As Rest Of The World Considers Cutting Back Aggressive Surveillance, New Zealand Legalizes Massive Spying

from the how-out-of-touch-are-they? dept

The ongoing release of various leaks from Ed Snowden have drawn lots of attention and criticism of the activities of various parties in the intelligence community — especially those who partner closely with the NSA, the so-called “Five Eyes” countries: US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And while there appears to be real momentum in the US behind limiting this surveillance, apparently New Zealand has decided to go in the other direction, and has passed a very broad new snooping law that will force telcos to basically hand over everything to various intelligence agencies.

The technical Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill will compel telecommunication firms to assist intelligence agencies in intercepting and decrypting phone calls, texts and emails.

Critics say the bill is authoritarian, limits internet freedom and impinges on privacy and civil rights. The Government says it is necessary to replace a decade-old law to keep pace with technology.

We had mentioned this bill back when it was proposed earlier this year (before all the Snowden stuff went down). Given just how much outrage there is around the world about this kind of activity, it’s fairly incredible that the New Zealand government just pushed ahead with it, as if there wasn’t a giant public discussion going on. Oh, and the new legislation also lets New Zealand’s GCSB spy on New Zealanders as well. Until now, its surveillance had been technically limited to foreigners, though they did spy on New Zealanders many times. Rather than push back on the GCSB for this illegal spying, it appears that the New Zealand Parliament just decided to legalize the practice. Shameful stuff.

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Comments on “As Rest Of The World Considers Cutting Back Aggressive Surveillance, New Zealand Legalizes Massive Spying”

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Anonymous Coward says:

As I was thinking about Lavabit this morning...

It suddenly occurred to me what the answer was to achieving more secure communications that are not subject to this sort of thing. Someone needs to develop an encryption SERVICE that can be tailored to work with any existing communication service that is controlled by a SEPARATE COMPANY from the communication services itself. This would force the feds to make their demands in two different places. First they would have to demand the data from the communication service provider but they would then have to also demand the encryption keys from a completely different company. This would at least make they have to work twice as hard to get useful info.

out_of_the_blue says:

Gee, what prescient commenter said that spying would never reduce?

Oh, right. Me. Sometime forget my own awesomeness.

Anyhoo, “Considers Cutting Back”. Yeah, right, Mike. … As with all the diverting pieces that imply NSA is in trouble, there’s not the least evidence of it worldwide. Quite the opposite: both US and UK are simply codifying these crimes.

Nor is there actual evidence of any mega-corporation pushing back, just some PR about the sole point they’re trying to obtain, simply to reveal the number of official requests, but that leaves us with zero knowledge of their everyday for-profit cooperations. And none of it can be publicly verified: the only slight peeks we get into mega-corporations are actually press releases okayed by their lying lawyers.

So long as “The Market” (if not NSA directly) rewards Google for spying, do you expect it to do LESS of it?


Anonymous Coward says:

Someone needs to develop an encryption SERVICE that can be tailored to work with any existing communication service that is controlled by a SEPARATE COMPANY from the communication services itself.

Whoever controls the encryption keys controls who can see the encrypted traffic. Lavabit was a company doing what you suggested, and folded because it was required to hand over its keys. The only reasonably safe encryption system is one where the end points only control the keys, like PGP/GPG. Involving a third party to make it easier for users means the third party can be forced to reveal keys without the users knowing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Lavabit was hosting the mail and held the keys. Picture something like the common spam filtering setup where a person who wants to use it sets their mx servers to the servers of the encryption service. The mail initially goes to the encryption service servers (which only encrypts it before passing it on to the mail host. The mail host does not have the keys. The encryption service also doesn’t keep the messages once they are encrypted and passed on. The user logs into the encryption service and generates his own key. The encryption service stores the key along with the timestamp of when it was generated. The user also downloads a copy of each of his keys so that if he ever has to generate a new one he can know which one to use based on the timestamps of the messages. When mail is stored at his mail host, the mail host has nothing to do with the encryption process because it happens before it ever gets to them. If they are ever asked to turn over the messages from the account, they can but without the keys the content is useless. And the keys would have to come from either the user or the third party that did the encryption. No one but the end user ultimately has both pieces of the package needed to unencrypt the message.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Slowly lots of things are starting to jell to prevent the spying that is at issue with this article.

Those that work on encryption are looking to secure the weak encryption that the NSA put in place. Others are looking to address just what you bring up so that no one but the user has the keys. How that will work I have no clue. It may require totally reinventing encryption. But lots of eyes are turning to remaking secure communications to the NSA’s woe.

This fallout from the Snowden releases will take time. It is a slow build up of people resenting just what the NSA has done.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

SOMEONE besides the user has to have the key as the user isn’t there when the email is received. The point is that the message and the key aren’t held by the same entity for any length of time so that when they want to access an account to see what is there, they have to get the key and message from separate entities.

Anonymous Coward says:

Rest of the world?

I am sorry by I got a grin in my face reading that.

As for why the US may be really considering cutting back on the spying at least in public, it may be because they have no other alternative.

There will be economic consequences from this and there could be real political changes from others countries, the EU although not a military challenge has a big market and can regulate that market with iron fists if it choose to do so, forcing American companies to withdraw from European markets through the legislative process which would be painful for America.

Sebastian Dullien, a German economist, argues that some people might call on the European Commission to use these sorts of tactics against American tech companies. ?If they really wanted to hurt the United States, they could pass a law which said that any company that gives personal information on European citizens to foreign intelligence agencies would have to pay a fine of one million dollars per instance,? says Dullien. ?If that happened, it might force many of the tech giants to shutter their operations in Europe.?

The EU has no love for American tech giants the very people that are helping drive economic growth at the moment. Why others are cutting back their workforce Apple is building a factory in the US, Amazon trippled its work force, Google is going crazy with its projects creating alleged floating datacenters.

This is why tech companies will complain loudly about it and the US government if it cares at all about the economics of it will take it and smile.

Anonymous Coward says:

i am assuming this went ahead without any public or public representatives being consulted? just the sort of thing governments everywhere are/are trying to do! let’s hope that the NZ citizens get suitable het up over this, forcing the government to rethink things.
once again i say isn’t it strange how almost every country under the supposed ‘democratic flag’ are going down the same route of taking whatever steps they can to enable spying on their own people, in all ways possible. what the hell is wrong with these people? has the world gone fucking crazy? it needs stopping and quick before we are in shit so deep we cant haul our arses out of it!!
and the most important question is, who is behind it? there is no way the same thing can possibly be happening in so many different places without some sort of co-ordinated plan! and that plan has to have been conceived by someone and sold to very important people!

mangawheki (profile) says:

Re: Re: let's hope that the NZ citizens get suitable het up over this

That is absolute humbug. Nzers are fast asleep. After 9/11 and Having woken up from the dream I had been in for most of my life, it was very interesting to see friends, work colleagues and many others all in zombie land. Over the years I’ve found it so infuriating how the majority voters (pakeha) listen to talkback bullshit on radio, watch and read propaganda and trivia on tv and newspapers and then form their world opinions based on that. The evidence is clear that pakeha are just so easy to keep under mind control via media, however Maori at the top are just as bad, instead of fighting for peoples rights in these areas they also are pathetic puppets the majority of them, sucking up to whoever is in power and in it for THE MONEY and lifestyle as they rubber stamp anything their white masters tell them to. Believe me there are a lot of Maori in the system who are like that. S there you have it, NZ a fast asleep and out of touch nation with leaders like john key who are puppets for his European satanic occultic money masters, and Maori leaders and their corporate puppet slaves under them who are all blinded by money and position/power. Wen you go to my country just switch into the dream like 95% of the population and you will have such a blissful holiday! Kia ora!

Andrew Nichols says:

Re: NZs Spy Bill

I’m an ex NZer There was a short public submission process – and it resulted in almost universal condemnation from right across NZ society and political views. However, the NZ Govt – a minority admin, bribed the single vote necessary to pass amongst its mainly reluctant partners and that was that. The NZ public are rather sheep like politically and really dont get annoyed by anything unless there is a threat to recreational fishing or the price of gas goes up. One reason I was glad to leave. In short a pretty pl;ace to visit but without a longterm future because of an apathy towards fighting for democracy.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Socialism RULEs?

Uh, guys, I think you’re both wrong. Provision of social services has always been a function of the local/state/national govt. and predates “Socialism.”

We have been conditioned to think of govt.-provided services as socialism which makes us dependent and therefore evil, but if govt. didn’t provide them, we’d be reliant on someone else or ourselves. We can’t possibly provide all the services we need ourselves so someone else has to do it or we need to stop requiring so much.

Okay, who steps in when the govt. doesn’t provide? Usually volunteers and private enterprise. The trouble is, when private enterprise controls vital services, there’s little accountability and even voting with your wallet only works where there is effective competition.

Let us define “Socialism” as “State control of enterprise and resources” so we don’t get all confused again, eh?

Qyiet (profile) says:

This Sucks

I live in NZ, and I’m damn sad this shit got passed. I literally protested in the streets over this. The Prime Minister is the minister in charge of this and has been trying to cover up the bullshit exposed by the kim dotcom saga all ‘under urgency’ with a nasty legal patch job.

The only oversight on the new laws all come down to the PM saying “trust me, I’ll never let anyone do anything bad”. After cocking up the oversight on a bunch of crap including the dotcom raids I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him. He also said that he would resign if there had been mass spying on NZers.. it makes the guardian interesting reading at the moment, but I’d be amazed if he would ever do it.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is that the opposition parties have said they will repeal these changes, and instigate a wider review of NZs intelligence agencies if they are elected next time. And next time it should at least be close.

Anonymous Coward says:

John Key got his job by.....

And how did John Key become the leader of the National Party?

“Don Brash resigned on 23 November 2006, immediately before the release of Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men, which contained damaging revelations obtained from private emails. John Key became the leader of the National caucus on 27 November 2006.”

Because his predecessor had emails leaked about him. Hager writes about spy matters, so I imagine the leak came from the spooks.

Connect the dots indeed.

William Hewitt (user link) says:

NSA Spying & Lying and Obamacare

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2010 Dr Theresa A Deisher PhD published scientific study of autism changepoint caused by MMR vaccine in 1982! Dr Wakefield was right!

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2010 HHS Sebelius approved $35 million grant for bankrupt company Protein Sciences to develop new insect based vaccine FluBlok!

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2010 CDC reported AD rate increased to 200 AD per 10,000 population (2% of population) = 6 million AD victims.

2013 FDA approves FluBlok for children showering Protein Sciences CEO Manon Cox with $147 million for the Fall Armyworm insect based ?FluBlok? vaccine.

2013 Projected AD Healthcare Cost for US 50 states will be $3.2 million per AD victim x 6 million victims = $19.2 TRILLION!

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