, when a different leader assumes the same power to conceal and reveal things from the citizenry based not on what is required by free societies, but rather on what needs to be said to keep them in power?