Internet Party to ‘crowd source’ anti-spying bill

Invites New Zealanders to participate in online event to draft legislation

The Internet Party is planning to ‘crowd source’ the drafting of bill that, in the unlikely event it became law, would, it says, counter government spying on New Zealand citizens.

It is inviting New Zealanders to participate in what it says will be “a world-first online event to draft citizen-initiated legislation to counter government spying,” to be held between 8pm and 11pm on Sunday 6 August.

The party says the initiative seeks to “undo some of the damage to democratic and human rights inflicted upon New Zealand by the GCSB, Countering Terrorist Fighters, and Intelligence and Security Bills of 2013, 2014 and 2016 respectively.”

Internet Party Leader Suzie Dawson said, "New Zealand spies and their international counterparts have engaged in some of the most egregious conduct imaginable. From illegally spying on their own citizens, to engaging with foreign powers to do the same, to reprehensible cases of undercover agents assuming false identities, entrapping activists and targeting unsuspecting women for sexual relationships.

“The laws passed under urgency in recent years have only furthered the sense of invulnerability of these spies. They also violate international law. We can no longer wait and hope for the government to right these wrongs. We must show that where our lawmakers fail to do so, the public are willing to step up and address these issues themselves."

At the heart of the event will be a panel that the Internet Party says will include surprise international guests who are experts in the field of state and private intelligence gathering practices, violations and mass surveillance.

It is offering the first 100 participants to register for the webinar direct access to panellists, but says anyone can participate without registering.

When the draft legislation is finalised the party says it will be submitted to human rights, privacy and political organisations and groups around the world, to lobby for its adoption.

The party’s initiative follows the Government admitting that it illegally intercepted communications of founder Kim Dotcom at the behest of the US Government, which was pursuing Dotcom over alleged copyright breaches.

The Internet Party announced in May that it would field candidates in the general election scheduled for 23 September. However despite issuing a call for candidates in mid July its web site still shows 13 empty candidate slots and only one filled, by Dawson.

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