National pressured into early release of draft Terror Bill after leaks to media

National is entering a new phase with it no longer able to set the timetable when it comes to when information is released.  Reacting to a second leak in less than a week, National’s released its draft policy over the weekend.   And none of the framing they would normally be able to do in the run-up of such a release has been able to be used, so everyone’s looking at it kinda raw

The changes were a response to the growing risk of radicalised fighters returning to New Zealand to carry out domestic attacks.

Mr Key said in a statement: “As I said earlier this month, New Zealand’s risk and threat profile is changing and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been successful in recruiting New Zealanders to its cause.”

New Zealand’s domestic threat level was raised from very low to low last month, meaning a terrorist attack was possible but not likely.

Government has drawn up a watchlist of between 30 and 40 people “of concern in the foreign fighter context”.

The legislation’s key changes were:

• Extending the period the Minister of Internal Affairs can cancel a passport to up to three years from the existing law’s 12 months.

• Giving the Minister of Internal Affairs the power to temporarily suspend passports for up to 10 working days in urgent cases.

• Allowing the NZ Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) to carry out video surveillance on private properties for the purpose of observing activities of security concern, modelled on the Police’s powers in the Search and Surveillance Act

• Allowing the NZSIS to conduct emergency surveillance for up to 48 hours prior to the issue of a warrant, with the approval of its Director and subject to the oversight of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.

None of that seems radical in and of itself, but what happened was Andrea Vance/Russel Norman piece hit early on Sunday morning, setting the scene for this information their own way.  How did that happen?  (I ask myself rhetorically)

The bill had also been shared with interested parties outside Parliament to allow them more time to consider it.

If “interested parties” can not be relied upon to work with the Government, they may as well be kept outside of the process.  There is absolutely no benefit to sharing working papers on issues such as national security that the government is seeking broad support and wide discussion on, if those “interested parties” simply use it to undermine the process.   There is a simple word for that:  sabotage.

The Green Taliban are certainly showing their true colours:  putting the welfare and privacy of suspected ISIS sympathisers above those of the rest of the population by trying to scare us all into believing we’re facing unrestricted totalitarian surveillance by the government.

Who else was pushing that line a lot before the election?  Oh yeah… Kim Dotcom, Laila Harre, Wrongly Wrongson aka Martin Martyn aka Bomber aka Martyn Bradbury, and of course none other than Russel Norman.


– Isaac Davison, NZ Herald

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