PM says SIS and GCSB should be more open about their operations

By Heta Gardiner

Prime Minister John Key says the law that controls the SIS and GCSB needs to change.

The SIS supports John Key's call that the spy agencies should be more open about what they do.  He says, "At the end of the day, it's not fit for purpose in the modern world."

The SIS and the Government Communications Security Bureau, and their legislation, are being reviewed by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy.

The SIS director, Chris Finlayson accepted there was greater public expectation that the spy agencies would be more open about what they did.

"I totally agree.  I think there has been kind of like a sea change.  Instead of saying organisations, or intelligent organisations, should be telling as little to the public as possible, I think take the public into their confidence, and tell them as much as they can, bearing in mind intelligent constraints," he says. 

The Minister will not change the law without careful consideration, but Labour's saying the horse has already bolted. 

Public submissions for the review close this Friday.