Rugby World Cup used as excuse to give SIS more powers

The Rugby World Cup is being used as an excuse for extending the powers of the Security Intelligence Service, Green Party MP Keith Locke said today.

In Parliament today John Key introduced legislation to amend the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act. In the accompanying Regulatory Impact Statement, the Government says it wants the Act amended ‘in time to support effective security operations for the Rugby World Cup 2011.’

“Once again the Rugby World Cup is being used to bring in laws which erode our civil liberties,” said Mr Locke, the Green Party’s intelligence and security spokesperson.

“Two previous Bills, the Major Events Management Bill and the Rugby World Cup Bill, also contained provisions offensive to basic human rights.

“The main security problem for the World Cup will be drunken fans, which is best dealt with by restricting the supply of alcohol, not restricting our civil liberties.

“New Zealanders should be worried that proposed changes give the SIS more power to covertly intercept communications, invade computers, and put tracking devices on people’s cars.

“The Green Party will judge each specific proposal in the Bill on its merits. It is a pity there wasn’t any advance public consultation on the proposed changes. The SIS culture of secrecy at all costs prevented this.”