25 April 2012

R2K Freedom Week - What's wrong with the Spy Bill

Briefing document prepared by the Right 2 Know Campaign Gauteng Working Group.

The new SPY BILL would undermine democracy by promoting secrecy, eroding accountability in our security cluster, and allowing the Minister to spy on us.

Just as we've united to oppose the SECRECY BILL, South Africa must oppose the "General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill" proposed by Siyabonga Cwele, the Minister of State Security.

  1. It creates a single civilian spy agency by merging the National Intelligence Agency, the South African Secret Service and all other related intelligence bodies.That is, it takes South Africa back to an intelligence set-up that last existed with the Apartheid era Bureau of State Security.
  2. It will make intelligence services more centralized, more politicized, and more secret. That is, it makes them less accountable the people, and more easily manipulated by whoever is in power.
  3. It allows the National Communications Centre to intercept electronic communications emanating from a foreign signal (i.e., everything sent via the internet) without a warrant. That is, it creates a legal loophole for the government to tap into emails, social networking accounts, and even Skype calls without needing permission from a judge.
  4. It hands over blanket powers to the Minister of State Security to make appointments, issue security clearances and withhold information. That is, it allows the Minister to act as Big Brother.

Do we want state intelligence agencies with so much power?

Do we want an even more secretive state and society?

Or, do we want an open, accountable, constitutional democracy - the opposite of secrecy?

We have the right to know! Let the truth be told!

Download the R2K 'What's wrong with the Spy Bill' flyer

Download SAHA's submission to Parliament on the Spy Bill