Friday 19 December 2014

An incoherent argument for spying

The Timaru Herald gets this one pretty wrong.

Peter O'Neill's editorial there makes the following case:

  • Yahoo!, a private company, saw that one of its service's users was trafficking in child pornography.
  • Yahoo! alerted the American authorities, who got in touch with Internal Affairs in New Zealand, as the user was in New Zealand.
  • The Americans then asked Yahoo for a few more details to allow the Kiwis to find the guy.
  • The police here arrested him in Timaru.
That's all fine. Then the punchline:
  • Therefore opposition to TICS, the NZ legislation making it easier for the GCSB to spy on internet users, is great and all the civil libertarians were wrong.
I just don't see how the last part follows from the first. All of the first chunk could have happened with or without TICS.

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