The Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill has now passed the third reading in Parliament by a vote of 61 to 59 (National, United Future and ACT voted for it).
The bill codifies the government's assertion that all digital communications (which is increasingly becoming equivalent to "all communications") must be accessible by government agencies. The limits imposed are minimal and laws such as the GCSB Act override any limits included in TICS anyway.
Furthermore, to ensure that the government can do this, the GCSB will now have oversight of the design and operation of New Zealand's communications networks. They will be able to veto any decision made by the network operators that might impact on security or, more likely, limit their ability to spy as they see fit.
It seems odd that our government is passing these laws at the same time that the world is reacting to the Snowden revelations and people in New Zealand are starting to realise just how New Zealand is tied into these global spy networks through our membership of the Five Eyes (USA, UK, Australia, Canada, NZ).
Rather than take the opportunity to rethink NZ's surveillance on both local and foreign targets, the government has chosen to extend the powers of our spy agencies while refusing to make any significant improvements to their oversight.
We accept the need for some forms of spying and surveillance (especially by the Police to catch law breakers) when they have suitable oversight, but we are generally disappointed that the laws passed over the last few years have been focused on enacting surveillance agencies' wishlists rather than thinking about how to protect New Zealanders' civil liberties.
Tech Liberty is proud to be a co-signatory of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance.
Tech Liberty's purpose is to defend civil liberties in the digital age. One of the key challenges has been the way that advances in technology have made mass surveillance dramatically cheaper and easier to implement. We can see this battle currently being fought with the GCSB and TICS Bills in New Zealand and the recent revelations about pervasive government spying in the USA, UK and other countries.
We're interested in publishing any articles relevant to Tech Liberty in New Zealand.
Techliberty on TwitterMy Tweets
- New content now added at NZ Council for Civil Liberties
- Speech about RealMe, big data & power
- Problems with Customs having the power to force decryption
- The GCSB’s brake on innovation
- Can the NZ Police search your phone if you’re arrested?
- Update on automated number plate recognition (ANPR)
- Report: Eyes on New Zealand
- Privacy isn’t dead
- Is RealMe a threat to our liberty?
- HDC Bill reported back by the Select Committee
- HDC Bill: oral submission
- Submission: Harmful Digital Communications Bill
- HDC Bill and criminalising free speech
- Safe harbours in HDC Bill are a threat to freedom of expression
- TICS – Second spy law passes
- Changes to the TICS Bill
- Next: the TICS Bill
- Does the new GCSB Bill give them the power to spy on New Zealanders?
- Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance
- Speech to the Auckland public meeting against the GCSB Bill
- Opposition to the GCSB Bill
- TICS Bill – Oral Submission
- GCSB Bill – Oral Submission
- Open letter to John Key – the right to know
- Submission: GCSB Bill
- Will the GCSB ban Apple from New Zealand?
- Submission – Telecommunications (Interception Capability & Security) Bill
- GCSB’s new powers for wide-spread spying on New Zealanders
- DIA now filtering .. Google?
- Does the TICS Bill really give the GCSB control and oversight of NZ telecommunications?