New Zealand govt to give GCSB power to spy on citizens

RNZ | 15 Aug 2016

New spy laws considered by Cabinet

Cabinet is considering new legislation for New Zealand’s spy agencies this morning, with a view to introducing the bill to Parliament this week.

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)'s spy base at Waihopai, near Blenheim.

Above: the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)’s spy base at Waihopai, near Blenheim. 

A recent review recommended the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the Security Intelligence Service be governed by one piece of legislation.

That would mean the agencies would operate under the same rules and compliance regime.

It would also mean the GCSB would be given a clear mandate to carry out surveillance on New Zealanders for the purpose of protecting national security, with a warrant.

Prime Minister John Key has said he wants as [broad support as possible for the passage of the legislation, and was looking for backing from the Labour Party in particular.

When the review was released, Labour Party leader Andrew Little said he would have to be convinced whether any expansion to the powers of the spy agencies could be justified, and whether that was in the public interest, before his party could support the legislation.

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