After New Zealand spooks misidentified pro-democracy activist, NSA spied on him for them

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Tony Fullman is one of the only people that we know to have been targeted by Prism, the NSA's signature mass-surveillance tool: he's a Fijian-born expatriate with New Zealand citizenship, and had his passport seized and his name added to terrorism watchlists after the NSA helped their New Zealand counterparts spy on him, intercepting his bank statements, Facebook posts, Gmail messages, recorded phone conversations, and more. Read the rest

NZ Prime Minister John Key ejected from Parliament over Panama Papers rant

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John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was ejected from the country's parliamentary debating chamber yesterday when he repeated ignored the Speaker of the House's calls to yield the floor, continuing to rant even after his microphone had been cut off. Read the rest

New Zealand's Prime Minister: I'll stay in TPP's economic suicide-pact even if the USA pulls out

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The secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership will cost New Zealand a fortune -- the extension of its copyright from 50 to 70 years alone will suck NZD55,000,000/year out of its economy -- but it's supposed to get the benefit of increased trade with the major powers in the treaty, especially Japan and the USA. Read the rest

NZ police broke the law when they raided investigative journalist's home

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The New Zealand High Court has ruled that the NZ police broke the law in 2014 when they raided the home of Nicky Hager, an investigative journalist whose work was sharply critical of the NZ government, and who was working on Snowden-related disclosures. Read the rest

Female New Zealand MPs ejected from Parliament for talking about their sexual assault

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NZ Prime Minister John Key is a racist blowhard who has smeared the opposition parties of "backing the rapists" for their support of NZ citizens with minor criminal convictions (not sexual assault, incidentally) being deported from Australia, where they have been imprisoned. Read the rest

New Zealand's lost colossus: all-mechanical racetrack oddsmaking computer

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In 1913, George Julius installed a building-sized, all mechanical odds-calculating computer at Auckland, NZ's Ellerslie racetrack, powered by huge iron weights that slowly pulled down bike chains over sprockets, driving the clockwork device as it "totalised" all the bets laid on horses at the track, keeping the odds in constant balance so that all the bettors were effectively betting against one another, in a system called "pari-mutuel" betting. Read the rest

NZ government leaks on TPP: copyright terms will go to life plus 70 years

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An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday's conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA's bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms. Read the rest

NZ bans award-winning YA novel after complaints from conservative Christian group

Ted Dawe's Into the River won the 2013 New Zealand Post Children's Book prize; businesses that sell, lend or gift it face fines of up to NZD10,000. Read the rest

New Zealand gov't promises secret courts for accused terrorists

Juha sez, "The Law Society of NZ is alarmed at government proposals to introduce secret courts where defendants have no right to attend hearings and see all the evidence against them." Read the rest

NZ's anti-troll law: gift to trolls, bad for free speech

If you set out to create the platonic ideal of a badly considered anti-trolling bill that made a bunch of ineffectual gestures at ending harassment without regard to the collateral damage on everything else on the Internet, well, you'd be New Zealand's Parliament, apparently. Read the rest

X-Wing fighter rocker

Steve Coupe, a woodworker in New Zealand, created this wonderful children's rocker in the shape of an X-Wing fighter, complete with an R2-D2, working for about 40 hours to complete the piece for a charity auction to benefit a children's hospital. Read the rest

NZ Trade Minister: we keep TPP a secret to prevent "public debate"

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the latest in a series of secretly negotiated sweeping "trade deals" that allow companies to sue governments to repeal environmental and labor laws, expand Internet censorship and surveillance, and a host of other nasties. Read the rest

NZ's National Party sued by Eminem for copyright infringement

The National Party was instrumental in passing the harsh "strict liability" NZ copyright laws that offer no relief from liability, even for people who buy licenses that turn out to have been offered in error -- as appears to be the case in the National Party campaign ad that used Lose Yourself for bed music. Read the rest

Kim Dotcom accuses NZ PM Key of conspiring with Warner to extradite him to US

Dotcom claims he has emails between New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Warner exec Kevin Tsujihara in which Tsujihara explains that Dotcom was followed by private security in Hong Kong and that Key had made the extradition promise to Warner as part of the deal to shoot The Hobbit in NZ (the MPAA, Warner and Key's office all dispute the email's authenticity). Read the rest

NZ TV won't air ads for geo-unblocking ISP

Callum writes, "A New Zealand ISP has had its TV ads rejected by multiple NZ TV Networks (there are three in total, bless) citing a possible 'breach of copyright'." Read the rest

Kim Dotcom offering $5M bounty for information on how his case was rigged

Kim Dotcom, proprietor of the defunct Megaupload, is convinced that the raid on his company was crooked, and he's put up a $5M bounty on information that will help him prove misdeeds on the part of the US or New Zealand authorities: Read the rest

New Zealand requires network operators to register with cops, give spies oversight of their network ops

Juha writes, "When the rest of the world decides to scrutinise and dial down mass surveillance of Internet users, New Zealand does the opposite. From now on, network operators will have to register with the cops, have staff with security clearance and ask the GCSB spy agency for permission to change their networks and buy gear. This is to make it easier for the government to intercept communications and to keep network secure. The new law applies to everyone, from small ISPs to Facebook, Google, Microsoft and telcos. Failure to comply could cost as much as NZ$500,000 in fines per day." Read the rest

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