I’ve already written on the breath-taking police state powers IRD wields: A Riposte to Jacinda Ardern’s Privacy Concerns Regarding the MSD. (Powers of IRD).
ICT Minister Amy Adams has just released a statement outlining how the government plans to "modernise" the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004
Under the proposed changes, network operators such as phone companies and ISPs "will be obliged [newspeak alert] to engage [newspeak alert] with the Government through the GCSB on network security, where it might affect New Zealand’s national security and economic well-being."
Ms Adams says telecommunications providers are already required to have interception technology in place, to assist police and security agency investigations, under current legislation. The update was designed to make the process easier [newspeak alert].
Amy, I don’t want it made easier for the state to share information on individuals, especially our incompetent spooks who've been proven remiss in even knowledge of their own governing legislation. And really, what can’t be justified under ‘economic well-being’? Going after tax evaders, or even those thought to be avoiders? Does this add to the considerable police state powers IRD already have, recourse to New Zealand’s other branches of secret police: GCSB and SIS?
On the application of a surveillance agency (Police, SIS, GCSB, and any government department declared to be a law enforcement agency for the purposes of the TICS Bill) the Minister can require a service operator (or a class of service operators) to provide full interception capability like a network operator. There is a provision for the Minister’s directions to be looked at by a three member review panel but, again, there is unbounded discretion.
Meanwhile, IRD remains an outlier because it is not allowed to share information. SFO will provide information to IRD, but IRD can't reciprocate.
However, a discussion paper now out could allow changes in that area.
"Our view is, confidentiality and privacy - yes, but not when there is a serious threat to the economy in bribery and corruption. There's a case to lift some of that secrecy."