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New Zealand Cyber Spies Win New Powers 132

caeos writes "New cyber-monitoring measures have been quietly introduced in New Zealand giving police and Security Intelligence Service officers the power to monitor all aspects of someone's online life. The measures are the largest expansion of police and SIS surveillance capabilities for decades, and mean that all mobile calls and texts, email, internet surfing and online shopping, chatting and social networking can be monitored anywhere in New Zealand. The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS or SIS) is an intelligence agency of the New Zealand government."
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New Zealand Cyber Spies Win New Powers

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  • Good grief. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:20PM (#30627824)

    New cyber-monitoring measures have been quietly introduced in New Zealand giving police and Security Intelligence Service officers the power to monitor all aspects of someone's online life.

    Who in the world thinks their "online life" can be kept secret from anyone? Good grief, you don't need to be the New Zealand Secret Service to dig around online to see what people are up to. Once again, if you don't want people to know what your doing, don't put it online for everyone (including the spooks) to see. The Interwebs are by their nature not private. And really, no one really cares what's on your Facebook except your uptight potential employer.

  • Re:Good grief. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:27PM (#30627870)

    But video surveillance is starting to blanket the civilized world, for a variety of reasons having to do with security, science/engineering, and business (Google). Tie it all together (and they will), and once again Mr. George Orwell is looking incredibly prescient. Apart from the date, 1984 was perhaps the most amazingly accurate forecast of the past 200 years.

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:31PM (#30627896)
    They need a warrant, just not multiple warrants. This is how it's supposed to work. They prove to a judge that they have reasonable grounds to monitor a persons communications, and only then to they do so.
  • Re:Warrants (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:34PM (#30627924) Journal

    Doesn't that kind of make sense? Before phone was the only possible electronic communications device. If there's a need (real need) to tap on to someones phone, it should include all electronic communications.

  • Re:NZIS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:39PM (#30627962) Homepage Journal

    The Australian Federal Police was going to be called the Federal Law Enforcement Agency.

  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by meist3r ( 1061628 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:47PM (#30628026)

    Would you rather that new frontiers to never be policed or surveilled ever?

    I would rather people started fixing that fucked up thing we call a "society" instead of trying to stomp out the fire even harder. Our societies are at war with each other because we're still ruled by ignorance and greed. No one installs monitoring systems in the offices so why the hell wonder about terrorism? To take your "frontier" analogy a bit deeper into reality. Instead of building a fence thousands of miles long and trying to "monitor" what goes over it you could try to seolve the issues that drive people over such a barrier. But you're probably right, monitoring is way less dirty and can't be pinned to individual responsibility.

    The fact is that criminals and other evildoers are using the internet and other technology for nefarious purposes as well as the good guys.

    Oh come on, evildoers? Really? Where are we? Kindergarten? I had hoped that this word vanished with the imbecile who introduced it. There are more "evildoers" in public positions and among the ranks of history than ANY terrorist group will ever hire in the entire existence of the planet. Sure we all use the technology for what we can and to prevent our antagonists from beating us to it. The problem here is that we subject millions of people all over the world to ridiculously inept means of what we call "prevention" and "preemptive measures" that the tiny amount of actual victims is far outweighed by the hysteria riddled members of the public who are easily manipulated. How many Al Qaida operatives do they actually catch in New Zealand? Isn't this just another excuse to find means to control your population? I seriously don't know but as of late ... I'm more worried about the finding out the truth part than about what they claim to protect us from.

    I for one am glad for police and law enforcement agencies having the same powers as they would have in the offline world.

    Then you, for one, don't understand that there is a difference between the "powers" in the offline world and the ones in the "online" world. Even if you wanted you need to put lots of effort into pinpointing someone's location in real life. The combined data from all our real world tech appliances on the other hand seem to erradicate that effort and give us instant access to whatever you need to know. At least in the olden times to find someone's hidden stash you would at least have to actually go to his place and break it open.

    I wish you a happy 2010 and hope that you'll take a lesson in what people call "sarcasm". Getting it makes life on the interwebz much easier you know?

  • by meist3r ( 1061628 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @09:11PM (#30628190)
    Oh wow and everyone will see from your clear wording and the intricate responses you took to my writing what a superior and ultimately better person you are. May the Lord set a place in heaven for you good Sir, for you've made your point with such swift eloquence that I would be but a fool to argue with it. To hell with the hippies and man was that game good or what? Miss anything? Am I now right wing and "real America" enough for you now?

    Can someone write me a more appropriate list to detect ignorance please? Mine just blew off the charts.

    1. Don't answer to arguments no matter how easily they can be interjected with your own
    2. Call your corresponding recipient a A) Leftist B) Liberal C) Nutjob or D) Tinfoil Hat or a combination of all
    3. Use adjectives like "pathetic" or "whiny" to distract from you lack of discussion value or opinion
    4. Calling an individual "You people" after having had one (in numbers 1 -ONE- O N E) written anonymous exchange over the internet underlines your differenciated approach to the world and people in General
    5. Make a reference to a board game you probably never played but value because of it's binary black-and-white-ishness
    6. Using the wrong board game analogy to imply an ultimate state of "decidedness" to superimpose your own self worth in spite of no mentionable arguments whatsoever
    7. Post anonymously to give power to your non-researchable untraceable remarks
    8. Consider the state of the world a "one sentence, you suck, I rule" kind-of-problem
    9. Take pride in trolling, nothing is valued more online that someone giving his "honest-to-god-uninformed-you-liberals-will-all-burn-in-hell-agenda"
  • by QuoteMstr ( 55051 ) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @09:16PM (#30628212)

    Why Does Interpol Need Immunity from American Law? [nationalreview.com]

    Obama exempts INTERPOL from search and seizure on US lands [patriotroom.com]

    Frankly, I wouldn't trust anything on either of those sites: The National Review of William Buckley's old magazine, which these days is just a neoconservative mouthpiece. As for patriotroom: sorry, but the word "patriot" is forever tainted with teabagger idiocy.

    To me, those sites have as much credibility as Sesame Street.

  • Re:Good grief. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @09:25PM (#30628270)

    Maybe you shouldn't be banking online if you don't want everyone to know what your doing?

    So your theory is that people should have to physically go out in public if they want something to be private? I hope i don't have to point out the obvious flaw in this.

    Online banking, and any other encrypted communication should be private by default.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @12:17AM (#30629196) Homepage

    I hope no one reminds them about foreign embassies on US soil and diplomatic passports. No search and seizure there either, nor coming or going.

    On a side note it is interesting that Interpol looks to be taking on a new role in providing policing capability and education in regions where military peace keeping activities are under way. It is wildly inappropriate to use military in a policing role for two reasons, the lack the proper training or the appropriate psychological profile and secondly they will bring home bad habits they pick up should they take up domestic policing (a growth in brutal and violent law enforcement where subservience is demanded with threats of violence).

    When it comes to monitoring and surveillance a big shift is required with regards to what is kept and what is selectively edited out. All surveillance information should be kept, included that material counter to the case being investigated, not just selected for the prosecution edited highlights. 3 months of surveillance should produce 3 months of surveillance not just a few minutes worth that when edited and cut serves the prosecutions case, this should be considered as tampering with the evidence, tainting it and rendering it inadmissible.

  • Re:NZIS? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by twosat ( 1414337 ) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @01:29AM (#30629528)
    As a Kiwi (New Zealander), I always thought of it as being watched by Big SISter rather than Big Brother!
  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meist3r ( 1061628 ) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @01:45AM (#30629612)

    So what would you call the guy who tried but failed to blow up an airplane full of people recently?

    How about: A criminal? How about that word? Last time I checked, trying to kill hundreds of people was a crime. In his weird and sad way what he tried to do was probably not evil. So since evil stems from the perception/perspective of the one being submitted to it I think the entire word has to go out the window in discussions like this. Good and Evil are fairytale words that normally don't do reality justice in any way.

    There are different kinds of evil doers. Some of them get themselves elected to public office or become so after they are elected. That isn't the same as someone flying airplanes into buildings or blowing them out of the sky.

    How exactly is it different? If a strange person chooses to commit murder-suicide for religious reasons and goes on a plane to do it I can see little difference to an elected official sending other people to die for his religious beliefs. It's both wrong but supposedly done for the "good" cause.

    Besides, do you really expect anything on the Internet to be private? If you want your messages to be private, learn to securely encrypt them, or whisper them into the ear of the recipient in a remote forest.

    Agreed. The question is just: How much right will you grant a government to snoop on everyone? When does it stop? Following your argument I'd assume you'd say "Never" since there is always the possibility of some other "evil" deed to be done so that ordinary people can't live their lives in privacy anymore because we care too much about the few dozens that snap in a spectacular fashion. After all someone driving his car dead on into traffic or shooting their family is nothing better or worse than a planejacker only that it's more prominent to show us the bomber and make everyone panic. Ever thought about how your neighbor could stab you to death at any given moment? No? Why aren't there laws prohibitting my neighbors from owning knives? They're potential death threats to my community.

    If you are not an evildoer, then it is unlikely that any law enforcement officer would have the remotest interest in your mundane life. They have better things to do to keep track of you and your life, unless of course you are involved in sex with minors.

    How about you're a minor yourself? What if your telephone says you've had consentual sex with a girl/boy of the same age and because people in robes think that you should go to hell for that you will be subject to criminal prosecution. Or say, you have not paid your taxes in full, or sped over a red light, or took phone calls from the wrong people once, or used the wrong email host, had a website in the wrong place, wrote a displeasing text on the internet, made copies of music/movies and gave them to friends.

    Law enforcement has LOTS of interest in you. After all, the smart criminals take a while to get caught. Someone has to employ the rest of the staff to get "something" done. Doesn't really matter what but once you read up on how surveillance is actually used in many cases you'd be surprised.

    It is sad, but evil is very real in this world.

    Sure it's real, unfortunately most people have forgotten what true evil actually looks/feels like. A desperate spoiled idiot with religious megalomania who gets on a plane single-handedly to blow himself up in martyrdom is not evil. If the same person got chosen (by democratically elected officials) to go to his bank job an blow up the economy for fast revenue ... to me THAT is evil. And yes, it's sad and very very true.

  • Re:Warrants (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitalunity ( 19107 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {ytinulatigid}> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @02:03AM (#30629698) Homepage

    Maybe so, but over the last 10 years the government has made some changes to it's interpretation of the 4th amendment. Specifically, what constitutes an expectation of privacy as defined by Rawlings v. Kentucky, 448 U.S. 98, 104.

    Beyond even the 4th amendment and 5th amendment, the US government has shown a willingness to ignore the constitution and even international law altogether if they feel national security interests are at stake. The somewhat recent case of an extraordinary rendition of a Canadian citizen while on US soil to Syria poses significant opposition to commonly held beliefs about constitutional protection. After being tortured and returned to Canada, in 2007 he came back to the US to testify before congress about his experience and as far as I know, nothing has ever come of that hearing.

    The Alien Terrorist Removal Provisions of the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995 allows for the FISA court to deport an alien suspected of terrorism based solely on classified evidence, to which the target cannot try to suppress evidence or intervene in any way including having representation at any hearings. Whether they are deported or not, they receive very little(if any) information about the proceedings or how any decision was reached. Oddly enough, after reading the entire bill, I could not find any reference anywhere describing where the persons can be deported to. In essence, our government formally legalized extraordinary rendition 15 years ago, although I doubt in many cases of extraordinary rendition that they follow the appropriate steps(however rudimentary they may be) through the FISA court. All they have to do is call it a deportation instead of rendition. And since the target cannot intervene in any proceedings of the process, they cannot suppress any evidence gathered via illegal means.

    If anyone was hoping for "change", you didn't get it the way you thought you would. The Alien Terrorist Removal Provisions of this bill were sponsored by your very own Joe Biden. Clinton formulated the bill but it wasn't until the Oklahoma bombing that the political will to pass it existed.

    So here we sit, 15 years later. The government now has the PATRIOT act on top of what was considered in 1995 to be necessary to stop terrorism. We have broad spectrum warrantless wiretapping without FISA approval based on a shady interpretation of an AG. Are we safer? In some respects maybe. Would any of these laws prevent a bomber such as Timothy McVeigh from repeating what he did? Probably not. Would these laws prevent someone from hijacking a plane and ramming it into a large bulding? Perhaps.

    But at what cost? It seems to be the question that no politician has the fortitude to ask. Where do we draw the line? Terrorism is evil, but at what point do we say "this is the line we can't cross". If we enact further privacy and liberty restrictions every time someone manages to strike America, what will be left in 20 years? 50 years?

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"