Labour communications spokesperson Clare Curran wants the New Zealand government to allow more time for submissions on the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation bill and the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) bill.
She says the government is pushing the bills through parliament the in a hurry. Submissions are due on Thursday, June 13.
Curran says New Zealanders need more time to debate the bills in the light of recent revelations about the US government Prism surveillance programme. She says the new bills will give the GCSB and other agencies “more powers to undertake surveillance on NZ citizens through all forms of communications as a matter of course.”
“(PM) John Key must front the public (as Barack Obama is doing in the US and David Cameron is being pushed to do in the UK) to tell New Zealanders whether information about their communications is routinely able to be accessed by the GSCB now, and just exactly what extra powers they will have under the new laws which will impact on the privacy and freedoms of us all,” she said.
Curran says parliament is dealing with one of the bills behind closed doors with no public discussion: “This is simply intolerable in a democracy where New Zealanders have ultimate power over the way they are governed.”