Viewport width =
August 5, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Why the GCSB is Not a GC

According to the Chinese calendar 2013 is the year of the snake, but in the political calendar it is the year of the spy. Our news this year has been dominated by Kim Dotcom, the GCSB, PRISM, the NSA and Edward Snowden. Just in the last week we have seen dramatic developments that a New Zealand journalist in Afghanistan was spied on by the Defence Force, and that a political reporter had personal phone records and swipe card details released.

Despite these various spy dramas unfolding day by day, I am as guilty as your average New Zealander about being a bit apathetic. I’m no multi-millionaire German internet tycoon, so I when we found out there was a wee bit of phone tapping of Kim Dotcom, I didn’t really mind. When I found out the GCSB had actually spied on 88 Kiwis, I thought that the chances I was one of them was pretty slim. When I heard that the GCSB laws would be changed so New Zealanders could be spied on, I didn’t really mind. I had joined the apathetic masses.

Then came the protests. People took to the streets and I took a step back and assessed just what was going on. I realised that slowly and insidiously, the role of spying and surveillance in our country had grown and from the apathetic, unsurveilled sidelines.

Why should you care? Not only will the GCSB and surveillance law changes allow data about who, when and from where you email, call, text message or (heaven forbid) snapchat people to be collected, but it will seriously alter the course of our country as a place where we value a free press. You might not give a damn about so called “metadata” being collated on a huge scale, you might think you have “nothing to hide and nothing to fear”, but the same data can reveal the sources journalists are contacting, something which seriously jeopardises their freedom and ability to report on and check the power of the Government. We might not notice it, and journalists might not either, but a country where whistleblowers know that details about all of their communications are constantly being collected will be a country where stories that we should know about and should be exposed will be kept in the dark.

Not only will your communications be spied on, but the communications of those who protect our transparency and ensure we have a fair and free country will be spied on too. These law changes should not pass, and we should give a damn. After all, they may take away our assets, but they will never take our multiple-chinned selfies.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Laneway: Luck of the Draw
  2. Cuttin’ it with with Miss June
  3. SWAT
  4. Ravished by the Living Embodiment of All Our University Woes
  5. New Zealand’s First Rainbow Crossing is Here (and Queer)
  6. Chloe Has a Yarn About Mental Health
  7. “Stick with Vic” Makes “Insulting” and “Upsetting” Comments
  8. Presidential Address
  9. Final Review
  10. Tears Fall, and Sea Levels Rise

Editor's Pick

This Ain’t a Scene it’s a Goddamned Arm Wrestle

: Interior – Industrial Soviet Beerhall – Night It was late November and cold as hell when I stumbled into the Zhiguli Beer Hall. I was in Moscow, about to take the trans-Mongolian rail line to Beijing, and after finding someone in my hostel who could speak English, had decided