5 Jul 2013

GCSB described as mind-boggling in scope

8:45 pm on 5 July 2013

Legislation widening the powers of the the Government Communications Security Bureau has been described as simply mind-boggling in its scope.

The Intelligence and Security Committee has been hearing submissions on the bill that would make it legal for the GCSB to monitor New Zealanders.

Professor Kevin Broughan of Waikato University said all New Zealanders have the right to not be unreasonably surveilled or searched.

He said the wide new powers proposed in the bill would be dangerous and would give the agency and its director, unlimited scope.

Blogger Frank Macskasy said under the legislation, New Zealand would become more like an Eastern European surveillance state.

Spying an act of terrorism - Morse

One of the people arrested in the Urewera police raids six years ago says the bill aimed at expanding the surveillance capacity of the GCSB is an act of terrorism.

An inquiry by the Cabinet Secretary found the GCSB illegally spied on New Zealanders, and Valerie Morse says the bureau's criminal offending shouldn't be rewarded with a law change.

She says that as a subject of illegal surveillance herself, she considers such surveillance terrorism.

The last public submissions on the bill, including that of Ms Morse, were heard on Friday.