A hotly debated law was passed today in New Zealand that privacy advocates say will allow the country’s security agency to intrude in the lives of every citizen. New Zealand’s version of the NSA, the Government Communications Security Bureau, will now be allowed to aid “the police, Defense Force and the Security Intelligence Service.” Opponents of the law, including MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom, say the agency will now have unfettered access to all citizens’ communications.
“But the overreach, the lack of independent oversight, and the connection to the Five Eyes spy cloud which includes all communications of all New Zealanders are turning this new law into a serious threat to our basic human right to privacy,” Mr. Dotcom said.
Rather expectedly, the current administration in New Zealand was quick to defend the GCSB’s expanded power. All in the name of fighting crime and terror, Prime Minister John Key (pictured above) dismissed any dissenters as fueled by “conspiracy” and “misinformation.” Sound familiar?
“There will be times where a serious cyber intrusion is detected against a New Zealander and the GCSB will then need to look at content – that’s why the law allows that. But that should be the end point, not the starting point,” he said.