Herald says 80. Fairfax says 40

The Herald headline:

Key reveals 80 Kiwis linked to Islamic State

Up to 80 New Zealanders have been linked to the extremist group Islamic State and are being closely watched by Government agencies, Prime Minister John Key has revealed.

The Stuff headline:

40 Kiwis watched for extremism, PM says

Up to 40 people are being monitored by government agencies as possible foreign fighters because of their engagement in ”extremist” behaviour, Prime Minister John Key claims.

And people wonder why trust in media is low!

For those wondering the difference, the PM’s speech says that the watch list has 30 – 40 on it and there are a further 30 to 40 who require further investigation. So they are not on a watch list, but may end up on it. I’d say the Stuff story is more accurate even though neither is inaccurate.

The changes the PM is proposing are:

  1. Allow passports to be cancelled on national security grounds for up to three years, instead of one year, but allow a judicial review of the decision
  2. Allow a passport suspension for up to 10 working days while a cancellation is considered
  3. A $7 million funding boost for the , so they can assess those needing further investigation
  4. A law change to allow the SIS, like the Police, to install (with a warrant) a video camera for the purpose of observing activities of security concern, such as weapons training
  5. An emergency power for the SIS to conduct urgent surveillance for up to 48 hours before a warrant is granted, subject to the oversight of the Inspector-General. Any use would be reported publicly

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th seem fine to me. I’d like to see the case made for the 1st proposal and have some concerns over the last one.

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