Well, I've never been more disappointed in the National Party and more scared of loosing my basic rights as I have this year.
As someone who puts herself out there on the internet everyday, who shares with perfect strangers parts of my life you might be quite confused about my concern for privacy.
The difference being that I choose what I put online. I give it and hand it over freely. The GCSB bill will take away those rights that I have. It will take information from me, and store it, forever.
Previously the government have been able to do this with foreigners in New Zealand, but the bill is changing that to allow spying on NZ citizens.
You might think that the government will only be spying on supposed Kiwi terrorists, but this bill will give them access to all manner of information. Your cash jobs and phone calls with your business partner or customers, your emails admitting your hopes and dreams and schemes, a teenager telling their friends they are depressed, or what their parents have been doing in secret. Journalists talking to their anonymous sources and politicians planning a campaign. A Sister talking about "Love Bombs" might get some attention. And they can use this information at any point in the future.
You may have "nothing to hide", but I assure you, you probably do. You may not be planning to blow up the beehive, but your activist status' and your "free thinking" might just get you into trouble in the future.
I also find it rather amusing that the "tea cup tapes" were never released... "A private conversation" they said. "Illegal and unethical" they said. And I agreed. And I still agree. But it seems like those ethics don't apply to us any more.
I've been thinking about this for a long time, I've tried to start many conversations with my husband about this, and I'm only just speaking about it now. I feel our privacy is a basic right we have and a "right" is very hard to articulate, and politics even harder to speak about in an open forum. But can I request that you do? Open those lines of conversation so you can be heard. If you have concerns, speak them out. They don't have to make complete sense, you don't have to know all of the facts.
But now's the time to be informed and to do something about it. Surely the government must listen. We voted them there in the first place. Otherwise they should remember how they betrayed its people.
If you're concerned about the GCSB bill, here's what you can do:Join a Facebook group opposing the GCSB
Read about and sign the biggest national opinion poll by Campbell Live (it takes two seconds)
Attend a meeting in your area - a message said with numbers is a loud voice
Write a blog post
Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, call talkback. Explain how this will affect you!
And a message from a policitcal friend of mine (who I normally don't agree with at all (heh!))::
"The Government only has a 1 or so vote majority on the bill at the moment, if you wanted to write a letter to your local National MP, or to Peter Dunne, explaining why you are worried about it and why you'd like them to stop it, that might help as well.I know from working in parliament that MPs do actually start to get really worried when people take the time to write to them!"
Peter Dunnes Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (he does read them, I've already received a reply to mine)
Peter Dunnes Twitter: @PeterDunneMP
Peter Dunnes Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hon.peter.dunne