10 Jul 2013

Former spy boss says bill needs work

9:37 pm on 10 July 2013

The former director of the Government Communications Security Bureau says a spy bill needs more work and should not be rushed through.

Sir Bruce Ferguson.

Sir Bruce Ferguson. Photo: ANDREW BURNS

Sir Bruce Ferguson and other specialists talked about state surveillance and the GCSB as part of NetHui, an annual internet conference, in Wellington on Wednesday.

The Government is negotiating with other party leaders to try to get enough support to pass the proposed law which would allow the GCSB to legally spy on New Zealanders.

Sir Bruce was the head of the agency for four years until 2010 and said he is unhappy the bill is being rushed through Parliament.

He said there are some good points about the legislation and there has been a lot misinformation about what the GCSB does, but further discussion is needed to ensure the right balance between personal liberties and national security.

Sir Bruce was joined on the panel by Ian Apperley, a specialist in cloud technology, solicitor Michael Wigley and Dr Paul Buchanan, an expert in security and international politics.