Spies need less, not more, power

The Green Party is concerned that a Government review of the law that governs state spy agencies may be used to expand their powers, after the Minister in charge of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and Security Intelligence Service (SIS) refused to rule out expanding their surveillance powers today.

The Green Party is concerned that a Government review of the law that governs state spy agencies may be used to expand their powers, after the Minister in charge of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and Security Intelligence Service (SIS) refused to rule out expanding their surveillance powers today.

“I asked the Minister a simple question, will he rule out increasing the powers of the GCSB and SIS to spy on New Zealanders – and he refused to do that,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“John Key claims there are ‘deficiencies’ in the SIS legislation and the SIS Director says not everything they do is covered by legislation – so it looks like they are building a case to give the SIS more powers.

“Given how much power the GCSB and SIS have, and how often they are hauled up on their abuse of power, it is highly irresponsible to give them more power.

“It seems like the Government is softening up the public to give our spies more power – which there is no justification for.

“What the GCSB and SIS need is better oversight, not more powers to spy.

“We need to have a proper Parliamentary Select Committee to ensure the GCSB and SIS act within the law; not just an old boys’ club who never disagree with the status quo,” said Mrs Turei.

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