Public bigger spy threat than GCSB

A lot has been said about the risks to the New Zealand public from spying by Government agencies the SIS and the GCSB, with scant evidence of there being any actual risk to most people.

In her latest Herald column Kerry McIvor makes an interesting point, suggesting that  public ‘spies’ are a bigger risk than the GCSB – Forget GCSB, public are the spies.

She refers to the surveillance, photographing and audio recording of Aaron Smith’s toilet liaison by a couple of of ordinary people (we are led to believe, unless the SIS has a Public Morals division that we don’t know about).

Which reinforces my opinion that it’s not the Government and the GCSB we have to worry about spying on us.

Its our fellow citizens and their smartphones. Nobody is safe, as Smith discovered.

I can only imagine the incredulity from the All Blacks team management when they heard of the incident: “He’s done what?!” “He did it where?!” “They recorded it?!”

How Smith thought he could get away with a liaison in a public toilet, at an airport – while people were queued outside the door, for heaven’s sake – is beyond me. That level of idiocy is mind-boggling.

But the woman in the loo wasn’t coerced. She was a willing participant.

That’s an assumption only that’s been made. We have very little evidence provided to us (fortunately).

What we have is the court of public opinion, or rather the court of media sensationalising, driven by scant evidence given to media by a couple of public spies.

This has been just about as bad as the office sex recording in Christchurch where a couple weren’t as private as they thought but a public spy recorded them and then they were harassed to an extreme level by media.

How many innocent people have had their lives trashed by the SIS or the GCSB?

Perhaps it’s not ‘big brother’ we should be worrying about (ok, we should still worry about that a bit) but rather ‘member of public with recording device’ plus ‘media intent on sensation and clicks’ may be our biggest risk.

How long will it be until a member of the public uses a drone to record something that is then used to trash a few people’s lives?

But the biggest spy risk is probably smart phones with dumb users and dumber media.

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3 Comments

  1. Chris

     /  October 9, 2016

    It is a pity Kerre didnt shut up about it on her Newstalk ZB slot on Friday. I had to turn her and her boy off because of their carry on.

  2. Corky

     /  October 9, 2016

    “How many innocent people have had their lives trashed by the SIS or the GCSB?”

    That’s a good question. We will never know because that information can be used judiciously without the victim being any the wiser. Conversely public snoops can’t wait to get their stuff on social media. Prudent folk can now use technology to their advantage too. Portable laser detectors can be used to find covert cameras. Cell-Phone jammers can create up to sixty feet of dead zone reception around your location. Pity Aaron didn’t take his privacy more seriously.

    • Gezza

       /  October 9, 2016

      Good idea Corky. They should all get them and use them all the time.