Bruce Jesson Lecture, Maidment Theatre, Auckland

The second part of the lecture will be about investigative journalism. But before that, I want to use the opportunity of this lecture to talk much more widely, sharing some thoughts about the state of politics in New Zealand today.

A short history of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS)

The SIS history divides into three eras: Cold War (1956-1990), post-Cold War (1990-2001) and War on Terror (2001 to the present).

Statement at PEN/Society of Authors event on freedom of speech in Iran, Bats Theatre, Wellington

I am grateful to PEN and the Society of Authors for inviting me to be part of protesting the suppression of freedom of speech in Iran. We are joining people around the world who are saddened and appalled by the news of repression in that country…. In doing this, and doing it wholeheartedly, I do not want to be a hypocrit or to be naive…

Speech to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Conference, Rotorua, 16 October 2009

I would like to set the scene for today’s discussion of pharmaceutical company sponsorship by looking at the whole range of tactics used by corporations and industry lobby groups to gain political and commercial advantage. I hope that examples from other spheres will illuminate the issues that you face.

“Imagining a world where the PR people had won”, Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand Conference, University of

We live in an era where the public spaces are being crowded with paid spokespeople, spin and trickery; where news and political discussion are being polluted by the glib outpourings of ever growing numbers of PR people; and where the public spaces available for real democratic activity are drying up. My subject for today is considering the CUMULATIVE IMPACT of the growth of public relations, and particularly its cumulative impact on the media and the other public spaces where politics occurs

“Exposing political parties and their strategies”, Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Lillehammer, Norway, September 2008

Unelected political advisers are the most interesting and important part of many political issues, controversies and election campaigns. They can be more influential than the politicians they serve. Yet they usually get away with acting invisibly and avoiding media scrutiny.

“Where are you, ethically?” A speech to the to the Records Management Association of Australasia conference, 10 September 2007

It is a sad truth in politics, and maybe all human activity, that when people believe they are acting in secret they do things that they would never do if they believed other people might find out. Often good record keeping and the availability of those records is the best protection we have against deception, dishonesty and corrupt behaviour by people in positions of influence. I hope you recognise this important and powerful effect of your work

“Propaganda then and now”, notes of a lecture at Auckland Museum on Wednesday, 2 May 2007

I will be talking tonight about the history and characteristics of propaganda, starting with the WWII versions as seen in the “Towards the Precipice” poster exhibition here at the museum and moving on to contemporary examples that together help us to understand the world we live in.

The Hollow Men: Notes for press conference, Turnbull House, 11am Tuesday 21 November 2006

Today, Tuesday 21 November 2006, was to be the day of the launch of my new book. The books are printed, preparations for the launch were finalised and then we learnt of Friday afternoon that an injunction had been granted that has blocked release of the book.

“Surveillance: technological change, foreign pressures and over-reaction to terrorist threats”, An address to the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner’s 2003 Privacy Issues Forum

New Zealand is going through a period of serious degradation of civil liberties. Some expansion of surveillance may be justified but most is occurring without any objective necessity, driven by technological change, foreign pressures and over- reaction to terrorist threats.

“A researcher’s view of New Zealand’s Official Information Act”, International Symposium on Freedom of Information and Privacy

New Zealand’s Official Information Act is a powerful tool that allows access to a lot of important information. However, my experience has been that the act also has major limitations. New Zealand is overdue for a thorough review of the freedom of information laws.

“Investigating Intelligence Activities” (speech notes), Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Copenhagen, 26-29 April 2001

Intelligence agencies can appear hopelessly impregnable. The information is inside the walls and we are on the outside. But security is usually more impression than reality. In every government agency (and private companies), no matter how strict the security, the secrets walk in and out of the doors every day as people go to and from work.

Speaking to the European Parliament about the Echelon system

ECHELON Committee, European Parliament 23 & 24 April 2001 Chairman: Mr Hager, you have the floor. Nicky Hager Good morning. I am very pleased to be with your committee, and I think I should have to appear here as one of the people who produced the information about Echelon. I think it’s very important that [...]