Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 23rd year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2017 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Accountability time looms

2 August 2017

"Ignorance is no defence" - or so we're told when it comes to the issue of obeying this countries laws.

It is the obligation of every citizen to ensure that they know the laws and comply with them or suffer penalties for their violation.

How feeble it is therefore, that the GCSB still claims it was unaware of the exact meaning of the laws which were supposed to prevent it from spying on NZ residents. How feeble it is that those responsible for the law-breaking that ensued were not penalised or even convicted for their transgressions.

At a time when the media is making the public hysterical about the "risk" to privacy that toy drones might represent, perhaps it's far better that we focus on our own government and its agencies as the biggest threat to our rights and privacy.

The crazy thing about spying activities undertaken with state-owned apparatus is that the government's own spy agency (the GCSB) apparently is unaware just who is using its resources.

Are you shirting me?

For some background on what I'm saying in today's column, take a read of this NZH story.

If the story is true (yeah, one must always acknowledge that we now live in an era of "fake news" where the mainstream media can no longer be trusted to present the unbiased, unaltered facts), the people of New Zealand should be gravely concerned over the state of our spy agency. We should be even more concerned at the actions or inactions of a government that would allow this to happen and go unpunished!

One would think that an agency trusted with so much power over the people of the nation would be held to very high standards of accountability -- yet apparently not.

If you were found to have bugged your neighbour's house or put a webcam in your own toilet then chances are you'd be facing charges, prosecution and perhaps even a spell in the pokey. When the government's own agency does something similar, in direct violation of the law then the government's response seems to be "she'll be right mate, what's the problem?".

Absolutely not good enough and now that we're just weeks out from an election, I think it's time to remind those in power that if they won't hold the spooks to account for their actions, we will hold *them* to account.

We, as mere citizens and taxpayers, can't punish the GCSB for its transgressions -- but we can punish the politicians who have given them a "get out of jail free" card on this occasion. And remember, it wasn't just Kim Dotcom who they illegally spied on, it was also another 87 Kiwis or residents. This wasn't an isolated case, it was systemic.

Even worse is the fact that the GCSB seems to have handed over the keys to its spying infrastructure to the USA without any form of monitoring or accountability.

Unacceptable!

So I think one of the key questions we need to be asking every candidate in the upcoming election is "what will you do to stop this wanton abuse of the rights of good honest Kiwis by the GCSB and its spying partners?"

If we don't get an acceptable answer then let the candidates concerned know that they won't be getting your vote.

The upcoming election is the only chance we get to hold our political masters accountable for the past 3 years of abuse so don't miss the opportunity to make them very much aware that now *THEY* are being judged.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Recent Columns

Should we be worried?
Apparently we're about to enter a period of increased seismic activity...

The Amazon tax
Last week there were claims by a member of the new Labour-led government that NZ would be following Australia's lead and introducing an "Amazon tax"...

Free speech versus $$$
The early days of our wired community are slowly slipping away...

Hype or vision of the future?
Take a look at this video. Is this hype or a worrying window into the future?...

I am part of a new trend
About a year ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's...

Ignorance and incompetence rulez!
As regular readers will know, I have a workshop at the Tokoroa Airfield...

Technology vs grunts
War in the 21st century is a far cry from the battles of WW1 and WW2...

OMG... the silver Aardvarkians
I'm getting old...

Do I fail the geek test?
I used to be a geek. No, actually, I was an uber-geek...

It's elf and safety mate!
As we all know, in the wake of the Pike River mine tragedy of 2010, the government introduced what can only be described as "knee-jerk" over-reactionary legislation that has ruined forever many of the freedoms that Kiwis enjoyed and treasured...

Is our future in tech?
Australia calls itself "the lucky country" but I think they're only the second luckiest country. New Zealand must surely outrank the West Isle when it comes to luckiness...