Press Release –July 2015
In brief the terms of reference ask:
1. whether intelligence and security legislation is ‘well-placed’ to protect security while protecting individual rights and
2. whether current oversight provides sufficient safeguards.
To access the site go to https://consultations.justice.govt.nz/independent/iris/#say
Use the online submission form https://consultations.justice.govt.nz/independent/iris/consultation/intro/view or
Email a written submission to IRISsupport@justice.govt.nz
A. Using the online submission form:
The online submission form is nine pages but is quick and easy to use. It does require some thinking if you want to make comments. The notes below outline where some pre-thinking would be useful. [The submission can be put on hold while thinking if necessary]
Note that some comments requested require specialist knowledge but comments are not obligatory.
In particular, Q17 asks if you think the balance of agency effectiveness and peoples’ rights is appropriate, then Q18 asks you to describe strengths and weaknesses of the system.
Q19 asks your opinion whether there are adequate checks and balances in the system and if you reply ‘No’ Q20 asks what other checks and balances you want.
Q21 asks if you think the legislation has kept up with technology and Q22 asks for suggested amendments if you think it hasn’t.
Q23 asks for any other comments about the legislative framework of the GCSB/SIS.
Q24 asks if you consider there is sufficient oversight of the 2 agencies, followed, when you answer ‘No’, by Q25 which asks you why you think this.
Q28 asks for suggestions to improve oversight.
B. Writing your own submission.
Writing your own submission will give you much more scope for expressing your ideas about the GCSB and SIS. Evaluation will stick closely to the terms of reference, but innovative or incisive points might get noted if they are clearly relevant and provide new information or suggestions. Quotes from authoritative sources and clearly relevant cases are very useful. Try to relate your points to the terms of reference. Well-written individual or organisation submissions will carry more weight than online ones.
Final Note: The above represent a personal overview of the proceedings and other comments on the process are welcome. The essential point is to get as many submissions as possible so that the government cannot claim people are happy or uninterested on the issues.
A few points to consider in submissions: [add your own]
Cost issues - Huge increase in GCSB budget over ten years. Now about $90m p.a. SIS steady about $45m
Privacy/rights issues - Loss of hard won rights to privacy and widening invasion of privacy. Likelihood of outage of personal information.
Political issues - Potential use of information for political gain.
Legal issues - Legislation often broad and ill-defined.
Oversight issues - Failure of past oversight and lack of direct Parliamentary control
International issues - Impact on NZ reputation and trade
Independence - NZ policy is controlled by Five Eyes and works in their interests
Cyberprotection - GCSB not the organisation for cyber-security