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Screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist shocked at spying on Diplomats

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, March 24th, 2015 - 84 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, business, capitalism, Economy, exports, International, jobs, trade - Tags:

In the NZ herald today, Terence O’Brien has been questioned about the recent revelations of spying to get Minister’s jobs after politics. Despite a Press Corp being with the PM in ROK, none has yet bothered to as the Koreans, or the former Foreign Minister GCSB spied upon, for their comment, instead relying on Honest John’s assessment. Here is what Mr O’Brien said:


…surveillance on the Indonesian candidate was “truly repugnant for our long-term relationship” with the world’s largest Muslim country. Terence O’Brien – former UN ambassador, ambassador to the WTO-Gatt and president of the UN Security Council – was stunned. “What on earth were they trying to do?” asked Mr O’Brien, a diplomat of 40 years. NZ herald today

NZ herald 24 March 2015

I assume he is just another screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist, aye John? This looney,  diplomat with over 40 years service?


84 comments on “Screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist shocked at spying on Diplomats ”

  1. coaster 1

    has this type of spying always happened, or is it only recently.

    the ccsb etc are making nz and its people look like sneakly, dirty backstabbers. im sure this isnt the nz i grew up in, or am i being naive?

    • tracey 1.1

      It may have always been going on, I don’t know. I would think most Diplomats would be kept in the dark if it were so they can be very plausible in their professional overtures.

      I confess it didn’t occur to me that we would be spying on allies/friends… but then since 1984 our “war” has been to expand capitalism to the greatest effect for those who benefit the most, so why wouldn’t our spies be used as backdoor subsidised R and D for corporates?

      I think we need to start charging companies for the cyber security and corporate espionage we do on their behalf with our money.

      I repeat that this revelation and the recent ones make a joke of the idea that the public can’t see and debate TPP cos of the need to preserve confidentiality so we dont weaken our negotiating position, when, if Honest John is right, everyone is spying on everyone = no secrets so reveal all.

      Last point i want to make is that about 800 people protested at Auckland Wharf on Sunday. 800. No “rent a mob” accusations. The yachting community is in outrage, amongst others. The story had extensive follow-up yesterday and again this morning…

      5000-10,000 turn out in Auckland alone to protest TPP and it is a “Meh”

      I DO NOT SUPPORT further reclamation but when Mr Business (Cameron Brewer) is against a commercial expansion i can’t help but wonder is he doing it for Auckland or to twist the knife further into Len Brown.

      • Crashcart 1.1.1

        I hate the term reclimation. It make it sound like the port is reclaiming land that was once theirs. Call it what it is, claiming or annexing of land from the rest of us.

      • RJL 1.1.2

        I would think most Diplomats would be kept in the dark if it were so they can be very plausible in their professional overtures.

        There would be no point spying on foreign diplomats if you didn’t tell your own diplomats what the result was.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.2

      Its been happening for as long as there’ve been people but do you really think there was no spying to help Helen Clark get her job in the UN…

      • Crashcart 1.2.1

        There probably was. That does nto make it right. Unless you are of the belief that we should always set our moral compass to the lowest common denominator?

        • Puckish Rogue

          I’m more of a if you can’t beat ’em (and you can’t, you really can’t as this has been going on for thousands of years) ) then join ’em and do it better type

      • Bill 1.2.2

        I suspect there were deals done to ensure Helen Clark got her UN position, not spying.

      • Wynston 1.2.3

        If there was it was done under Key’s oversight as he was PM at that time!

    • Bill 1.3

      I’d guess that competition would be scoped out in the past. I’d guess that would entail making inquiries of your networks to see what ‘heads up’ they could provide you with. The application of full on electronic surveillance is, in some ways, simply a disgustingly mindless extension of that.

  2. Penny Bright 2

    Yep – ‘Brand Key’ dissolving on a daily basis.

    Seems his ‘Wall Street ways’ are no way to run a country?

    Will New Zealand’s most ‘popular’ (most ‘spin-doctored) Prime Minister – end up our most UNPOPULAR Prime Minister?

    Penny Bright

  3. les 3

    can you imagine the ramifications of this U.S law,especially if other countries adopt it….’But only one bill sponsored by Cruz has become a U.S. law — and it was a narrowly targeted piece of legislation that came out of the Judiciary Committee, upon which he serves, to uncontroversially deny “admission to the United States to any representative to the United Nations who has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or terrorist activity against the United States.” The bill passed in Cruz’s second year in office.’-yahoo news)

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    O’Brien represents the kind of institutional experience McCully was sposed to get rid of. A new, compliant bureaucracy that kept mum about abuses was what Key had in mind – now we see why.

    • tracey 4.1

      which still begs the issue about Fletcher’s resignation….

      curiouser and curiouser

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        No likely he found it was a dud job that didnt lead to higher things.

        Didnt he apply for the head of Foreign Affairs and missed out.

        Plus Key played him, in the job was supposed to be reporting directly to Key, but instead it was someone in ‘his office’

        They kept up the pretense by referring to the ‘the PM was advised’ in the communications but when they had to reveal that was a lie, the game was up.

        He was found to be a third tier bureaucrat reporting the the deputy chief of staff.

        usually the GCSB is a retirement job, Fletcher was too young for that so he got out before his career was further damaged

  5. Clemgeopin 5

    “which still begs the issue about Fletcher’s resignation….
    curiouser and curiouser”

    They all conveniently claim to resign for ‘personal reasons’ ! I would think they lack honesty, integrity and above all, courage, to come clean as to the REAL reason why they resigned from a high profile position.

  6. saveNZ 6

    This is the point. Mass surveillance will always be misused by those in power, to gain more power.

    It is not about safety, it is about control.

    Do the public want to be controlled by their governments?

    Do the public want an escalation in spying and warfare?

    Do the public want NZ to remove themselves from UN to full allegiance to the 5 eyes club which spies on the UN?

    In addition the spying does not go to NZ, it goes to the US and can be passed on. Therefore it is not for NZ interests at all. It is a one way exchange that NZ is not even benefiting from as a country. Only individuals seem to be benefiting, such as John Key. The SIS are actually working against opposition politicians such as discrediting Phil Goff to gain political advantage.

    NZ is just ‘one of the club’ passing on mass intelligence with no control on how that intelligence will eventually be used, whether it is modified, how it is stored, how well that is secured, whether it can be traded etc.

    At the same time as the NZ taxpayer pays for it, the public is told we are not allowed to know. In short, our government probably does not even know. They are just blindly following like some corrupt regime that is also being propped up in power by dirty politics and the US.

    The world is dwindling in resources. Are we at a point where some individuals, corporations and governments are escalating the dwindling of resources, while controlling the media message, also building a power base as a winner takes all scenario? Those in power certainly don’t seem interested in conserving resources, more like controlling the resources and individuals to boot.

    • Is anyone giving thought to constructive new roles New Zealand could develop, including perhaps even in relation to the United States itself, outside of the Five Eyes Club?

      It would be very hard for any political party to handle the international blow-back if it just dropped the 5 Eyes relationship and tried to leave it at that. So much so that it is hard to envisage a party like Labour or even the Greens being willing to do so, especially if they had to do so from within an alternative policy-vacuum.

      There are international cyber-intelligence issues that both the United States and its rival China as well as others have said they want dealt with, issues on which a New Zealand that wanted to help could open up useful diplomatic liaison and wider conversations. Some possibilities for such cyber-diplomacy are opened up in the blog:
      “From the Edward Snowden case to a new Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere?”

      To move beyond negative debate that, however important, by itself ends up nowhere, it is important to work from the perspective of a constructive vision. For some suggestions about this, try:
      “Fulfilling the promise of new technology unencumbered by security agendas”

      Other blogs can be found by looking up “Snowden” in the village-connections.com search engine.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        It would be very hard for any political party to handle the international blow-back if it just dropped the 5 Eyes relationship and tried to leave it at that.

        The way you’re talking, NZ would have never left the nuclear club. I would agree with the sentiment that Labour is currently a pro-imperial party, however.

        Nevertheless, no one is talking about walking away from FVEY. The question is the vast and unaccountable power those surveillance systems give to partisan players. Power which will be misused because history has shown that they will always be misused.

        • John Gallagher

          Whatever NZ did to declare itself nuclear-free in the 1980s, in any international crisis NZ would find itself well back in the nuclear club given the way it is tying itself back in with its nuclear ally thanks to a lobby working assiduously in Wellington and Washington to achieve this.

          Re 5 Eyes: whatever people are “talking about” the options are to accept it on the terms of its creator and major stakeholder, or face situations that no one seems to have discussed to date.

          Lange tried to qualify the Anzus relationship on New Zealand terms by trying to make it nuclear-free, to which the US reaction was a fairly predictable thumbs down, and a lot of divisions and conflicts emerging up and down the country.

          What Labour then had to begin doing was to create a new foreign policy, the beginnings of which we saw with its (and then National’s) support for peace talks over Bougainville and the liaison Winston Peters undertook in 2007 as Helen Clark’s foreign minister between North Korea and the United States over the former’s nuclear development program (Blog: New Zealand should help cool Korean and United States heads

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Re 5 Eyes: whatever people are “talking about” the options are to accept it on the terms of its creator and major stakeholder, or face situations that no one seems to have discussed to date.

            So we’re hostages who have to comply, “or else”? It takes a gutsy and capable government and a civil service with serious backbone in order to push back against this kind of BS. Some effort to apply our own values to resist the creeping secret police and surveillance state that the US has been spreading across the world wouldn’t go amiss.

      • Just for the record, I tried to edit the above comment slightly, but when I clicked on the edit function, something happened that happens quite often to me. I got the message:

        “This page can’t be displayed

        •Make sure the web address http://thestandard.org.nz is correct.
        •Look for the page with your search engine.
        •Refresh the page in a few minutes.”

        Usually I can get through by trying again several minutes later, but by then the edit option will probably have timed out.

        I am wondering if other readers are having this problem, or an explanation as to how it happens? Presumably not a little green techie in the Clouds?

      • Tracey 6.1.3

        you cannot be a credible opener or facilitator of diplomatic liaison when you are spying on the others in the room. to do that you need to be trusted.

  7. vto 7

    Soon we will be required to pass all our communications and private data to government.

    It will save them having to come and get it. Just like tax obligations and responsibilities were reversed to make it the citizens responsibility.

    Place your bets now ….

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      And then, no more cash, they want to track everything you do, with whom, and when.

      Of course, we won’t be allowed to know anything about what They do. One rule for the lords, another for the serfs.

  8. cogito 8

    The problem with Key is that he constantly and deliberately confuses NZ national interest with personal political interest.

  9. Gosman 9

    Where is the Leader of the Opposition in all of this?

    He is entitled to get detailed briefings about whet the Security and Intelligence services do. If he has a problem with this why isn’t he crying out for a review and change?

    • freedom 9.1

      it is unlikely he was briefed on this particular endeavour (or have you already forgotten recent events) and as Clemgeopin points out below, he has called for an inquiry.
      What else do you want him to do at this time?

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        Then there is is a problem with oversight and is something the Leafer of the Opposition should be raising. Is he doing this?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          He’s not allowed to take notes, or indeed anything at all out of the briefings, and the GCSB has already colluded in dirty politics once.

          Gosman knows this: he knows there’s no record of anything Little may or not have said or done: that’s why he’s asking the question.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Plus any oversight would be clouded in obscurity’

            Persons of interest…. etc etc and other sorts of weasel words.

            They wouldnt say anything like “Tim Grossers next career move”

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The oversight problem rests with the Prime Minister.

          And regardless, the intelligence services here and in the USA know how to run rings around the weak, pretend oversight of elected public officials and their committees.

        • b waghorn

          I wouldn’t put it past key to be bending any oversight rules and giving the gcsb directions that are outside normal operations.
          Opps just noticed CR said the same thing but better

    • Tracey 9.2

      perhaps he is honouring the confidentiality required of the position rather than leaking stuff that helps him.

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    Labour leader Andrew Little :

    said the use of the GCSB was “highly dubious” when it was meant to combat security threats.

    “This is outrageous. The GCSB is a foreign intelligence agency, not a recruitment agency. For all we know they also wrote his CV.

    “These actions are a massive misuse of an agency which should be focused on our security threats, not the future employment prospects of a minister,” Little said.

    “As the minister in charge at the time, John Key must explain how he or anyone at the GCSB thought this was an appropriate use of the agency’s resources.”

    Little said the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, should undertake an inquiry.
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    He said the revelations were embarrassing to New Zealand and “totally inappropriate”.

    “I would have thought it would be unlawful,” he said.

    “(The GCSB) is there to deal with security threats, it’s not there to advance the career interests of select politians.”

    A claim by Prime Minister John Key’s office that deliberate misinformation was being given to Kiwis was a “convenient thing to hide behind,” he said.

    NZ First leader Winston Peters:

    A former foreign affairs and trade minister, said the apparent help Mr Groser got from the GCSB for the WTO bid was unlikely to fall within the legal purposes for which the bureau existed.

    “It just stinks,” Mr Peters said. “There’s no way spying on competitors for the WTO job would remotely conform to New Zealand’s economic purpose and wellbeing. What you have is people seriously breaching their authority to help a hopeless case for the job in the first place. Groser never had a hope in Hades of getting that job.”

    He said the GCSB had a role where there was “any hint of sabotage of our economic interest”.

    “That’s not what it is being used for. What you have here is legitimate interest being seriously distorted and perverted for an illegitimate purpose.”


    Green Party intelligence spokesman Kennedy Graham :

    said the documents showed the GCSB was being used to further a National MP’s personal ambitions.

    “It is a dangerous slippery slope when the GCSB is used to gain a Cabinet minister a personal position,” Graham said.

    “We cannot have ministers using spy agencies as their private recruitment manager.

    “The personal use of the GCSB is total political abuse of an agency that is meant to be working in New Zealand’s national interest.

    “The GCSB is meant to be working in our national interest, not the private interest of the National Party.

    “It is hard to argue that Tim Groser being the head of the WTO would gain any advantage for New Zealand, as the position demands neutrality as a fundamental requirement of the role.

    “This begs the questions why is the GCSB spying for Groser and where is the legal justification?”

    Graham said the revelations also raised questions about whether New Zealand spied on rival nations while it was competing for a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

    “The Green Party has always maintained the laws that govern the spy agencies are too broad and they need to be tightened,” he said.


    John Key, National party leader and PM :

    told reporters the South Korean hosts “wouldn’t give a monkey’s” and “wouldn’t believe it” but refused to comment further.


    [From Stuff and NZH]

    P.S :

    I doubt if Key knows the meaning of the words, arrogance, stupidity, inappropriate, shameful, criminal activity and illegal.

    • Gosman 10.1

      There is a problem if the Intelligence agencies are carrying out activities without proper oversight. I would support setting up better checks and balances.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1

        We’ve already got a check and balance: it’s called the law. How about they show they can obey it or fuck off to prison?

        • Gosman

          What law have they boken here? If they have broken the law what is the opposition doing to mensure they are held to account?

          • Crashcart

            The search they used would have returned results on communications by Grosser himself. This means that they would have collected and viewed the personal and governmental comminications of a New Zealand citizen with no warrent. This would be illegal. Even if Grosser gave his permission there would have been communications from others to him and it would have been difficutl if not impossible to get consent from them all.

            I am sure JK can find a lawyer under some rock who will say it was legal if he pays him enough though.

            • Gosman

              Good luck with trying to get a conviction based on that. Take a private prosecution and see where it gets you.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Yep the entire system is skewed against powerful people taking personal accountability for their own shonky actions.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.2


        This is not a question of oversight

        Who issued the orders to the GCSB to spy for Groser.

        • Gosman

          That would where proper oversight could establish any portential abuse. At the moment, even if the actions occurred, we don’t know who ordered it.

          • b waghorn

            Probably key ordered it but he would of had on his 007 Hat so its all good.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            All that’s well after the fact Gossie; and don’t pretend to be surprised that the power elite have designed the system to limit their own accountability to three tenths of fuck all.

    • dv 10.2

      Sorta wondered if “wouldn’t give a monkey’s” was a mistranslation of the Koreans are monkeys?

      • Clemgeopin 10.2.1

        Key said the Koreans “wouldn’t give a monkey’s”

        But Key failed to say, wouldn’t give a monkey’s ‘what’?

  11. David 11

    Hmm, it’s taking a while for Farrar to spin up the line for the trolls to send out… Maybe they’ve given up?

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      Its not really worth commenting on really, I mean are spies are spying whoop dee do

      Its not like this hasn’t been going on for decades well actually countries have been spying on each other ever since there were countries

      Now the prominant NZer with name suppression is a different kettle of fish entirely, thats what could bring down a government (not that I’m suggesting theres anything to link it to this government) if there was shown to be any connection

      • felix 11.1.1

        “Its not really worth commenting on really, I mean are spies are spying whoop dee do”

        And yet here you are, commenting, using the approved and tested lines.

        Fact is our spies are spying not for us but for the U.S., and by the reciprocal FVEYS arrangements, another country’s spies are spying on us for the U.S.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Oh I’m sure our spies are doing spying for us as well, especially when it comes to Australia and agriculture and fishing, I’m also glad we keeping up with whats happening in the south pacific

          • felix

            So what? Most of us have no problem with the legitimate functions of a spy agency.

            You’re just trying to distract attention from the rest of it.

            You’re like someone who defends a pedophile by saying he also did a lot of work for charity.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Oh I’m sure our spies are doing spying for us as well, especially when it comes to Australia and agriculture and fishing

            You idiot, Australia could just as easily use the same NSA technologies the GCSB applies to undermine our economic interests.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2

      Hes down in Stewart island or something, its a classic midlife crisis which leads you to anything with mountains to show that you arent a beltway boy

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1

        At least he hasn’t bought a little sports car, where i work two of the supervisors have bought little convertibles…

      • felix 11.2.2

        He’s working full time on the by-election.

  12. Augustus 12

    I wonder if this Stuff article has something to do with this story.

    No great analysis, but NZ spies on the Indonesian candidate for a job in the very organisation (WTO) that the US and NZ want to use to force Indonesia to buy their product, in direct opposition to Indonesia’s domestic government’s decision to strive for greater self-sufficiency. No doubt it is this “dispute settlement procedure” hinted at that is meant to be “streamlined” in a future TPPA.

  13. The Chairman 14

    Has anybody in the fourth estate confirmed Key’s assertion with the South Korean Government yet?

  14. Under the GCSB Act amended last year, the GCSB can undertake virtually any type of spying if it is the “NZ national interest,” including on NZ’s resident or traveling abroad. Similarly, the definition of “national security” in NZ includes “threats to the economic wellbeing” of the nation. Thus it is possible that some in the GCSB saw advancing Mr. Groser’s candidacy for the WTO presidency by spying on his rivals as being in the national interest, done in pursuit of economic security and thus permissible. It remains to be seen if the PM, as Minister of Intelligence and Security at the time, was informed about the targeted eavesdropping program before or after the fact.

    What is clear is that whoever authorised the spying has a confused view of how NZ’s interests could be advanced by Mr. Groser becoming head of the WTO. Had he gotten the job he would have become the head of a major international organisation with many constituencies and therefore would have been very constrained in showing favouritism to NZ on policy matters. Advancing Mr. Groser’s candidacy via spying on rival candidates can not be considered to be synonymous with advancing the national interest unless one thinks that merely having a Kiwi in an important international position does so. That would be naive at best.

    More to the point, just because something is legal does not mean that it is necessarily right or prudent to do so. In addition, diverting GCSB resources in support of the Groser candidacy took time and labour away from other areas of interest that could arguably include subjects and targets much more closely linked to national security. And worse yet, the spying effort was an exercise in futility–Groser did not get the job so all of that effort was wasted.

    But most of all, it was very imprudent to engage in spying on Mr. Groser’s rivals. Not only does it smack of looking for dirt on them, but the backlash should the facts become public (as they have) can seriously compromise future NZ diplomatic and trade efforts. The PM has stated that the South Koreans do not care about the story, but other countries such as Brazil (whose candidate became the eventual winner of the WTO job) and Indonesia have already made very clear their displeasure at being spied on by 5 Eyes in any capacity. This will only add to that resentment and deepen suspicions about NZ’s honesty and good faith when it claims to have an independent foreign policy.

    In sum, it was a stupid move.

    • Stuart Munro 15.1

      The rationale may have been to get Groser out of the country – the greatest contribution he could readily make to the public good.

    • According to the Prime Minister, the people making these allegations are “just plonkers” so there can’t be any substance to them, can there? 😉

      Seriously though, there is more involved here than a “stupid move”: the 5-Eyes relationship is itself a stupid one for this country to have.

      Acting as a 5-Eyes cyber-spying node associates New Zealand with and even immerses it in the global expectations, agendas and activities of a major, nuclear superpower in ways that we cannot control.

      That can enmesh us deeply in contibuting to the 5-Eyes intelligence used to support the global nuclear strategies of a US that is its controlling member.

      Which puts us in a position where our nuclar-free status is compromised, and in practice this potentially warrants our, once again, being designated as a nuclear target if at some time in the next decade or so a crisis between the US and a nuclear opponent builds up to the point where a mass nuclear exchange takes place (notably involving potentially Russia or China as its opponents).

      Meanwhle, being immersed thus in the 5-Eyes club is not compatible with our being seen as “independent” which in practice also diminishes/undermines our aspirations to act and be seen to act as an “honest borker”.

      Finallly, membership also potentially taints us in the eyes many others subject to 5-Eyes spying, others with whom we want and need good relations and trade.

      So the central challenge facing us all now is to define new ways of relating constructively and well both to the United States and to others at the same time.

      My other comments on this blog and links in them to some blogs I have written seek to put forward some ways in which this might be done (http://thestandard.org.nz/screaming-left-wing-conspiracy-theorist-shocked-at-spying-on-diplomats/#comment-990190

      Screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist shocked at spying on Diplomats

      • John:

        You are preaching to the converted. I have written fairly extensively on the subject and have even posed the suggestion that NZ consider withdrawing from 5 Eyes in public forums (although I believe that the costs may outweigh the benefits of doing so).

        Incidentally, the broad scope of GCSB spying is outlined in Section 7 of the GCSB Act, sections b-c in particular.

        • John Gallagher

          Thank you, Paul. I have often enjoyed your commentaries on security matters.

          I’m wondering if you address, as others seem yet to do, an alternative structure of international relations and ways of transitioning to such if New Zealand and the 5Eyes relationship, even the whole military relationship with the United States for that matter, came to an end?

          How could this be done in ways that open out to new, mutually-beneficial ways of relating, including on cyber-security issues amongst others?

          Managed with win-win vision and diplomatic professionalism such a transition need not end up in making losses – perhaps quite the contrary, given the potential to enhance our ability to relate well to all – diplomatically, economically and also re IT and cyber-security issues themselves!

          Those are the aims behind the numerous blogs I have written on http://www.village-connections.com, including re the constructive use of information technologies for the benefit of all. To offer some quick references once again:

          A Way Through Cybersecurity Thickets – Open Letter to the New Zealand Government

          Fulfilling the promise of new technology unencumbered by security agendas

          From the Edward Snowden case to a new Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere?

          I would be very interested in your appraisal.

          • Paul G. Buchanan

            Cheers John, for the links. I have said this before but will repeat it–joining 5 Eyes was like joining the mafia. You can never really leave. But that does not mean that NZ cannot renegotiate its role, particularly in the wake of Snowden’s revelations.

            As for the military to military ties. The Washington and Wellington agreements need reconsideration as they compromise NZ sovereign ability to chose when to deploy troops into foreign conflict theatres. But for that to happen the government must change.

            I gather I can exchange views with you over at your blog (so as to not take up space here).

            • John Gallagher

              Thanks Paul – I would look forward to communicating as you suggest.

              Just two starting points maybe to consider:

              1. How ready the US would be to re-negotiate, and to what extent they might be willing to make serious, pertinent changes?

              cf blog:
              John Gallagher

              24 March 2015 at 10:23 pm

              Thanks Paul – I would look forward to communicating as you suggest.

              Just two starting points maybe to consider:

              1. How ready the US would be to re-negotiate, and to what extent they might be willing to make serious, pertinent changes?

              2. Alternatively, the merits of starting out by asking both the US and China, along with a few others, for their perspectives on cyber-security and their wider hopes/visions for IT, and maybe seeing then if some interested parties would like to come together for further discussion? Some of this broached via contact with embassies in Wellington….?
              cf blog:
              Making Wellington a diplomatic village for the Asia Pacific region – and beyond?

              2. Alternatively, the merits of starting out by asking both the US and China, along with a few others, for their perspectives on cyber-security and their wider hopes/visions for IT, and maybe seeing then if some interested parties would like to come together for further discussion? Some of this broached via contact with embassies in Wellington….?
              cf blog:
              Making Wellington a diplomatic village for the Asia Pacific region – and beyond?

              • [The previous go at a reply got confuddled somehow – here’s the straight up and down version!]

                Thanks Paul – I would look forward to communicating as you suggest.

                Just two starting points maybe to consider:

                1. How ready the US would be to re-negotiate, and to what extent they might be willing to make serious, pertinent changes?

                2. Alternatively, the merits of starting out by asking both the US and China, along with a few others, for their perspectives on cyber-security and their wider hopes/visions for IT, and maybe seeing then if some interested parties would like to come together for further discussion? Some of this broached via contact with embassies in Wellington….?
                cf blog:
                Making Wellington a diplomatic village for the Asia Pacific region – and beyond?

    • Anne 15.3

      Thank you Paul Buchanan for giving us Standardistas the benefit of your wisdom and knowledge.

      Under the GCSB Act amended last year, the GCSB can undertake virtually any type of spying if it is the “NZ national interest,” including on NZ’s resident or traveling abroad.

      Every time I hear John Key claim ” everything the GCSB does is within the law“, I almost explode with rage. Of course it is. He changed the law to make what was illegal… legal. It would be like passing a law that made it legal to physically abuse anyone who protested against his government. Quite common in some countries.

      What is clear is that whoever authorised the spying has a confused view of how NZ’s interests could be advanced by Mr. Groser becoming head of the WTO.

      In your role as a public commentator on Security matters, I realise you have to be somewhat circumspect but I don’t as an ordinary citizen. It was almost certainly John Key who authorised the spying. It fits in so well with his modus operandi. That the GCSB appear to have gone along with it is indeed concerning. I also wonder whether Tim Groser was actually aware of what was occurring on his behalf. I note his defensive attitude when approached by reporters and suspect he may not have been told.

      I also wonder how much of these questionable GCSB activities on behalf of the Key government may have had to do with Ian Fletcher’s apparent sudden decision to resign before his term of tenure had expired.

      • Thanks Anne. The question of who authorised the spying needs to be answered by the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, who at the moment is the only entity that can demand answers from the GCSB and DPMC. And even then, she may not get the full truth if the investigation into the DPMC/Slater leak of the Tucker/Goff briefing is any indicator.

  15. Hello 16

    Did the GCSB use it’s spying powers to help get a set on the UN security council?
    From the looks of their recent actions is totally looks like a big yeap.


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