Deeply politicised police a danger to democracy
News that the BFD blog and its customers and commenters are under police “surveillance” should not come as a surprise. Like most of our public institutions, Police in NZ have been politicized for some time, but especially so since “Cuddles” Coster became Commissioner.
As many have already pointed out, the issue here is not the BFD. The police documents released under an OIA request from Cameron Slater emphasize this point because his name is only one in a list of around ten other names that are redacted.
Who else is being “surveilled” by such Orwellian divisions of the Police Intelligence Unit as the “Scanning and Targeting Team” and the “Hate Crime Quality Assurance Team”?
Pic shows a request from the Intelligence Supervisor asking for a follow up on a list of people “posting on line.” Only Slater’s name is visible out of a list of ten or more. Is your name on the redacted list? (Full document available to download below)
The trail of emails in the OIA request was set off by the suggestion that Cameron Slater receive a visit from the STT because he was publishing “anti Govt” material that “denigrated Labour Party policies and individuals linked to them”.
This is a highly partisan political charge that also seems to reveal a change in the mission of the STT. It was initially set up to try and identify potential terrorists from their on line postings, but now seems to be veering wildly into monitoring for (what it calls) “misinformation”. Is this in accordance with legislation that underpinned its establishment? Who knew this was what it was for?
Articles and comments on The BFD (strongly moderated) do not in any way encourage terrorism. Are they “misinformation”? They often challenge the mainstream media narrative, and that is because such narratives are frequently wrong. (Jussie Smollet and Karl Rittenhouse cases being prime examples). There is no real reason for the BFD to be on any kind of Police watchlist.
The real issue here is the clear political bias of the STT, and their outrageous mission creep. We can be thankful that the bias at least has been picked up by senior management. The Director of National Intelligence wrote-
“I remain conscious of the need for objectivity and accuracy in all that we write. I had a sense of unease when I read paragraph 21 today where we wrote “Facebook disinformation site ‘The BFD’”. Are we absolutely certain of our statement that the BFD could be fairly characterised as a disinformation site?
….In tomorrow’s Intsum, we need to offer validation to support the claim that BFD is a “disinformation site” by expanding the issue, clarify/qualify what we meant, or correct the statement; all based on the weighting of evidence to support our analytic judgement one way or the other.”
But what about the mission creep? Since when do police in a democratic country monitor people’s communications for such a starkly subjective euphemism as “misinformation”. Its only done in police states.
More- through their stylized leftist language, the documents reveal a shocking degree of politically partisan reporting from the operatives involved. It appears that members of the STT are heavily invested in a political viewpoint that aligns exactly with that of our far left Prime Minister.
Just not good enough in our democratic society, and the partisan actors behind this push need to be at least demoted if not fired.
They won’t be though. Censorship and media control is today deeply embedded in NZ politics. Recently hundreds of critics of the PM and her govt had their accounts closed after liaison between the govt and Twitter, and in a move reminiscent of East Germany under the rule of the Stasi, the mainstream media has received millions of dollars from the govt to influence its reporting.
The PM admitted this in her recent address to Joe Biden’s farcical “Summit on Democracy”, where she appeared along with the leaders of such shining examples of freedom as Iraq, Angola, Pakistan, Kenya, China, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ardern reveals that the primary purpose of her $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund was to “combat online misinformation”. But who monitors the monitors?
So ironic. As New Zealand steadily drifts further into a typical police state socialist totalitarian enclave, who is Jacinda Ardern to be preaching on democracy to any other country?