Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, September 15th, 2014 - 151 comments
Categories: accountability, defence, election 2014, john key, Spying - Tags: GCSB, Glenn Greenwald, moment of truth, Spying, steve braunias, surveillance
Tonight Kim Dotcom and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald will reveal (among other things) the details of the Snowden leak documents relating to NZ’s involvement in electronic spying. The advance claim is that there has been large scale surveillance of Kiwis. Key denies it, and has staked his resignation on it. He claims that plans were made, but never implemented. That was the state of play yesterday morning.
In this context, this piece by Steve Braunias late yesterday is absolutely fascinating. Please go and read the whole thing. Here’s a couple of brief extracts:
They did a lot more than just look at it. This was much more than a mere proposal or a mere idea. It was something that was adopted and embraced at the highest levels of the New Zealand government, and affirmatively implemented.
No, because – I mean – even if they radically changed their minds and undid everything they did, that will never change the fact they implemented a programme of mass surveillance at exactly the same time they were publicly denying it.
It’s certainly possible that at the last minute the Prime Minister or somebody else said, ‘You know what, we’ve changed our minds, let’s undo all of the steps we’ve taken to implement these systems.’ But there’s certainly nothing in the NSA archives to suggest that anything like that ever happened.
If, at the very last minute, they changed their minds suddenly, and undid everything they did, and took out the equipment that enables access to the south seas cables that New Zealanders use to communicate with the world, then I suppose one could describe that statement as highly misleading but not actually a lie.
That’s a key claim. If the “Moment of Truth” reveal proves that equipment was installed on undersea cables then surveillance plans went well beyond a “business case”, and in to the realm of implementation.
Update: 7:20am. Greenwald is on Morning Report discussing this claim – “Phase 1”. Prior to that Key’s interview was extraordinary. Questioned on the public’s rights to know, he framed everything and justified his decision to release classified documents as a matter of protecting his personal reputation. It was just as the interview concluded – might get a transcript up later on, or someone could in comments. Ahh – RNZ has a piece up.