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Green gains a bright spot in a depressing Australian election

This piece was originally published on The Daily Blog.  Australia’s election result was a big downer. But there was a bright spot in the gains made by the Australian Greens. The Green vote in the Senate went up from 8.65% in...

Keith Locke: Party-hopping bill is a restraint on MPs’ freedom of speech

The bill before Parliament to stop party-hopping has been misnamed. The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill should be called the Party Conformity Bill because it threatens MPs with ejection from Parliament if they don't conform to party dictates. Personal political integrity will be constrained, except on a few selected "conscience" issues,...

Keith Locke: The downside to a child sex offender register

It's difficult to have an adequate discussion of sex offender legislation because anyone taking a critical stance risks being labeled as soft on sex crimes. The Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill is a case in point. There has been little public debate even though Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says it offends our Bill of Rights.

No public accountability for the GCSB

By Keith Locke “YOU SHOULDN’T WORRY IF YOU’VE GOT NOTHING TO HIDE” is one of the mantras trotted out when New Zealanders complain about the GCSB having access to their private communications. Let’s turn that mantra around as ask those running the GCSB why the feel they have to hide from...

Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill challenges citizen rights to a passport and privacy

On 27 November I gave this "oral submission" to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill, which was being rushed through Parliament with unseemly haste. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and...

Keith Locke: Key jumping the gun over passports

Read this article on the NZ Herald website The Government may well have acted beyond the law in cancelling the passports of New Zealanders intending to join rebel groups fighting the Assad regime. Under Section 18 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, "Everyone has the right to leave New...

My TVNZ Breakfast interview on what’s wrong with the GCSB Bill

I was interviewed on Television New Zealand's Breakfast programme on 26 July on why I was opposed to the Government Communications Security Bureau Bill. You can watch it as: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/gcsb-protests-growing-video-5519462

My submission to the Intelligence and Security Committee on the GCSB Bill

On 3 July I travelled to Parliament to speak to the Intelligence and Security Committee to explain my written submission on the GCSB Bill (see below for the text). Quite a lot of people and journalists were present, although I must admit that Kim Dotcom (who spoke to the committee...

Dotcom case shows the cost of spying is spooky

Oped published in the New Zealand Herald on 18 December 2012 By Keith Locke The Dotcom case is focusing more attention on the Government Communications Security Bureau and its association with the Five Eyes electronic spying network. Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann has asked the GCSB to name the entities (including...