The major driver of the GCSB bill has been the improper use of the agency by John Key. This bill was thrown together on the ﬂy to cover the PM’s embarrassment arising from his misuse of GCSB resources to spy on Kim Dotcom. With an honest PM, the legislation might not be problematic—but Key makes personal and intemperate use of the GCSB. He is therefore incapable of providing impartial oversight to the GCSB, and that leaves this bill fatally ﬂawed. It will have to be scrapped, and the current GCSB will have to be disestablished in favour of a more scrupulous organisation.
On Q&A this morning, the PM made his case for the GCSB amendments. First, he dismissed criticism as misinformed or politically aligned. On this issue, none of the people I heard addressing the public meeting or the march sounded misinformed. In fact, none of the expert testimony I have heard or read seemed misinformed. Quite the contrary. As for politically aligned, if opinions are to be dissed for their political alignment, presumably the National Government, indeed Key himself, would have to recuse themselves from the debate for their political alignment (only Peter Dunne could express an opinion via this logic, for as we know, he has no political alignment). Then the PM went to say that if we were to host big events like the Rugby World Cup, we need adequate security laws. Fair point. Well, it would have been had the Rugby World Cup not actually gone off without a hitch under the existing legislation. Then he said we needed to get our laws in line with those of our allies. Debatable. Well, it would have been had New Zealand not, all by itself and with the extreme disapproval of its allies, adopted staunch anti-nuclear laws that prevent the visits of US warships. So quite what the man was banging on about on Q&A this morning beyond fear-mongering propaganda, I’m not sure. When it comes down to it, the threat that he’s so concerned about is economic (I doubt he’s considered your physical well-being). Kim Dotcom’s crime, whatever it is, is economic. He didn’t kill anyone, or rape them or fly anything into anything else. Ostensibly (and deportably; I’m talking FBI armed-raid-on-you-house-ably), he breached someone’s copyright. This whole issue is about security only to the extent it’s about securing some people’s right to print money. And I far as I’m concerned, my right to privacy, like Dotcom’s, and like yours and your children’s children right trumps this any day, every day and forever more.
How typical of Google This is not the ﬁrst time this has happened. Despite switching off my YouTube history countless times, I have a YouTube history. It includes at least ﬁve videos (above) that I have never seen before. So not only is it inaccurate, it goes against my privacy preferences. This is nothing new with Google. I despise them for lying about respecting the user, by giving us false opt-out options. As Edward Snowden has shown us, no wonder these crooks never get prosecuted for the privacy breaches that I and others have exposed over the years.
The U.S. is the top consumer of cocaine worldwide.
African-American dealers are four times more likely to be arrested than Caucasian dealers—even though more buyers and sellers are Caucasian.
You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk because they’re such powerful adversaries. No one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they’ll get you in time. But at the same time you have to make a determination about what it is that’s important to you.
And if living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept—and I think many of us are, it’s the human nature—you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work, against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows.
Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect.
Google facelifts Dashboard, reveals more dodginess During my most recent battle with Google in April 2013, I checked the Dashboard a lot, and it reported that I had no Google Docs. (That makes sense, since they are blocked here.) Now I find I have one Google Doc. Which I never created.
It also says I have three contacts. That’s also a surprise since I spent time ensuring I have none. Of course, when I click through, it says just that: I have none.
I know: Google can’t count. It’s not the first time the Dashboard has said I have something when I don’t, and there’s plenty of that documented in the last few years as I’ve gone after the house of G for being dod-G. Holding on to blog data without permission, hacking Iphones, spying on anyone who had opted out of Ads Preferences Manager, committing libel on a regular basis—and that’s just in the last three years.
I would never have happened across any of this if I wasn’t asked to upload YouTube videos tonight for my mayoral campaign. Turns out Vote.co.nz doesn’t use Vimeo. And since yours truly had the password to the old YouTube account from the last campaign, it was down to me to upload. And whenever you have to give something to Google, massive alarm bells go off.