Internet: New Zealand allows its citizens to be spied on

Internet: New Zealand allows its citizens to be spied on

In New Zealand, the Prime Minister just managed to pass a new law that legalizes the communications of its citizens to be monitored.

At a time where PRISM and the various U.S. Internet monitoring programs keep on raising much controversy, the New Zealand government just adopted a law allowing its intelligence service called Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to spy on its country residents.

The vote was really tight with 61 votes for the law and 59 votes against the law. It was indeed approved after a big debate, despite strong opposition from such groups as freedom fighters, international technology giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, and even the law community. One of Faceboook’s spokesman even mentioned in front of a group of MPs that “these new tools can infringe citizens’ freedom and go against economic growth.”

The Prime Minister John Key indeed tried to reassure his fellow citizens : “This law is by no means a blank check to a massive espionage of all New Zealanders…. it is necessary ” to protect themselves from threats that are too often under- estimated “. He says that he wants to facilitate a greater cooperation with services such as the police or the army in a increasingly complex connected world.

John Key began to push for the amendment of the law in 2012 , when information leaked on wiretapping and the use of PRISM to put down Kim Dotcom, the famous owner of the Megaupload website. Kim Dotcom is fiercely against the bill that he feels is giving birth to a ” police state .”

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