Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Search and surveillance


We are a passive lot. Our rights to privacy, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, have been slowly frittered away by various Governments over the years. while rights to freedom from surveillance without cause have been taken away.
The media have mostly been silent. When they haven’t been actively supporting it, using, mostly, specious excuses about cutting crime.
The skynet bill and the new search and surveillance bill are unacceptable infringements on our rights to freedom from search and seizure.
Already existing laws about surveillance and airport and port security also exceed the rights of search, of ordinary citizens, that authorities should have.

In the interests of corporates and "supposedly" fighting crime, or terrorism, our rights to privacy, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and right to protest are being steadily reduced.

The potential for Government and police, to misuse these laws has already become apparent, with over 50 cases where the police exceeded their legal powers. Instead of charging the police responsible, with breaking the law. The Government proposes to make these acts retrospectively legal.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

For Those Who Still Think Man Made Global Warming is a Beat Up.


Those who went on forever about a mistake in the IPCC report ignored the real story.

The fact is, the glaciers are disappearing!
Watching a glacier die.

And the polar ice. Arctic Ice Shipping Routes.

Not that you could tell from the response of the New Zealand Government.
Even Labour, lets us down.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On internet Surveillance and Interception.


Years ago, when you applied for a marine radio operators licence, you had to sign a statement that you would maintain "secrecy of correspondence".

"Secrecy of correspondence" was the legal principle that, "Under no circumstances would you divulge the contents of any radio message to a third party".

In other words privacy of communication was sacrosanct.  All radio operators hearing a message,  including Government radio operators , were only allowed to divulge the existence or the contents of a radio message to "the proper recipient".

I am sure this was often honoured in the breach by intelligence agencies.  But the principle that an individuals right to privacy overrode any other interests ,for any reason, was there.

Similarly it has been a legal principle,  in most "democratic" States, that phone calls can only be intercepted on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
Usually by a judicial or court order. Police are not allowed to listen to private phone calls at random.

WHY THEN! Are we allowing the State, and even worse, private ISP companies and copyright holders to breach a our privacy IN CASE WE ARE BREAKING THE LAW.


Sure they have all sort of laudable reasons. Protecting copyright holders, attempting to limit paedophilia and catching organised criminals. But anyone, who wants to intercept other forms of communication to prevent these crimes, has to see a judge.

Of course reasonable people support intercepting paedophiles and terrorists on the internet. Who wouldn't.

However, those people can easily find ways and means to bypass internet scrutiny.

While the rest of us have our rights to privacy and free and open communication with our friends trampled on.

Once a Government starts internet scrutiny do you think they will stop with intercepting illegal traffic. How long before they intercept Wikileaks, The New Zealand Socialist Party. The Labour party!  Anything which embarrasses them!

How long before the SIS and police start making lists.

Of people who are not comfortable with the present Government.

They have done it before.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Zealand at the Crossroads


 The NYT on the "success" of Neo-Liberalism.

As "No Right Turn" says this graphic is "an appalling indictment of Neo-Liberalism".

In New Zealand we have seen the effects just this year. Over 17% increase in wealth for the top few percent while 200 000 children live in relative poverty.

The pattern in New Zealand, since our great Neo-Liberal experiment, following the USA, Ireland and UK, has been the same.

 Coddling the rich is destroying the American dream.

"No matter how many times it's said, lowering tax rates for the highest income Americans does not create jobs or stimulate the economy. In fact, a detailed look reveals that the overall economy does slightly better when taxes at the top are significantly higher. This also holds true on the state level, as states with higher top personal tax rates have growth rates and median incomes that average greater than those with low (or even no) taxes. No matter how many times the experiment is repeated, or how long you extend the results, cutting taxes for the wealthy does not stimulate growth."

Most of the wealth earned by Americans went to corporates.
"Corporate profits captured 88% of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1% of the growth in real national income".

In New Zealand cutting taxes for the wealthy was supposed to stimulate the economy. Since the first round of high end tax cuts,  investment in the productive economy, wages and manufacturing, in New Zealand, stagnated, and capital flew to gambles on offshore markets.

Decimation of Union and employee rights, and cuts in Government spending  has resulted in huge drops in real income, for all but a few New Zealanders.

New Zealand is at the crossroads.
We can vote for National and ACT, and join the list of failed States like the USA and UK.

Another three years of failed Neo-Liberal policies will destroy the country we know.

Do we want third generation unemployment and riots in the streets like the UK. Or the repressive, unequal, surveillance society the USA has become.

For the first time since 1984 we have a clear choice. Continue down a failed Neo-Liberal road, or Own our Future.

We can vote for the Greens   and Labour. For  sensible policies, which were middle of the road, before Neo- Liberal religious hysteria took over.