Glenn Greenwald is in the country and has created a splash by alleging on TV3 that the GCSB is heavily involved in spying on our neighbours as well as engaging in mass surveillance of ordinary New Zealanders. Greenwald is the reporter who was trusted with the Edward Snowden data, taken from the NSA in America. No specifics have been released yet. No doubt some details will be released during Monday night’s Kim Dotcom meeting.
The Herald reported last year …
Prime Minister John Key says he and the head of GCSB would resign if the spy agency were found to have conducted mass surveillance.
He made the comment to reporters at Parliament in the light of assurances that the changes to the GCSB Act 2003 would not mean mass surveillance of New Zealanders.
Asked if he and GCSB chief Ian Fletcher would resign if there were mass surveillance, he said yes.
“But the facts of life are it won’t happen.”
It will be interesting to compare this statement with the Greenwald revelations.
Stuff has reported on the interview.
“The government made a variety of statements in connection with the new spying law that it wanted and was enacted last year to try and assuage the fears of New Zealanders about what the government was doing, including things like we don’t engage in mass surveillance and we don’t target New Zealanders indiscriminately unless they’re involved in terrorism or cyber crimes and the like.
“And one of the things we wanted to do was investigate the truth of those statements and do the reporting that would let the New Zealand citizens know whether or not their government deceived them about what their spy agencies are doing and I can tell you – although I can’t tell you what the reporting is yet – I can tell you there are serious questions about whether the current government was at all truthful with its citizens in connection with that bill.”
Greenwald commented on the use of metadata by the Government.
Greenwald said he knew for certain that the New Zealand government engaged in “extraordinary amounts of analysis of metadata”. ” Meaning whose talking to who, for how long, where they are when they speak, on a massive indiscriminate scale not just internationally but of New Zealanders as well.”
Of further concern is the potential effect the revelations may have on relationship with foreign nations.
“New Zealand spies on a variety of countries on behalf of the US. That’s the reporting we are still working on,….but I can tell you for certain….the NSA is incapable of accessing certain countries because of hostile relations they have with those countries and they use a variety of allies including New Zealand to spy on those countries for them.”
Asked if that might include China, Greenwald responded: “The GCSB spies on both hostile countries and allies for the US and the United Kingdom as well. Countries that probably New Zealanders would expect…..and [others] New Zealanders would say ‘why are we spying on countries like this in a western democracy’?’.
The TV3 video is not up yet but I will add it when it appears. Meanwhile Twitter is having a lot of fun.
2) It wasn't "wholesale blatantly flouting" the law, it was "accidentally misinterpreting the law" #rpt
— Stephanie Rodgers 🌹 (@bootstheory) September 12, 2014
— #UpdateNZ (@endarken) September 12, 2014
Glenn Greenwald says we spy on a number of countries on behalf of USA – and will prove it on Monday.
— Brook Sabin (@BrookSabin) September 12, 2014
When Key said he'd resign if GCSB conducts mass surveillance, he really meant he'd smile comfortably, stop being so literal.
— Popi Mokorahi 🌹 (@Megapope) September 12, 2014
Look we can't take the Snowden docs at face value. It's probably just the NSA talking a big game down at the pub to impress their mates.
— Keith Ng (@keith_ng) September 12, 2014