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Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Spy Bill" passes in New Zealand

John Key, New Zealand's version of GWB's crony, Tony Blair, has pushed a spy bill through legislation today.

Spy agencies can now legally watch Kiwis.

In a landmark law change, the shadowy Government Communications Security Bureau has been given explicit powers to spy on New Zealanders when it is acting under warrant and for agencies including the Security Intelligence Service, police and defence.
Parliament ushered in the change last night by a vote of 61 votes to 59, almost a decade after it passed the 2003 act promising that the foreign intelligence gathering agency would not be used to spy on New Zealanders.

Leading academic Dame Anne Salmond has accused Attorney-General Chris Finlayson of "gutter politics" after he criticised her opposition to the spying bill as "shrill and unprofessional".

During debate on the bill's third reading yesterday, Mr Finlayson said the "high and mighty, such as Dame Anne Salmond", were wrong in their opposition. He labelled statements likening the GCSB bill to Nazi Germany as "disgraceful".

In two newspaper columns, Dame Anne mentioned that in Nazi Germany, critics were told "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear", and likened that to arguments by the bill's supporters.
In Parliament yesterday, Mr Finlayson also slated former Labour prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, who he said allowed the GCSB to operate during his time with "no legislation at all".

But he claimed the "worst contribution" had come from Dame Anne - an anthropologist and the current New Zealander of the Year - whom he accused of being "shrill and unprofessional".

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