Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Tuesday, May 04, 1999

NZ SIS Amend #4

ALCP submission: 7 May 1999

on the

NZ Security Intelligence Service
AMENDMENT BILL (No 2)




Paper prepared for (the people of New Zealand as represented by)

Intelligence and Security Committee

- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet,

PO Box 55

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND



by:

Kevin O'Connell and Blair Anderson (Policy Committee, ph 03-389-4065) on behalf of the Christchurch Branch of the

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, 50 Wainoni Rd, Chch. http://www.alcp.org.nz



In this submission we;


1. Informally analyse state and public security concerns affected by the amendments proposed in relation to core legislation, introducing wider areas of honest and appropriate governance and protection of the people.

2. Isolate problem areas (especially vested interest driven exploitation) embodied in International “anti-drug” Treaties and associated foreign socio-economic manipulation.

3. Advise modifications relating to definition of foreign threats, authority of warrants and application of the intelligence service for true benefit of the country.

4. Advocate openness of discussions and evidence based drug legislative enhancements, to proactively challenge suppressive nature of the “war on drugs” security threat (with mid-term goal of minimising National Security maintenance).





Introduction



We thank the Committee for the opportunity to partake in the democratic process relating to this important legislation, request the opportunity to speak to our submission, and would ask that a South-Island hearing be held in view of considerable regional interest in matters of National Security and its management.



The Christchurch Branch of the ALCP regret that Parliament saw fit to legalise the covert home invasion of people who appear to have been acting in the broader democratic and economic interests of NZ (viz. A. Choudry, etc). This sends a confusing signal especially to people who are already alienated by self-help style governance of NZ. We commend the Committee however for producing this subsequent Bill to address some concerns arising from the submissions on the recently passed 1998 NZSIS Amendments Bill.



Views on the definition of international economic security are subjective. We believe there needs to be a full Inquiry into the purpose and workings of the NZSIS and GSIB. Our particular concern is the role of the international “War on Drugs” and the potential for subversion, terrorism and abuse of democracy and genuine national security represented therein.





Subjective Definition of “Security”



“Protection of NZ from acts of espionage, sabotage, terrorism and subversion.”:



National security must be defined in an evidence based and open manner. Currently it might appear that “national” refers to the current minority government, rather than the national population as intended. Any government which ignores extreme scale abuse of civil liberties while actively promoting drug-user discrimination, is a government to be wary of.



We perceive that international “security” and enforcement agencies currently largely operate to protect lucrative and counter-productive interests (such as Prison Building Corporations who benefit from the illegality of certain drugs) from being accountable to the people. In a genuine democracy, security intelligence services should really function to protect the people from such foreign driven and politically loaded subversive agenda as represented by the war on drugs.


Ensuring Political Neutrality

We recommend that SIS warrants both domestic and foreign must also be signed by Leader of Opposition to “ensure political neutrality” as intended by amendments to the principal Act. This would lessen concerns such as that which arises from the fact that the minister in charge of the SIS is not currently elected to the station [of Prime Minister] with default responsibility.



As supporters of a political organisation which challenges the moral authority of the party currently in power, (thus undermining that party’s hold on power), members of the ALCP and in many cases their immediate family are constantly fearful of intimidation, of being under surveillance, and of having our computer files (particularly personal mail, web pages and press releases) decrypted and their personal right to privacy destroyed. We require an assurance of political neutrality in issuing of SIS warrants.



The Commissioner for Mental Health has publicly (CHTV Chch May 12, 1999) recognised that such social duress is a cause of mental disorder, and that harm prevention model should be a principle motive in laws and policy that have such outcomes.



The scene of surveillance in the context of the prohibition of cannabis, has no boundaries. The media constantly reinforces the notion that the War on Drugs is global, and “real TV shows” demonstrate the exaction of such policy in an “armed siege” mentality, where the goodguys are not always as well behaved as we might wish. Politicians are aware of the sincerity of those who acknowledge TV violence and Kids, seem to ignore the “fears” created in these news stories are indeed having outcomes in our general social perception of drug issues, threats to privacy, or even just being “collateral” damage in what is principally a war of moralities. Noam Chomsky, refers to this process as “Manufacturing Consent”. The select committee is asked to note the popular support demonstrated in towards Mr Chomsky on his recent lectureship tour of the New Zealand Universities.



The Hon PM, Jenny Shipley, acknowledges the broad spectrum of “strong opinions” on the issue. We draw to the committee’s attention that Mental Health prejudices are at issue where deep seated values are being challenged, and the environment appears so physically threatening that it breeds paranoia. Only an evidential resolution of strong opinion is possible.



The existence of the SIS in its current orientation represents a tangible threat to the mental well-being of the nation. While the SIS function is non-transparent, it is if you will, silently disturbing the recipients of small town Ashburton, 24 hours a day.



The Security and Intelligence Committee’s attention is drawn to the serious effects of combining prohibition, propaganda and paranoia, with gun culture and mental illness (the latter purported to have been triggered by an incident of police harassment) as manifested in the tragedy at Raurimu, central North-Island, on 8 February 1997.

Anderson later claimed that cannabis law was “the religiously stupid leading the sincerely ignorant (2April 1997- private correspondence)





War on Drugs is transparently subversive



The leaders of New Zealand need to wake up and protect the people from this international facile guise of protecting the public health and international security. The war on drugs enables a mechanism by which politicians perpetrate brain-washed propaganda, perhaps without even realising. There would not be traffickers and pushers and billions to be made out of others’ misery, if drugs, especially marijuana, were subject to controlled availability as nature intended.



In New Zealand the subversion of “drug” truth is a major impediment to understanding the real problems. For example it is a “given” in politically correct discussions of marijuana, that the link between drug use and problems experienced is a causative one- so much so that this issue never gets debated in politically correct circles. Research shows, however, that in reality it is people who have problems who tend to use drugs, and that many problems may be actually caused not by drug activities in themselves, but by the marginalisation of such activities through discriminatory law.



By way of illustration, recently (Dominion, March 15, 1999) the Health Minister linked cannabis use causatively to suicide, accepting a pat on the back from a coroner for “not decriminalising”. However, evidence of the Canterbury Suicide Project clearly shows that the suicide/cannabis connection is actually “by association as opposed to causation”. (p15 Inquiry into the Mental Health Effects of Cannabis- Health Select Committee 1998)- Moreover, there are serious implications of association related to the legal status covered on page 34 of that report- i.e. that labeling young pot smokers criminals increases the risk of suicide.



We give Mr Creech the benefit of doubt- and suggest his statement was based on ignorance: however this does demonstrate how false “givens” are perpetuated unchallenged, and the truth is subverted. In the wider public interest, we suggest that the Prime Minister correct the Health Minister on his error.



We require that the SIS act to protect NZ citizens from government driven subversion of truth.





Foreign “influence” on drug matters



Recently the Prime Minister was seen to publicly take “drug policy” advice from Prime Minister Howard of Australia (who presides over 600 preventable heroin deaths a year), and Judge Louis Freeh of the FBI (who apparently arrived in NZ with 16 armed security staff). Both “advised” against decriminalisation of marijuana. -The subsequent rejection of the Health Select Committee recommendations appears thus to have been staged (and quite possibly pressured), and has certainly not been shown to be fully evidence based.



Fear based drug policy (particularly cannabis) deters open public debate, permitting abuse of civil freedoms to be perpetuated unchecked. Arresting over one hundred thousand innocents for cannabis per year is effectively domestic terrorism. The New Zealand Public need protection against this foreign influenced control, and “activities prejudicial to security”.



It is surely not the intent of Parliament to warrant 109 000 cannabis search and seizures arrests in a single year, without assessment as to cost and impact. Why is it happening?





Insidious Mechanism for Lowering of Interception Thresholds:



The anti-gang legislation of 1997, introduced by NZ parliament and unproved in its application since, is a classic example of how “anti-drug” / “anti-gang” hysteria has been used to make surveillance intrusions increasingly permissible. Because the target was “drug trafficking”, few objected to the Police being given powers to wire tap people involved in “substantial” (one ounce) quantities of cannabis trade where at least 3 people were involved in this “organised crime”.



Effectively this has empowered the police to spy on users of a drug more widely used now in New Zealand than tobacco. Given that around one quarter of the population choose to use cannabis, this degree of possible intrusion is absurdly disrespectful and requires repeal.

Yet because drugs are the target, few object to the increased busy bodying. Every one who publicly advocates drug reform is called “pro-drug”- so people are deterred from expressing what they really think. The undertow of silence that surrounds drug issues in New Zealand is suppressive and undemocratic.



Drug hypocrisy is the real mechanism for social decay- not drugs. We would not need to be so fearful of the effects of Internet evils such as bomb recipes and pornography, if we did not alienate and bully the vulnerable to start with through misguided anti-drug moral postures.



The NZ government has made no formal acknowledgment of the harms of making these things illegal- nor taken note of evidence of the lack of effectiveness in improving public safety of prohibition policies, particularly in relation to cannabis and opiate markets.

[See ALCP submissions to Justice and Law Reform Select Committee (Sale of Liquor and Crimes Home Invasion amendments) on politicised subversion of evidence based minimising of harms relating particularly to cannabis use in the New Zealand National Drug Policy (see also our web site, http://www.alcp.org.nz).]





Lying Drug Warriors



Words spoken contrary to evidence are effectively lies. The top man in the USA fighting drugs is a proven liar. When discussing murder rates of Amsterdam vs New York last year, General Barry McCaffery mistakenly used Dutch figures for “attempted” murders, projecting relatively higher levels of crime and saying “that’s drugs”. However, even when his mistake was exposed, and it turned out Dutch murder rates are one quarter New York’s, McCaffery could only say the higher rate of attempted murders was because the Dutch were too stoned to do the job properly.



It is unfortunate that this “protector” of the people of the USA is allowed to continue influencing the highest incarceration rate in the civilised world, and world wide anti-drug strategies. There is much evidence of institutionalised corruption in the “drug enforcement” area (see Smoke and Mirrors, the politics of failure, Dan Baum, 1996- [in the Honorable PM’s current possession, courtesy of Blair Anderson]). Consider also the finding of the NSW Woods Commission 1997 linking corruption at all levels, to black markets in drugs.



Prohibition is a multi-billion industry world wide- understandably very interested in its own self-preservation (through means such as suppressing open debate), than actually achieving its impossible goal of a “drug free world”.



There are many groups and corporations that benefit from the money to be made or saved by defining cannabis users as criminal. For example failure to pay out insurance can be justified on basis of simple cannabis record. Newspapers, Banks, Drug Companies, Beer Companies, Oil Companies, Arms Manufacturers also make money out of the problems created by banning the versatile resource which is cannabis-hemp.



If the international agenda is “free trade”, we would draw attention to the benefits of the same economic model applied to cannabis. The illicit trade in drugs is second only to guns and bombs in global terms of dollars plundered- this scale of insanity is a corruption.



Supporting the war on drugs may keep Mafia, big business and international partners happy, and further the job application opportunities for retiring politicians, but it does not provide for genuine domestic security. To advocate reform is not to say “smoking hooch is OK”. Rather it signals that people should not be punished disproportionately to their sin, and that openness is crucial to a healthy supportive community.



Leaders of New Zealand on the Security and Intelligence Committee should note that the ALCP represent considerable public skepticism about motives for government’s refusing to “review the appropriateness of current cannabis policy”.





New Wars - the infonarcs and silent policemen



"The New War" is explored in Senator John Kerry's (Dem, MA) book examining the global enemies of law and order. He cites the use of high-tech weapons, off-shore banks, and the Internet, featuring encryption, by rogue nations and organized criminals who are hiring the best and brightest lawyers, programmers, cryptographers and ex-spooks who once looked to the US Government for secure careers, and who also pay top dollar for premium products and skills once affordable only by the military.



He wonders how governments can compete with these new cash-flush criminals. The answer: new laws and new global arrangements.



His view on global crypto is almost identical to that of Senator Kerrey (Dem, KA), Professor Denning and others who appear to be working in concert with the US administration to advance global Government Access to Keys (GAK), while admitting that some harm to privacy may be necessary. All nations must act in concert, Kerry says, to prevent the spread of dangerous technologies. (esp. encryption.). For a similar view, see Denning's synopsis of a paper on criminal use of encryption and developing technology to be published shortly:

http://guru.cosc.georgetown.edu/~denning/crypto/oc-abs.html



We've also heard from the USA BXA that new regulations for the Commerce Control List and EAR to bring them into accord with the Wassenaar Arrangement will be out in "a month or two." This will probably be coordinated with the issuance of similar regulations by the 33 signatories of the regime, including New Zealand.



The ALCP has legitimate fears that the imposition of a global GAK regime that Kerry, et al, suggest is a primary weapon in The New War.



Members of the ALCP executive deplore the recent signatory status changes to the Wassenaar Arrangement (http://www.wassenaar.org) that further limit the availability of encryption software by including it in the Wassenaar agreement's list of export controlled software (section 5.A.2.a.1 of the list of dual-use goods, WA LIST 98 (1)).



This has been done in a less than consultative manner.



Strong cryptography is essential to the security of the Internet and its users; restrictions on its use or availability will leave us with a weak, vulnerable network, endanger the sovereign privacy of users and materially damage the commercial fidelity and confidence in business, and undermine the growth of electronic commerce in New Zealand.



The new restrictions will have a particularly deleterious effect on smaller technology countries, in particular New Zealand, where there is not enough of a local market or local expertise to support the development of indigenous cryptographic products.



Everyone is adversely affected by this; the Internet is used world-wide, and even sites with access to strong cryptographic products must be able to talk to those who do not. This in turn endangers their own security.



It has been estimated that after a modest capital investment, a company or criminal organization could crack the current 64-bit cipher in less than a day with about US$2500 per solution. This cost will only drop in coming years.



Internet Crypto rules are just speedbumps in the criminal highway, who will still be able to freely resort to "secure" non-legal communications. The parallel of ‘availability vs restrictions’ is not at all dissimilar to the outcomes in world trade in drugs, only those trading in the dark never get seen.



GILC Publishes Global Survey of Privacy and Human Rights



A new comprehensive report, "Privacy and Human Rights: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and Practice," has been produced by EPIC and Privacy International on behalf of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC). The report details the state of privacy in 50 countries around the world, outlining the constitutional and legal conditions of privacy protection, and summarizing important issues and events relating to privacy and surveillance. Among the report's key findings:



Privacy is a fundamental human right recognized in all major international treaties and agreements on human rights. Nearly every country in the world recognizes privacy as a fundamental right in their constitution, either explicitly or implicitly. Most recently drafted constitutions include specific rights to access and control one's personal information.



New technologies are increasingly eroding privacy rights. These include video surveillance cameras, identity cards and genetic databases, bio-identity, pattern matching and cross matching.



There is a growing trend towards the enactment of comprehensive privacy and data protection acts around the world. Currently over 40 countries and jurisdictions have or are in the process of enacting such laws. Countries are adopting these laws in many cases to address past governmental abuses (such as in former East Bloc countries), to promote electronic commerce, or to ensure compatibility with international standards developed by the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.



The ALCP is particularly concerned that this GILC report highlighted that Surveillance authority is regularly abused, even in many of the most democratic countries. The main targets are political opposition, journalists, and human rights activists. The U.S. government is leading efforts to further relax legal and technical barriers to electronic surveillance. The Internet is coming under increased surveillance.



New laws on criminalization. The Government proposes amendments to the Criminal Code and other statutes as necessary to criminalize the wrongful disclosure of keys, deter the use of encryption in the commission of a crime, deter the use of cryptography to conceal evidence, and apply existing interception, search and seizure and assistance procedures to cryptographic situations and circumstances.



Anyone with a computer, running Netscape “could be potentially harboring secrets”.



"If we meet criminals on the information highways, we have to fight the criminals -- not the highways,"

Henrikas Yushkiavitshus, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication, Information and Informatics



Mr. Yushkiavitshus promotes world-wide, implementation of articles enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, highlighting that the Internet offers "almost unlimited opportunities for the practical implementation of Article 19," which upholds the "freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."



The natural response of a bureaucracy that is more concerned with its own power to wiretap (on suspicion of simple possession of cannabis), than it is with making the right decisions for its citizens, is to move its crypto maneuvering overseas into "diplomatic meetings", held under cover of diplomatic secrecy, where they can lie and twist arms with impunity.





Unanswered Questions:



To the Minister of Commerce:



Is his ministry involved in a process of developing encryption restrictions or key escrow mechanisms for New Zealand, or to further regulate the export of encryption technology from New Zealand, or to restrict New Zealanders right to use encryption technology?



To the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade:



New Zealand’s version of the export controls implemented under the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement contains an exception to the General Software Note (GSN) which blocks the free export of encryption software as allowed by other countries. Which government agencies were involved in setting the exception to the GSN, at what point was it decided to add the exception, and what were the reasons for the exception?



To the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade:



The signatories to the Wassenaar arrangement meet in Vienna to discuss various issues including encryption policy and encryption controls. Which government agencies represented New Zealand at these meetings, and what position did they present? Were they in favour of increased restrictions (for example the blocking of export over the Internet), no change in the current restrictions, or relaxed restrictions? What was their position on the GSN, which allows the free export of mass-market encryption software with no key size restraints?





Subversion of “harm minimisation” by vested interests



Role of the privileged United Nations and Dignitaries in suppression of drug debate:



There is blind adherence to the Drug War in the higher echelons of privilege represented by the United Nations, which gives the ALCP grave concern for national safety.



Pino Arlacchi, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention has spoken, in a follow up to UNGASS, on a united world effort against drugs-and since there are no dissenting voices, there is no debate. The plan details a world wide satellite surveillance network and includes “a plan of action for the elimination, or significant reduction of cannabis cultivation world wide”. This is wholly undemocratic and inflicts on the world a view that is morally misguided, and especially unjustified considering every Commission on the drug, including NZ’s own Inquiry last year, has effectively exonerated the plant.



Eliminating marijuana, the “soft” drug, will mean that synthetic and more harmful alternatives will take over, worsening an already insidious threat to harm reduction aims of the National Drug Policy. There is already an alternative for marijuana available. It is called “whatever you can get your hands on”. If paraphernalia for use of these drugs is also prohibited, unsafe means will be substituted. The success of NZ’s needle exchange programme demonstrates the value of harm reduction initiatives.







An international problem of dominant, yet minority “Philosophy”



Mr Arlacchi of the UN drug strategy also talks of “changing societal attitudes, beliefs and values, and sustained long term education” which is all very well, except it depends on the assumption that created plants like cannabis can’t be used wisely without the interference of international and domestic enforcement agencies.



Nothing short of a frontal lobotomy will cure the “values” of millions of people world wide who do not object to their brothers and sisters who enjoy an innocent smoke of marijuana from time to time. Pino Arlacci and the unanimous body of UN representatives represent the views of the NZ public no more than the current NZ minority government.



We believe there are vested interests who want misinformation spread and cannabis suppressed because it is a useful industrial commodity with many fibre, food and fuel implications- including the potential to put the ecologically destructive fossil fuel, and hamburger industries out of business.



A conspiracy of silence and vested interest links interests such as Newspapers, Banks, Insurance Companies, Beer Companies, Oil Companies, Arms Manufacturers, Governments, Enforcement Agencies, and Drug Prevention groups. There are too many people and organisations who benefit from the discriminatory and ill-justified definition of cannabis users as criminals.



Fears for personal safety of activists and whistle blowers need to be recognised by the M.P’s on the Security and Intelligence committee, and protections put in place. If the bill is truly for the protection of the people, then we want their protection and we want it good since this is our noble right as citizens of this dominion.



We don’t know why you, the leaders of NZ, let yourselves be deceived and in turn the NZ population, but we ask you to realise that whatever the reason, it must change and must change now for you to validate effective leadership - debate leads public opinion and genuine progress- please get over your insidious political safety and fulfill you ethical obligation to protect the truth and the people.



Disabling the War on Drugs from a domestic angle will send a strong message to the oppressors of the world that they can’t continue their terrorist activities, but it will also require the SIS to work extensively in the short term for protection of honest New Zealanders.





Recommendations:



1. That the committee acknowledge the fear that the SIS do not actually function to protect NZ democracy from international subversion;- rather it appears that the service acts to protect international subversion from NZ democracy.

2. That there be a full Inquiry into the purpose and workings of the NZSIS and Government Security Intelligence Bureau, covering international agreements such as the Wassenaar agreement on encryption technology.

3. That SIS warrants, both domestic and foreign, must also be signed by Leader of Opposition to “ensure political neutrality”.

4. That the Security and Intelligence Committee recognise that NZ’s own approaches to national security, particularly drug related, are inherently flawed placing New Zealanders under insidious threat of “1984” style manipulations and fear-based complicity.

5. That the MP’s on the Intelligence and Security Committee recognise Government’s unjustifiably invasive cannabis legislation (and signatory status to UNGASS measures) fail to comply with the Bill of Rights Act (and Magna Carta) and are subversive and unreasonable and thus unlawful.

6. That there be a full evaluation and assessment of the value of foreign treaty obligations and their local interpretation, especially relating to Cannabis products.

7. That the SIS actively prevent the manipulation of New Zealanders by international War on Drugs propaganda.

8. That the I&SC institute a Royal Commission [truth and reconciliation] into the Workings of the Misuse of Drugs act as they relate to

· corruption and subversion of agencies and governments,

· suppression of cost-benefit & “harm minimisation” evidence,

· socio-economic manipulation and

· degradation of civil and democratic rights.

9. That the War on Drugs be dismantled domestically, and SIS activities be directed in order to protect New Zealanders against the influence of this particularly dangerous cross-border threat to economic well-being, public health and community safety.

10. That as an initial step, until priority legislation is in place to facilitate regulated trade in cannabis-hemp, that parliament enforce a moritorium on arrests for simple cannabis “offenses”. This is likely to greatly facilitate efforts to domestically minimise drug related harms, and undermine internationally the War on Drugs, which is necessary to ensure the long-term security of the NZ community.

11. That if the dominant international agenda is “free trade”, that the benefits of the same economic model be applied to cannabis-hemp as resource and commodity.

12. That the collective adoption of the above protocols is the minimum standard required to effectively address interrelated security initiatives.

13. Any compromise evidences a threat to New Zealand Sovereign right to self-determination.



K O’Connell, B Anderson, COPYRIGHT 1999

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