Jul 062013

DomPost Opinions – Letters July 6 2013

Britain’s problems are very different

In comparing New Zealand’s population with that of Britain, Tony McMaster (Letters, July 2) overlooks some fundamental differences, which make nonsense of his argument in support of the ‘‘contentious spy bill’’ now before Parliament.

Contrary to his claims, it is he, rather than Opposition parties, who is ‘‘naive’’ and looks ‘‘silly’’.

Britain is infinitely more vulnerable and exposed to espionage than we are. Britain is part of the EU, which requires it to accept most people from other European countries. It also has a long-held, self-imposed obligation under which it has accepted many people from former colonies – large numbers of whom are now British citizens, as are their children and grandchildren.

Moreover, the geographical position of the British Isles, close to a vast continent, provides relatively easy access for illegal immigrants and other undesirables.

None of that applies to New Zealand, which makes us far less vulnerable to espionage.

Covert spying on our own citizens thus becomes virtually pointless. The bill has, in fact, made many of us justifiably doubtful about this Government’s real motives.


We’re headed for a ‘spookocracy’

Edward Snowden isn’t the only NSA whistleblower speaking to the media. Since 2004, former NSA cyber-security expert Russ Tice has alerted media outlets, including the New York Times, to the capture and storage of electronic communications. He personally saw evidence that then-senator Barack Obama and Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito were closely watched by the NSA.

Mr Tice’s revelations are germane to the current Intelligence and Security Committee hearings here (July 3).

Who’s the latest known victim of government surveillance? None other than sitting MP and government supporter Peter Dunne.

The unbridled surveillance of top government officials in New Zealand doesn’t yet have the chilling effect it has in the United States and Britain, as witnessed by the fact that opposition MPs here still dare oppose unlimited surveillance.

Legislation far more draconian has been rubber-stamped (passed unread) by US and UK legislatures with overwhelming cross-party support. Why? Because all sitting legislators and judges are ‘‘made’’ men and women, living in fear of the spymasters, the true controllers of government. Legislators and judges simply dare not oppose their masters.

Is that really what we want for New Zealand: a spookocracy?


Aro Valley

 Posted by at 9:10 am

  4 Responses to “Dom Post letters July 6 2013”

  1. Mr Corrigan (whom I don’t know) takes a mainstream view, but still questions the motives of our government.

  2. I know this is tangential to the above letters to the editor but it illuminates a terrifying trend with the Media and also America. Judge for yourself …
    From the Wall Street Journal regarding Egypt’s current problems .

    “Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.”


  3. Justifying the ‘‘contentious spy bill’’ has had John Key say “if you have done nothing wrong ,you have nothing to hide” yet he used the full powers of the New Zealand police to hide what was on the inadvertently taped conversation between John Banks and himself. “if you have done nothing wrong ,you have nothing to hide” ,yeah right.

  4. Congratulations Phillip, on getting another superb letter published in the Dom Post. Sadly it seems our democracy is indeed heading in the direction of your excellent coined term of a “spookocracy” 🙁

    I am looking forward to Kim Dotcom releasing some evidence of just one of Key’s lies…According to Corin Dann on this mornings TVNZ Q & A the NZ Public is apparently on John Key’s side?!! http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/political-week-video-5497670

    I sent this letter off to TVNZ

    Dear Corrin Dann

    Actually, the NZ public is most definitely on the side of democracy and transparent government! I cringed at the prime minister’s demeanour towards Kim Dotcom and his casual attitude to New Zealanders’ privacy at the GCSB submission hearings. The irony of a German citizen informing our prime minister about the dangers towards granting a government increased spying powers with limited oversight, made it even worse. Not to mention hearing the submission from law abiding anti nuclear peace advocates who presented evidence of their harassment and spying from intelligence services for the past 30 years.

    Thanks to NSA truth telling insiders (Thomas Drake, William Binney and Russ Tice) we now know that widespread spying on the blissfully unaware citizens of the “free world” has been going on since before 911. If the intelligence services were really doing their job of protecting the world’s citizens against foreign enemies and terrorism, then they would act on and pay attention to the disturbing information provided by the NSA whistleblowers and those from every level of the US government such as Susan Lindeaur, Sibel Edmonds, Colleen Rowley, Lt Col Anthony Shafer and Robert Wright.

    Here in New Zealand, the definition of a threat to national security under which the GCSB would act has already been proven too vague. A Spy State for profit is being erected around us, not to catch the terrorists but to continue the nefarious invasion of privacy on law abiding, peace loving citizens.