web analytics

NRT: The GCSB has been using our embassies as spybases

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, October 13th, 2014 - 25 comments
Categories: International, Spying - Tags: , , ,

From I/S at No Right Turn:


The GCSB has been using our embassies as spybases

Last night, The Intercept leaked the NSA’s “core secrets” – or rather, the list of classification keywords covering them. While the descriptions are intentionally vague, they’re still illuminating – especially the ones marked as relevant to New Zealand. Here’s what the GCSB is up to with the NSA:

nsagcsb1

In other words, we’re assisting the NSA to hack other country’s computer systems – effectively waging covert warfare on their behalf.

nsagcsb2

This is probably stuff like TEMPEST, or equivalents, designed to extract electronic data by trace emissions from the hardware it runs on. It is unclear whether the GCSB helps position and run these sensors, or merely that they are cleared to know about them.

nsagcsb3

This one is uncontroversial: the decent, honest work of cracking codes.

nsagcsb4

And the explosive one: according to the NSA, they and the GCSB use our embassies as spybases to snoop on host countries – a violation of diplomatic privileges and the sort of thing which ruins diplomatic relationships. Exactly where isn’t stated, and it won’t be even in the associated classification guideline (which from the main article, The Intercept probably have too). But its only a matter of time before some enterprising journalist starts looking at what we’ve got on the roof of our embassies in China, Malaysia and Fiji and publishing photos of any funny-looking antennae or odd shacks. And then there’ll be a shitstorm. Thanks, GCSB!

25 comments on “NRT: The GCSB has been using our embassies as spybases”

  1. adam 1

    We live in a world where too many crackers wanna be James Bond.

  2. karol 2

    I/S explains this really clearly. And the last paragraph is the kicker.

  3. Wayne 3

    Shock horror. Embassies used by their nations intelligence agencies. Who would have guessed?

    • Zorr 3.1

      I thought this would have been obvious considering this statement from I/S:
      “a violation of diplomatic privileges and the sort of thing which ruins diplomatic relationships”

      Considering what happened between the US and Germany recently, why would we expect to be treated any better if we were caught snooping?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      If you can get over your childish pique for a moment, Dr. Mapp, I have a couple of questions.

      In your experience, can you think of any instances in which New Zealand “diplomatic staff” were treated differently than their US counterparts?

      What do you suppose their new status as US poodles might mean for New Zealanders doing business in, say, China?

      • Wayne 3.2.1

        “New status”(?). I imagine this goes quite some way back.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1

          About six years.

          Any chance of an answer to the questions?

          • Murray Rawshark 3.2.1.1.1

            Wayne knows that it’s been going on for longer than that. The squirrels don’t take their orders from Wellington, they are run from Washington. “Other People’s Wars” showed how this had been happening for years.

            We were highly thought of in China because of Rewi Alley. It didn’t take too many Tories and business types to change that completely in a short space of time.

            • Colonial Rawshark 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Rewi Alley, the most famous amongst a number of other early NZers who spent time in old school communist China. Now, we’re just seen as another bunch of greedy, not that forward thinking, western capitalists.

              But yeah, I expect NZ returned to being (almost) a full fledged member of the FVEY network during Clark’s term as PM.

      • Rolf 3.2.2

        As along time resident of China, let me try to answer. New Zealand is viewed as part of the USA hegemony. This together with the frequent issues with New Zealand in China, New Zealand is seen as untrustworthy. It is OK to do business with China, but Kiwis now has to come to China and do business there on Chinese terms. They have to open their own bank accounts in Hong Kong, do their own money transfers, to avoid the US snoop system.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Last time I looked using the embassies to spy on the countries that they’re in was considered a serious breach of diplomatic protocol. This is really going to fuck up our international reputation.

      • Rolf 3.3.1

        I can answer that as an expat. New Zealand international reputation is already so “fucked up” that you can read the result in our trade balance. It is the constant snooping for the US, the spy centrals and spy bases, and all the business flops, the cover ups, the racism in the immigration, the arrogance, punishment on anyone helping any Chinese, violence against Chinese, etc.

    • McFlock 3.4

      Yes and no.

      Most countries spy for themselves, rather than blatantly acting as agents for the US.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.4.1

        I wonder what it will do to the National Party trade in company directorships. Chairman Shipley will be very disappointed.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 3.4.1.1

          I can imagine the Chinese will have specially configured devices for Dame jenny to carry while visiting the various government departments on meet and greet tours.
          Not that she would know of course, after all one cell phone looks like another.

  4. philj 4

    Intelligence ops in NZ? What for? Don’t they get it. There is no intelligence in NZ. WE got nothin’ to hide, nothin’ to fear. 😉

    • Rolf 4.1

      Don’t forget that the phrase “nothin’ to hide, nothin’ to fear” was minted by the Nazis, and we know how that worked out.

  5. hoom 5

    I don’t think anyone should really be too surprised to find spies in Embassies.

    Hard core US sigint gear at NZ Embassies in allied countries, clearly aimed at spying on host country I think may be rather surprising though.

    I don’t know that the code cracking ones are just code cracking though?
    Sounds a bit like protecting sources involved in setting standards/causing broken maths to be used.

  6. coaster 6

    Makes you wonder if our meat being held on chinas ports was a message to stop spying, rather than a minor misunderstanding.

    • McFlock 6.1

      The meat thing might equally have been a response to the practises of a zespri agent coordinating imports there.

      But if we’re acting as a base for US intelligence gathering there, too, we’ve already spent a chunk of diplomatic credibility with the zespri affair. Other customs holdups to come, maybe…

  7. Rolf 7

    Take a look at the facts. New Zealand is opening a consulate in Chengdu and as far as we know there are about six kiwis in the area they can support, and no New Zealand companies. The job of a consulate is (Wikipedia) “providing assistance with bureaucratic issues to – the citizens of the consul’s own country traveling or living abroad”. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on. Has the US financed this consulate, and for what purpose. Is it another spy base. It appears to be quite strange to open a consulate for the benefit of six Kiwis.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.1

      I’ll wait with bated breath for the taxpayers union to decry this extravagant use of taxpayers money.

  8. Paul Campbell 8

    I think that there are lots of great reasons to have a consulate somewhere other than to serve NZers – for example Chinese tourists cant get a visa at the door, they have to visit a consulate.

    On the other hand I travel to China for business – the last thing I want to do is to get stuck in some stupid diplomatic tit-for-tat just because John Key wants to play James Bond with the Americans

    • Rolf 8.1

      When Chinese want a visa to other countries, for instance Vietnam, they go to an ordinary office, fill in a one page form, pay 20 dollars, and pick up the visa the next day. You don’t need a consulate. In the case of New Zealand it is a major insulting drama for many weeks. Some visas, for instance to Mongolia, you can send in on the web, and they send back a visa you can print out yourself the next day.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    57 mins ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government confirms CovidCard trial to go ahead
    The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing. “Effective contact tracing is a vital part of the COVID-19 response,” Minister of Health Chris Hipkins said. “While manual processes remain the critical component for contact tracing, we know digital solutions can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Enhanced process for iwi aquaculture assets
    The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to iwi. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has introduced the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Amendment Bill to Parliament. It proposes a limited new discretionary power for Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Limited (ToKM). ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill introduced to fix National’s Family Court reform failures
    The Minister of Justice has today introduced the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill – the next step in the ongoing programme of work to fix the failed 2014 Family Court reforms led by then Justice Minister Judith Collins.  The Bill arises from the report of the Independent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DOC takes action to adapt to climate change
    A new Department of Conservation (DOC) action plan tackles the impacts of climate change on New Zealand’s biodiversity and DOC managed infrastructure including tracks, huts and cultural heritage. Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage says extreme weather events around the country have really brought home our vulnerability to changing weather patterns. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reduced international Antarctic season commences
    A heavily scaled back international Antarctic season will commence this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods have confirmed. “Antarctica is the only continent that is COVID-19 free,” Mr Peters said. “Throughout the global pandemic, essential operations and long-term science have continued at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New high performance sports hub for Upper Hutt
    The Government is providing up to $30 million to help fund the NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt - an investment that will create 244 jobs. “The sports hub is designed to be a world-leading shared service for a range of sports, offering the level of facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt keeps projects on road to completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today transport projects currently in construction will continue at pace due to extra Government support for transport projects to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. To keep the $16.9 billion 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme going the Government has allocated funding from the COVID Response and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First project utilising $50 million ‘shovel ready’ fund for rural broadband announced
    $50 million for further rural broadband digital connectivity has been allocated from the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund has been announced by Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure and Kris Faafoi, Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media. The investment will go to boosting broadband ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago