In between interruptions and attempted justifications from John Campbell, Prime Minister John Key explained the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) Amendment Bill.
Do people care?
“We got 124 submissions on the GCSB bill, and 30,000 on snapper,” he says.
Mr Key says he spends a lot of time touring the country, but the GCSB bill is not a topic that comes up in his discussions.
“People do not raise GCSB. I have public meetings, I have question sessions at everything I do. I probably have half a dozen meetings a day with public engaging with people…People don’t raise this issue,” he tells Campbell Live. . .
* The GCSB will need to obtain a warrant from the Commissioner of High Security Warrants – a retired court judge appointed by Mr Key.
* The surveillance of] Kim Dotcom was illegal under the old law and it’s illegal under the new law.
* Mr Key says some discussion around the bill has been misrepresented, and the organisation will not be able to spy on New Zealanders.
* the original problems with the GCSB stem from a section passed by the Labour Government in 2003.
The Bill clarifies the law that the GCSB operates under.
* The GCSB had been assisting other agencies like the NZSIS, Defence and Police for years, under the previous Labour Government as well as under the National-led Government. The Labour administration knew about this activity and signed off on it.
* The GCSB believed that it was operating within the law at all times, but it is now clear that there are difficulties in interpretation in the law.
* The Prime Minister is responsible for for national security and takes it seriously. That’s why the Government is moving to clarify the law so that it is legally clear the GCSB can assist other agencies, as it has done for years.
This Bill won’t change what can be done, the SIS can do anything the Bill would permit the GCSB to do.
This isn’t a debate about whether a particular New Zealander will have intelligence gathered about them and about their activities.
It will happen with appropriate oversight and safeguards.
The question is whether the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) does it, or if GCSB does it under a warrant gained by the SIS.
The GCSB has the capability to do it now, the SIS doesn’t. If the Bill isn’t enacted what would have been done by the GCSB will be done by the SIS, more expensively.
I thought the Prime Minister won the debate, so did Gravedodger who reviews the interview here.
But it’s not only those of us in the blue corner who weren’t impressed with the interviewing.
Whaleoil found this on Twitter:
@JohnJCampbell Raving is not interviewing, John. A graceless and embarrassing performance. This from your greatest fan. Brian