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Law change will mean GCSB can spy on Kiwis

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Latest Political News | Wednesday April 10 2013 12:39

Law change will mean GCSB can spy on Kiwis

The law is set to be changed so the Government Communications Security Bureau can spy on New Zealanders.

The GCSB is not allowed to spy on New Zealanders - yet 88 cases have might have happened, on the request of the SIS.

Prime Minister John Key says that next week he will announce an overhaul of all our spy agencies, and changing what the GCSB is allowed to do.

"I think GCSB should be able to provide agencies support for NZSIS, under the right conditions and with the right oversight."

But a civil liberties lawyer says there is no justification to change the law to enable the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders.

John Key wants the law clarified, following a report that has identified 88 potential cases of illegal spying by the GCSB.

Auckland Council for Civil Liberties president Barry Wilson says the agency was set up to deal with foreign agencies and people.

"We don't need more and more snoopers spying on New Zealanders, suspending the civil rights of New Zealanders in the interests of so-called security."

Meanwhile, the Greens want to know why the Prime Minister wants to reward the GCSB for breaking the law.

Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says the GCSB should follow the law, not the other way round.

He says most people know if they break the law they will be punished, but in this case it appears Mr Key intends to reward the GCSB.

Photo: Edward Swift

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