Hide: Your government is spying on you

The Privacy Commissioner reports the big three that ask for information are the Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Social Development and police. These three departments issued 11,333 information requests to just 10 companies – two telcos, seven financial services companies and one utility.

The Privacy Commissioner found ” virtually 100 per cent” compliance. The only non-compliance was when the individuals concerned weren’t customers – so the companies didn’t have the information.

The police need a warrant for the bulk of the requests they make. Thanks to powers given by Parliament, the IRD and Social Development don’t. We’re not talking information about gun-toting, murdering terrorists but everyday taxpayers and beneficiaries.

In 2012, the IRD served Trade Me with a notice demanding the details of nearly one million customers. To Trade Me’s great credit it resisted the demand and after much to-ing and fro-ing provided information on 44,368 customers. That’s still an astonishing number.

It is worrying there were more than 11,000 requests on just 10 sampled companies over three months – but consider this: the IRD’s request for personal data on one million customers would count as just one request.

Our personal information is being hoovered up by Government agencies on a massive scale. And there is no obligation on the companies or Government departments to tell us. Read more »

Killer Houses or dumb tenants?

In the corner of a bedroom at the Glen Eden state house grass from outside can be seen through a hole in the floor.

On the other side of the room, holes in the wall are caused by damp, rotting wood.

The family who lives there says some damage has been there since they moved in 2009.

“There’s been an opportunity over six years to do repair work to this property, and nothing has been done. The house, frankly, is unbelievable,” says Auckland Action against Poverty spokesperson Alastair Russell.

Mr Russell is now assisting the family.

Many of them sleep on mattresses in the lounge as the bedrooms are simply too cold.

What’s unsaid is that these people clearly lived there since 2009 without raising these issues with Housing New Zealand. ? The coded language is there. ?”There has been an opportunity over six years to do repair work” is code for “if only the dumb idiots had actually raised it as an issue.” ?”Mr Russell is now assisting the family” is code for “and they’re still happy to live like that, so Mr Russell has had to go to bat on their behalf because they’re too stupid to raise it as an issue themselves.” Read more »

5000 arrest warrants for beneficiaries


Q. What do you call 5000 arrest warrants for beneficiaries?

A. A good start Read more »