Dotcom/van der Kolk GCSB Amendment submission

Kim Dotcom and Bram van der Kolk have made a submission to the Intelligence and Security Committee on the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill. They have requested to appear before the committee.

Executive summary

  1. This Bill seems to give the GCSB, a dysfunctional agency which has failed at every turn in recent
    times, virtually unlimited power to surveil us all at the whim of the Prime Minister and then
    to share that information with anyone (including foreign entities). Oversight of that power is
    limited or non-existent.
  2. The Bill is a clear example of the type of State intelligence agency overreach that has been
    strongly criticised by the UN Special Rapporteur in his Report … on the promotion and protection
    of the right to freedom of opinion and expression 1.
  3. Our primary submissions are:
    6.1  More time should be taken to consider and debate this Bill and the related
    Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill (TICS Bill).
    6.2  The extreme general expansion of the GCSB’s powers is not justified.
    6.3  Spying on New Zealanders is unwarranted without adequate safeguards, which the Bill
    does not provide.
    6.4  The ability of the GCSB to share New Zealanders’ private information with anyone the
    Prime Minister decides, in New Zealand or overseas, is far too wide.
    6.5  Proposed amendments to related legislation should be enhanced to provide adequate
    oversight of the GCSB’s operations.


  1. In summary, we are shocked that anyone would consider giving additional powers to the GCSB
    when it has shown that it is incapable of acting legally.
  2. If such powers are to be allocated, they need to be carefully considered; not rammed through
    with urgency to paper over those illegalities. The Bill submission date should be extended as
    should the time by which the Committee must report back to Parliament.
  3. Any powers which are allocated must not allow for information gathering and retention about New
    Zealanders and New Zealand businesses without judicial warrant and independent parliamentary
    committee oversight. It is very concerning that the Bill proposes that the Prime Minister would issue
    interception warrants without any judicial oversight, which warrants would enable information
    about New Zealanders to be gathered, retained and shared (including with overseas bodies).
  4. Any surveillance of New Zealanders should only be engaged in by the SIS, to prevent this
    indiscriminate sharing with overseas intelligence agencies. The Mutual Assistance in Criminal
    Matters Act (if complied with) provides an appropriate existing mechanism for such sharing.


Leave a comment


  1. Awesome. I think it’s becoming clear what was in the Appendices that were classified. I now believe Peter Dunne can be exonerated. He did mention simliar concerns did he not just Yesterday morning??

  1. GCSB Amendment Bill submissions | Your NZ
  2. Kim Dotcom to confront John Key tomorrow | Your NZ

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