Dealing to Inequality Will Keep Us Safer than Mass Surveillance

The Alliance Party believes that the Big Brother inspired GCSB bill is a futile waste of time and money that will allow the invasion of our privacy and destroy our peace of mind.

We are not criminals and we don’t need this kind of mass surveillance. It will not make New Zealand a safer place or a better place to live. What It will do is destroy our quality of life by creating a level of paranoia that makes us edgy and afraid, when there is no reason to be.

The Alliance feels the GCSB bill is about trampling all over the majority to protect the rich and powerful – to make sure that patents on every idea and innovation are protected.

Knowledge is power. Information and ideas flowing around the world via the internet creates a serious problem. If everyone has access to information and innovative ideas, or worse still willingly shares their ideas for the common good, we cannot be held hostage by profiteers because we need certain products and we can’t access the information to make them ourselves.

They’re fighting a losing battle. Stifling freedom of speech and the sharing of knowledge and ideas has never worked in the past and it won’t work now. It is a violation of basic human rights.

Nor will the planned mass surveillance have any significant impact on the “war on terror”. Terrorism is the product of chronic poverty and inequality. The suffering and social unrest created plays into the hands of extremist groups.

Exploitation of resources and people must stop. Corporates that try to commandeer natural resources, drive down wages and circumvent health and safety and environmental restrictions must be stopped.

Everyone is entitled to a living wage, a safe healthy working environment, decent housing, education and healthcare. This is what the government should focus on providing in New Zealand and advocate for on the world stage if they really want to make the world a safer place.

The Alliance would much rather see the resources allocated to draconian mass surveillance measures put into alleviating poverty and reducing inequality. Once these are dealt with there will be very little to fear.

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