It was estimated that 400 people turned up for this demonstration in Dunedin’s Octagon.  I arrived about 20 minutes early and watched the people gather.  The numbers grew quickly and at the last moment.  Advertising for the Dunedin event had been low key.  Rather like being at church, complete with its own liturgy best known to the in-group.  I stayed until the end of the formal speeches.  After two hours of consecutive speeches the numbers and energy levels had dissipated.  I didn’t stay for the open microphone or the music.

Repeatedly the refrain People with nothing to hide have nothing to fear from surveillance was quoted and dismissed.  People with nothing to hide shouldn’t be under surveillance in the first place.  History has shown that the surveillance states of the past have produced nothing but dysfunctional and paranoid societies where opinion and expression are suppressed.  The acts of terrorism of recent times have happened despite our current surveillance states.  We are surrendering security to distrust.

Alternatively the GCSB has something to hide from us that its surveillance is not under supervision that members of the public can trust.

Meanwhile the GCSB would like you to download that fish casserole recipe again.  It was delicious but they’ve lost the link!

GCSB: Government Communications Security Bureau; or as I’ve memorised it: *Government Communications Savings Bank (Looking after you in a very, very special way!)

And TICS I understand is Telecommunications Interception and Communications Security Act.  This is the less familiar abbreviation.  It might prove to be the more scary one in consequence.

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