INDEPENDENT NEWS

Action Over Surveillance Needed

Published: Wed 18 Apr 2007 09:59 AM
17 April 07 Media Release Please forward
Contact:
A Super Gold Card, Micro-Chips & State and Private Corporate Surveillance of NZ Citizens
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Quote: the state of political and corporate surveillance of UK citizens [New Zealand is close behind].
"Up until now the best ally of governments and big corporations who wish to place every individual under total and unwavering surveillance has always been ignorance.
Surveillance and its potential for diminishing the human experience and robbing individuals of political power is one of the most pressing issues of our time. We stand on the boundary between two societies - one where freedom and privacy are the norm; the other in which our movements, habits and transactions are monitored for signs of aberrant behaviour. Let there be no misunderstanding: the surveillance society is one that necessarily reduces us all from citizens to subjects." ¦ Henry Porter [editor: Vanity Fair]. Friday November 3, 2006 The Guardian ...
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Quote, November, 2006 [source: unverified] HUMAN MICROCHIPPING in the UK
"..Britain's Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, published an official report into the use of surveillance technology that warns that people may be forced to be microchipped 'like pet dogs' to track their movements and store personal information which, of course, would no longer be personal to anyone with a chip reader.' _______________________________________________________________________________
A NZ Super Gold Card, Micro-Chips & State and Private Corporate Surveillance of NZ Citizens
by Elaine West 17.04.07
Below are 15 reasons why you need to immediately contact the Chair of the Social Services Committee, Russell Fairbrother (MP), the PM Helen Clark, and the Winston Peters (MP) and political parties to -
• demand the removal of Clause 4 from the Social Security (Entitlement Cards) Amendment Bill that is currently before the House.
Email: russell.fairbrother@parliament.govt.nz (Helen Clark) pm@ministers.govt.nz (Winston Peters) w.peters@ministers.govt.nz
1. All people - including senior citizens - must be treated with dignity under the Human Rights Charter. New Zealand senior citizens built our public infrastructure and services by the sweat of their brow. We have a moral obligation to ensure that older people and veteran's enjoy an enhanced quality of life befitting their valued status in society. The potential to implant a digital photograph and embed a microchip on the Gold Card for information-sharing is an affront to senior citizens and veteran's privacy, human rights and civil rights. If Clause 4 is not deleted from the Bill, then we can expect that in due course, a New Zealand Citizen's Identification Card (with photograph and microchip) will be the norm.
2. Every New Zealand citizen, political party, social organisation; worker, child advocate, human rights advocate and civil rights proponent must act now to prevent critical amendments in law that will negatively impact each person's - democratic rights, privacy rights, human rights and civil rights.
3. The Amendments to the Social Security Act 1964 will currently affect 540,000 people aged 65-plus, and another 15,000 people who are below that age who will also be entitled to the Super Gold Card [the Gold Card].
The Gold Card will entitle senior citizens access to discounts from participating businesses or government and local government services. It will indicate "eligibility to Government entitlements such as New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pensions. It will replace the Community Card for seniors and the New Zealand Super Card."
4. There is provision in the Social Security (Entitlement Cards) Bill under Clause 4 to -
a) create regulation-making powers for
• Cardholder photographs on entitlement cards, and
• Microchips embedded in entitlement cards.
5. Regulation-making Powers
Parliamentarians including the Select Committee do not know the meaning of - "regulation-making powers." Yet this term will pass into law on 15 May 2007.
This is my interpretation. Regulation-making powers will consist of state agencies, and private agencies - effectively made up of private corporations including transnational corporations - who will decide when and how smart card technology - including microchips - will be introduced and utilised.
6. Cardholder Photographs
Clause 5 (1) provides for cardholders photographs on entitlement cards. Photographs will not be compulsory, at present.
7. Microchips Embedded on Cards
Clause 5 (2) provides for a microchip embedded in the cards. The Government has not planned for this, at present.
When the UK politicians introduced imprinted photography and embedded microchips, the public were given the option of smart card technology on their personal card.
Later, the British Government changed its mind and smart card technology (photographs and microchips) were made compulsory items on personal cards.
At present, Britain's Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas is warning the public that human bar-coding technology (microchipping) is less than ten years away.
8. Corporations are Already Tendering for NZ's Gold Card Customers
The Gold Card is a loyalty card. If customers shop at a particular place then they will receive a discount or concession.
9. Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill
Given that senior citizens need on-going health care, is this the reason why the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill was tabled in Parliament late last year?
It would seem that Government is cutting the Gold Card market competition, that is - an official coalition with petroleum/pharmaceutical corporations is effectively wiping the natural health therapy and products from the New Zealand market.
10. Local Government Reform: The Greater Auckland Council
The Auckland Mayoral Forum is pressing central Government to get the Greater Auckland Council up-and-running before this year's local body elections, which the Government has indicated it will do by July 2007.
The Greater Auckland Council will see enormous power in the hands of private corporations and a few elected representatives.
The Council advocates wish to control public funds, public infrastructure and services including water, roads, libraries, museums, parks, housing, the justice system, and so on.
• Direct User Charges is the mantra of the Auckland Mayoral Forum and the likely Greater Auckland Council.
• To rapidly create a Direct User Charges society, the introduction of a New Zealand ID Card with an imprinted photograph and microchip, becomes a probability.
11. Road Reform - tolls on NZ's Roads & Micro-chips
Both the Labour-led Government and the National Opposition want to toll New Zealand roads in league with corporate partners (PPPs), the point of political difference being - that the National Party will set up five or six Road Companies with the Crown acting as the shareholder.
The aim of Road Reform is to charge every road user for their use of the road - pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and utility providers (gas, water pipes, electricity lines etc), and police charges.
• A Gold Card with a microchip will enable senior citizens to pay direct user charges. If citizens walk on a road, then a toll may apply.
12. Toll Road Operator: Kapsch TrafficCom AB - [Transponders and On-board Units]
Information gained under the Official Information Act (OIA) shows that central Government (Transit) has already engaged Kapsch TrafficCom AB to provide road side equipment and provide operational services. Kapsch have set up a New Zealand business (see: www.kapsch.se)
13. Overall, the Super Gold Card appears as the first step towards a New Zealand Citizen ID Card that will be embedded with a microchip. Smart card technology will then enable the Government and private corporations to charge individuals for using public infrastructure and public services eg. schooling, medical care/hospitals, road use, library use, etc. Information-sharing will be difficult if not impossible, to monitor effectively.
14. Predicted Political Constraints Placed on New Zealand Citizens When Micro-chipping becomes the Norm
Loss: Democratic Rights
Loss: Privacy Rights, information-sharing on a global scale. According to Porter (UK, Editor, Vanity Fair) , DNA samples are lost all around the world.
Loss: Human Rights and Civil Rights
• Freedom of Speech
• Freedom of Movement
• Freedom of Association
• and so on.
The Social Security (Entitlement Cards) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading. It should not go further unless Clause 4 is deleted from the Bill (refer to the introduction).
It is up to New Zealanders of all ages and all walks of life, to decide what sort of society they want to live in and what sort of future they want for their children.
Time is of the essence and action must be taken now.
ENDS
cc Helen Clark, Winston Peters, Politcal Parties, Unions, Citizens, Grey Power, 60s Up Movement, ARENA, Relgious Groups, Ratepayer Groups, RAM-Resident Action Movement, CAP-Citizens Against Privatisation, Auckland District Law Society, NZ Law Society, Workers Charter, Charities, NZ Regional Councils, Auckland Local Authorities, NZ Council for Civil Liberties, Child Poverty Action Group, NZEI, PPTA, PSA, Amnesty International, Human Rights advocates, Global Peace and Justice, Association of University Staff, NZ Univerity Students Association, Human Rights Commission, Greenpeace, Poverty Action Group, Human Rights Foundation, Office of the Privacy Commission, Children's Commission.
To view the
Social Security (Entitlement Cards) Amendment Bill go to
www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills
Ends

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