InternetNZ briefing criticises proposed new GCSB spying powers

IRIS briefing cover

12 April 2016

Last month a report was released on New Zealand's intelligence agencies, entitled "Intelligence and Security in a Free Society." InternetNZ has today published a briefing on the report, and says one key recommendation would mean the GCSB gains new powers to spy on New Zealanders.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter says the report is a mixed bag.

"While the report does acknowledge human rights, the recommendations do not go far enough in reflecting these rights. They could result in much more extensive surveillance of New Zealand Internet users.

"The Internet is a powerful tool and helps to create a better world for us all. However this requires an open and uncapturable Internet. Granting the GCSB new powers to spy on New Zealanders' use of the Internet, even with the new authorisation process the report proposes, goes against the very purpose they state in their report - the protection of New Zealand as a free, open and democratic society," says Carter.

As noted, the report includes both positive and negative recommendations. The positives include, for example, oversight and accountability for the GCSB and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, and a very important recommendation that communications 'metadata' should be subject to the same protections as communications content. These are welcome and sorely needed changes.

InternetNZ's briefing is split into sections - outlining what we do and don't like about the report and its recommendations, and raising some pertinent questions about process, and what happens next.

The briefing can be found here:
Intelligence and Security in a Free Society - An InternetNZ Briefing

InternetNZ wants to hear from New Zealand Internet users. What questions do you have? Which recommendations did you like or not like?

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #EyesOnNZ on Twitter and Facebook.

ENDS

The full report - Intelligence and Security in a Free Society - can be found here.