Transcript: Professor Jane Kelsey – Stop the GCSB Bill Meeting – 19/08/2013

Law Faculty Auckland University, Jane Kelsey addresses the audience at Stop the GCSB Meeting, Auckland Town Hall, Monday 19th August 2013

Kia ora koutou, aren’t you magnificent [to audience] [claps].

Tonight I want to focus – I’m going to be bit of a lawyer, it’s my day job – I want to focus on one aspect of the Bill in particular, Section [C], Section 8c, which involves the GCSB giving assistance to the Police, the Defence Force and the SIS.

The Sunday Times Star in its editorial last weekend – isn’t it great that media has got it – said quote,

“that section seems to give the bureau open slather to do what it wants on behalf of the other agencies.”

Section 8c can bite whoever it likes and allows the GCSB to access our mobile networks and to collect all our phone calls, texts and data.  Now we’re supposed to not worry about that because the Police or the SIS need warrants to do that.

Now those of us who know anything about the Urewera Raids and the cases that followed [audience claps]. 

Shows how easily interception warrants are granted by judges –  and that even when they are granted the Police exceed the terms of those warrants because it’s common practice to do so.

Indeed – and I can say this because I have seen the evidence, none of you know this sweep was in that case; and you would be horrified to know how many people were caught in that web.

That’s the Police.

If we move onto the SIS the warrants are even worse. Under the SIS Act its functions are to obtain, correlate and evaluate intelligence relevant to security, and to communicate that intelligence to such persons and in such manner as the Director believes to be in the interests of security.  So what is this beast called security? 

Section 2 of the Act, at is amended in the late 1990s, includes “the protection of New Zealand from activities within or relating to New Zealand that impact adversely on New Zealand’s international well-being or on New Zealand’s economic well-being.”

So the basis of an SIS warrant is that you or I are engaged in activities that are deemed by those who issue these warrants to be contrary to the international well-being or economic well-being of New Zealand – now if that is not an empty box into which Prime Minister Mr Key and his cronies can put in anything they want – I don’t know what is.

Now let me link this to the particular campaign that I’ve being working on at present to stop the conclusion of a mega-deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement [audience claps].

Which is driven by and for the US and its corporations.

I want to highlight two connections – the first is the Government believes the TPPA is in New Zealand’s national interests and so I have no doubt Mr Grosner and Mr Key and others believe that our attempts to stop it are impacting adversely on New Zealand’s economic well-being – we are therefore open slather for an SIS warrant.

Now many of you will also know that they insist on keeping their side of these negotiations secret at the same time as they desperately want to know what we’re doing to try to stop them.  But it is not only the SIS that can get a warrant, under the GCSB Bill, the GCSB will be spying on all our international colleagues who are working on this international campaign.

You will know we had leaked chapters – leaked chapters come from somewhere inside and somewhere around the world – and they want to know where those came from, who they came from, how we analysed it.  They will want to know will there be any more, they will want to know if we are talking to negotiators of other countries that might be pursuing interests different from New Zealand’s – aka Fonterra [audience claps].

They will want to know whether we are advising any other negotiators in other countries, or indeed any other lobbies, about what New Zealand’s positions likely to be so they are forearmed in trying to bat back some of the more offensive demands from our end.  

This is major problem not just for us but for those who work in other countries for whom doing this work is high risk.  There are security laws, including in the US that can get some of those working on these issues into serious trouble. 

But the second aspect of this agreement is that it will extend the laws that are available, to be able to spy through the networks.  

Now in the beginning of these negotiations, we tended to view the likes of Google and Yahoo and Facebook as our friends as opposed to Hollywood and Microsoft and co. who were the bad guys – we’ll their still the bad guys – but since it was revealed the others have now being working to assist the national security agency to digitally eavesdrop through the PRISM project, they are not our friends either. So we’ve being looking more closely at what they have being doing.

What they say they want through this Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and their lobby net called the Internet Association, is a single set of rules for a global digital information market place that has no impediments or offline barriers – by which they mean data protections, privacy laws, civil liberties – anything else that is going to get in the way of their commercial market place, because they have effectively reduced us, as users of their technologies, to quote Deutsche World, “depersonalise buying and selling of individuals as if we were online chattels [audience claps].”

But having established that network, what they do is make themselves a convenient one-stop shopping space for the NSA and other security agencies, including the GCSB. 

And so what they are seeking in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is an extension of the rules that are available to them, where if we tried to put impediments in their way, not only can the US sue our Governments but those mega-companies can sue our Government s and seek massive damages because we have had the effrontery to try to protect our rights to determined our future.

Download pdf transcript: GCSB 2013 08 19 Auckland Town Hall – Professor Jane Kelsey


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