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IGIS to investigate GCSB Pacific spying

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, March 26th, 2015 - 6 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

Press Release from the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security on Scoop:

Inquiry into allegations of GCSB interception in Pacific

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, will commence an inquiry into complaints over alleged interception of communications of New Zealanders working or travelling in the South Pacific by the Government Security Communications Bureau (GCSB).

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data.

“… I have decided not only to investigate the complaints but also to bring forward and expand the relevant parts of my ongoing programme of review and audit of GCSB procedures and compliance systems. That review programme operates at a systemic level and doesn’t, of course, scrutinise or second-guess every day-to-day aspect of the GCSB’s operations: what it does allow for, as in this instance, is a focussed review of a particular area of GCSB or New Zealand Security Intelligence Service practice.”

6 comments on “IGIS to investigate GCSB Pacific spying”

  1. Tom Barker 1

    This is a most impressive political achievement for an alleged “screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist”. I expect the PM to publicly apologise to Mr Hager for his grossly insulting and inappropriate remark any moment now.

  2. Ad 2

    This is a curious corrosion to a third term government: truth and information control. Each tiring government gets its own corrosion.

    For Clark, the corrosion was through the appearance of policy micro-management.

    For Bolger, the corrosion was, like Lange, from violent internal ideological incoherence.

    For Muldoon, the corrosion came from public tiring of his contempt and over-control.

    So Key’s problem cannot be overcome, because this meme is bigger than him or the capacity of his office to control. The constant international and national stories about personal information security continue. Key is quite unable to stop this now by compartmentalizing security apparatus and policing. When ZB and the NZHerald put the non-MSM story in their own language, there’s no turning it.

    For example, this new investigation will have to be tabled in Parliament with massive redactions and protocols, which will in itself stoke further public distrust.

    Every little story about hiding information – from Snowden to Hagar to Sabin – will resonate with the same theme. Key may well slide quite happily along on the teflon coating of half-truths that keep his office cooking. But what he will not be able to shake is a perpetual sense that his government is hiding something, all the time, whether true or not.

    Hiding the truth is the meme of Prime Minister’s political demise.

  3. Bill 3

    • The Inspector-General’s office is also currently conducting a range of other inquiries, both into complaints by members of the public and into wider issues identified under the own motion power.

    Whatever ‘the own motion power’ is.

    • The Inspector-General’s office will advise of the likely timing of release of the inquiry report once that is known, but the Inspector-General does not expect to make any other public statements on this inquiry until the inquiry is concluded.

    • The Inspector-General is not available for further comment.

    No timescale, no comment and only interested in the legality of actions, which misses many points about spying. I’m sensing a cone of silence that will only lift waaaay off down the track.

    The bog standard response from politicians will now, no doubt, be a variation on “I can’t talk about that as the IGIS is running an inquiry, and we’ll just have to wait to see what she finds.”

    Which will be 5/8ths of fuck all given that she’s looking, strictly, to the legal parameters in existence and whether the GCSB have managed to contort themselves to stay within the dotted lines.

  4. joe90 4

    A shift in the wind.

    A new ACLU lawsuit filed today challenges this dragnet spying, called “upstream” surveillance, on behalf of Wikimedia and a broad coalition of educational, human rights, legal, and media organizations whose work depends on the privacy of their communications. The plaintiffs include Amnesty International USA, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and The Nation magazine, and many other organizations whose work is critical to the functioning of our democracy.

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/nsa-has-taken-over-internet-backbone-were-suing-get-it-back

  5. saveNZ 5

    I’m not holding my breath for Gywn to actually do anything, but agree with others, it is hard to contain the truth now.

    In my mind when it comes to surveillance and security issues, the information needs to be transparently available in the media and legally challenged to bring change.

    Hopefully these are both happening. As I am sure many people know…

    “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
    ― Benjamin Franklin

    No point having an idea of security if we are the ones being watched in a police state and we are watching our neighbours too.

    Like with the ports of Auckland, yes maybe their is some economic argument for their existence and expansion, but should the ratepayers be paying both for them and losing parts of our city and identity, to make them money?

    Nope.

    Likewise with the GCSB and the same tired economic argument. I don’t think taxpayers should be spying on individuals to gain an economic advantages and influence and manipulate people on mass without their knowledge.

    Spying is actually an ethical question.

    Also does spying actually work? We don’t know and are just tossing money in, while cutting corners on social spending, without any idea where the money goes or whether it is well spent.

    Not a dot of accountability. Another lovely little wicket for someone.

    Hey, the GCSB even get arrogant Grosser in the job.

    Someone has to say NO first.

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