No Right fibs

May 6th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Idiot/Savant at said:

Meanwhile its worth noting that our MPs enjoy no such protection from the (and hence from GCSB). If John Key wants to spy on his political opponents, all he has to do is sign a warrant

That’s a pretty outrageous fib.

Here’s all the people who would have to be involved in breaking the law in such a way (a warrant to spy on MPs would only be legal if they were taking part in activities prejudicial to security. Section 4AA specifically outlaws the SIS taking any action to further or harm the interests of any political party. So be very clear a warrant to spy on MPs would be illegal. So who would have to be involved in this illegal activity:

  1. The SIS Director who must apply for the warrant. The PM can’t just make up his own warrants. The SIS Director is Rebecca Kitteridge – the former Cabinet Secretary – about as neutral an official as you can get,
  2. The Commissioner of Security Warrants who must also authorise the warrant. That is former Court of Appeal Judge Sir Bruce Robertson. He was appointed to the judiciary in 1987 by Labour, and his appointment as CSR in 2013 was agreed to by the Leader of the Opposition.
  3. The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security who would be notified of the warrant. That is Cheryl Gwnn, former Deputy Solicitor-General. She was appointed after consultation with the Intelligence and Security Committee. She was appointed Deputy Solictor-General in 2003.
  4. The half dozen or so SIS staff who would be involved in implementing the warrant.

So the statement that the PM can spy on his political opponents by just signing a warrant, is outrageously false. Idiot/Savant does many good insightful blog posts (even if I disagree with them). But sometimes he just gets hysterical.

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13 Responses to “No Right fibs”

  1. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Someone from the left hysterical?? Surely not??

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  2. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    It’d be nice to go over to Idiot/Savant’s blog and rebut his obviously erroneous comments. But of course he doesn’t accept comments, because he can’t bear thinking that other people might dare to have a different opinion to his.

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  3. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    Once again we see why NRT won’t allow comments.

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  4. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    It’s common to see ignorant or blatantly misleading claims about what the GCSB may be doing or could do. NRT should know the facts on this.

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  5. Yoza (1,875 comments) says:

    So the statement that the PM can spy on his political opponents by just signing a warrant, is outrageously false

    Exactly, why would John Key go to all that trouble of getting a warrant for an SIS spying exercise when he cam just pop over to his old school chum, Ian Fletcher, at the superiorly resourced GCSB and get the job done with minimum fuss.

    [DPF: And you're equally lying.]

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  6. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    It is more likely that a New Zealand prime minister would want to spy on his or her political allies, anyway.

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  7. jp_1983 (213 comments) says:

    mikenmild (9,064 comments) says:
    May 6th, 2014 at 12:34 pm
    It is more likely that a New Zealand prime minister would want to spy on his or her political allies, anyway.

    Like when Don Brash’s emails were stolen and published by Nicky Hager?

    Like when John Key had ‘Private Investigators’ go through his rubbish bins?

    Like when Mike Williams went trolling through business archives in Melbourne in 2008?

    QED…

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  8. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The Don Brash email were probably obtained through National Party contacts. If you were David Cunliffe, who would you most want information about? Your rivals in the Labour Party, or John Key? Political leaders always have their most trouble from within the ranks – “Et tu, Brute”

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  9. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    What do you expect? Lefties were taught to tell lies while still on the mother’s tit.

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  10. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    No Right Turn is guilty of hyperbole I think, but I also don’t think the idea of spying on politicians is a strongly forbidden as DPF argues.

    a warrant to spy on MPs would only be legal if they were taking part in activities prejudicial to security

    That doesn’t make any sense. Spying is about gathering evidence and intelligence. It can’t be predicated on that evidence and intelligence already being gathered to prove the crime.

    If the law is really couched in such terms then it’s a law designed to be avoided.

    Section 4AA specifically outlaws the SIS taking any action to further or harm the interests of any political party. So be very clear a warrant to spy on MPs would be illegal

    That’s a conclusion not supported by the premise. Spying on someone, presumably for evidence of a crime, is not “taking any action to further or harm the interests of any political party”, so is not outlawed by any such provision.

    The Commissioner of Security Warrants who must also authorise the warrant.

    This is the one solid rebuttal of No Right Turn’s claim – where he claimed only Key would need give authority this argues it requires two people. The points about the SIS Director and Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security argue against it being a trivial abuse the Prime Minister can delight in but don’t really rebut No Right Turn as strongly as a requirement another person need sign the warrant.

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  11. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    If an MP is undertaking activities that are harmful to the security of the State then they must be monitored. But that is a long way from someone who is merely a political opponent who is opposing the Government using what is available constitutionally. All this was discussed in the Denning report which is about 50 years old. For instance if an MP consorted with a radical group such as Al Qaeda and was assisting a would be suicide bomber to enter Parliament buildings that of course that MP would need to be monitored and somehow be eased out of Parliament. By proposing a blanket immunity for MPs opens the door for this to happen.

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  12. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    No wonder he calls himself Idiot first.

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  13. niggly (830 comments) says:

    I read NRT’s news article that he based his flimsy blog-post on … and OMG the UK has similar paranoid Green MP nutters in their Parliament too!

    So these two UK Green MP nutters accuse the GCHQ rather matter-of-factly of spying on them without any shred of evidence (sounds familiar doesn’t it)!

    Their only “smoking gun” is the fact that the likes of the GCHQ supposedly harvest electronic communication metadata.

    Now that’s not spying (in the traditional sense) nor alarming because the content of the UK Green MP’s won’t likely have been read, instead, like any organisation with a IT system or ISP even, they track all electronic communication metadata (eg dates of emails sent, to whom etc). There’s nothing unusual in that – that’s the way the Internet works.

    So unless these UK Green MP’s were plotting the downfall of the state or engaged in cyber criminal activity (which no doubt they weren’t) then the GCHQ won’t have the slightest interest in them. Why is that so hard for Lefties and muppets to understand?

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