Media Releases

Media Release: Protest for a spy-free country
From: Stop the Spies
Date: 14 July 2015

The country’s top private and government spooks are holding their annual conference at the Rydges Hotel on Wednesday 15th July; the newly launched Stop the Spies campaign will be there at 5:30pm to protest the expansion of surveillance.

The theme for this year’s NZ Institute of Intelligence Professionals (NZIIP) meeting is ‘Protecting the Balance: Trust, Confidence, Privacy and Intelligence’.

“The theme highlights the current re-branding of surveillance been pushed by the government and private intelligence,” said Stop the Spies member Valerie Morse.

“There is no doubt now that New Zealand has an active role in the Five-Eyes and the global network of surveillance. Revelations have shown that NZ is actively involved in both spying around the world and the manipulation of communities and people for political ends,” said Valerie.

“The result is that the spies and their masters now know they need to ‘re-cloak’ themselves as open and transparent, and this is reflected in this year’s conference.”

“It is also reflected in the ‘Review of Intelligence and Security’ announced in May this year. The review is nothing but a rubber-stamp for mass surveillance. Under the pretense of aiding debate, the series of leading questions given to submitters ensures the intelligence community is taken as a given.”

“The review is a whitewash,” said Ms Morse.

“We don’t need a review to tell us what we already know – we need to abolish both the GCSB and SIS and get out of the Five Eyes. We need to discuss how we can become a ‘spy-free space’, not discuss how to become further embedded in surveillance.”

“The NZIIP may appear to be an independent non-government organization but it is a core link between both the private and government spy agencies.”

“One of its key founders in 2008 was Warren Tucker, then director of SIS. In the years since NZIIP conferences have been attended by prime ministers, the SIS, GCSB, NAB, and Defence Intelligence, as well as intelligence professionals from a range of other agencies and representatives from private industries such as Wynyard and Palantir.”

“NZIIP is an example of the network of dirty tricks.”

“We aim to be there for dinner time. The guest speaker is the Minister for Intelligence Chris Finlayson and we plan to use the opportunity to highlight the links between the many intelligence agencies and the NZ government.”

Stop the Spies Campaign Launch
Sunday, 12 July 2015
Press Release: Stop the Spies Coalition

A coalition of groups across the country have come together to call for the closure of the GCSB and the SIS, and for New Zealand to get out of the Five Eyes.

‘Over the coming months, the Government will run a narrow ‘Review of Intelligence and Security’ that is widely seen as hobbled before it even begins. We are taking this opportunity to call instead for a future without the GCSB and the SIS,’ said Valerie Morse, spokesperson for the Stop the Spies coalition.

‘The world is awake to the global spying network operated by the Five Eyes of the US, UK, Australia, NZ and Canada thanks to the work of Edward Snowden and fallout of the Kim Dotcom affair. In 2013 when the NZ state passed its controversial new Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) Act, massive public protests erupted.’

‘We join a long tradition of ordinary people who believe that NZ society would be better without the security services. We’ve come together because we don’t trust these agencies, and we don’t believe that they act in the interests of ordinary people in this country or anywhere else,’ said Valerie.

‘By definition these agencies are political in their work – the security that they are charged with upholding is the security of those who hold power to maintain that power. Meanwhile life for ordinary people has become far more insecure – the struggle for jobs, housing, health care and a decent life is all around us.’

The coalition includes peace groups, civil libertarians, tech libertarians, and social justice activists. It is supported by the New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties, the What If? Campaign, and OASIS. The campaign is mobilising people around these three demands:

– Abolish the GCSB
– Abolish the NZ Security Intelligence Service
– NZ out of the Five Eyes Intelligence Agreement.

‘We call for other organisations across the country to contact us and join the Stop the Spies coalition. This is an issue that affects all of us.’ The coalition will be campaigning for the duration of the review and intends to run a series of public meetings, a film festival, a poster campaign, a social media campaign and regional public events.