NZ Media has got the message, leading with coverage of the Greenwald / Snowden evidence of mass surveillance of New Zealanders, and the surprise revelation of two US “spy bases” in NZ.
Best coverage so far from Andrea Vance (who has done excellent work over years on GCSB / spying related issues). Today:
‘Moment of truth’ – do believe the hype
When people tell you the “moment of truth” was an anti-climax, a fizzer, a nothing – don’t believe them.
Edward’s Snowden’s appearance, by livestream, in the Auckland Town Hall last night was remarkable. It had nothing to do with Kim Dotcom’s spurious claims about a Hollywood plot. …
Snowden says New Zealand had access to X-KEYSCORE, the data harvesting programme at the centre of the global spying scandal which his whistle-blowing sparked last year. Not only that, but the Government Communications Security Bureau contributed to its development and expansion.
Snowden also says the NSA operates a facility in Auckland. None of Snowden’s previous disclosures about the US, Canada, Australia and Britain have been disputed.
His assertions came after journalist Glenn Greenwald published details of Project Spearhead – GCSB’s masterplan for mass surveillance. He backed up his reporting with NSA documents showing the operation was underway, and US and New Zealand spies were waiting for domestic legislation to complete the project.
In his captivating broadcast, Snowden raised two extremely important questions. Firstly, why did Key not make details of Project Spearhead public during the public debate about the new spying laws? That trashes Key’s claims about enhanced transparency on intelligence and security issues.
Secondly – and this is the point which demolishes Key’s counter attacks this week – why was the GCSB planning (and partly implementing) a programme of mass surveillance when it would have been illegal? For the GCSB/NSA proposals to get off the ground, the agencies needed that law reform. ….
Snowden’s bombshell was not about Speargun, or Cortex (the cyber-protection scheme Key says GCSB now deploys). It was about X-KEYSCORE. And the onus is now on Key to explain how that does not amount to wholesale spying.
Where some media are falling down, in my opinion, is in portraying Key’s release of previously classified documents as “setting the record straight”. It isn’t, it’s a distraction (CORTEX) that in the big picture is relevant to the interpretation of the new GCSB legislation, but has no bearing on the main revelations (Speargun, XKEYSCORE).
For NZ media coverage see also:
As it happened: Kim Dotcom’s ‘Moment of Truth’
US spies have two bases in New Zealand: Snowden
US spy base in NZ?
Greens: Key must ‘come clean’ on XKeyscore
Snowden: NSA has facility in New Zealand
Project SPEARGUN underway
Some international coverage:
The Sydney Morning Herald: “Edward Snowden reveals tapping of major Australia-New Zealand undersea telecommunications cable”,
The Wall Street Journal: “Edward Snowden Accuses New Zealand Leader of Deception Over Surveillance”,
The Guardian: Kim Dotcom accuses New Zealand government of mass spying,
ABC News: Snowden: NSA Collects Mass Data on New Zealanders
CNN: Snowden, Assange, Greenwald, Dotcom: Can this gang of four take down a PM?
Please anyone add to the list above or in comments.
Update: Video of the event here…