Slip, slip, slip

Written By: - Date published: 1:48 pm, September 16th, 2014 - 82 comments
Categories: john key, slippery - Tags: , , ,

John Key will no doubt – like with Dirty Politics – keep saying that “most of it is proven false” about the Snowden revelations… while slowly admitting most of the charges against him.

The bulk of it is wrong, just all the details are right, or somesuch.

But we’ve had a Prime Minister going from “there’s no mass surveillance” to “we made a business case, but I stopped it” to “yes we did tap into the Southern Cross cable, but we didn’t do anything once we’d done that” to “we implemented something narrower” (along with “we didn’t go for the full version because we couldn’t store it all”!)… and now we have Sir Bruce Ferguson describing XKeyScore and saying – essentially – we do hoover up the information, but we don’t look at it without a warrant.

So we are doing mass surveillance then – it’s just alright because we never look at it without someone’s say so.  And we trust the other members of the 5 Eyes who we supply that data to, to do likewise.

Well I don’t trust them.

And I don’t trust John Key either. Particularly when his version of “we don’t do mass surveillance” is slowly dragged out of him to be “we do do mass surveillance, we just don’t look at it”.

And I don’t trust anyone with the morals of Dirty Politics to be in charge of people looking at our personal correspondence.

82 comments on “Slip, slip, slip”

  1. paddy 1

    Can we get the election back to important issues like poverty and education rather than this sideshow?

    • blue leopard 1.1

      Can’t get any issue addressed if our government has gone awol, paddy.

      This issue needs to be addressed in order to ensure that it is the people of NZ that the NZ government holds as top priority.

      How the NZ people respond to this issue will give a strong message to all future governments what they can get away with.

      If the NZ public go ‘meh’, things will only get worse
      If the NZ public get angry and assertive all political parties in NZ will know they need to take a lot of care about compromising New Zealanders’ interests for dubious agendas.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Can’t get any issue addressed if our government has gone awol, paddy.

        And/or our media infrastructure+Fourth Estate.

        • blue leopard 1.1.1.1

          +1

          I hope this shifts attitudes in the media, government and corridors of power. Their cynicism is palpable and is destroying our entire system.

          The system they, funnily enough, enjoy greater privileges from than a lot of others.

          • Jilly Bee 1.1.1.1.1

            I bet attitudes in the MSM will rapidly change if the Nats are voted out on Saturday. They will suddenly become extremely investigative.

        • Local Kiwi 1.1.1.2

          Who’s gonna turn the lights off when we all are forced to leave?
          Opps that’s from the 1970’s.

          A brighter future says the key clown,, well who is gonna keep the lights on when the money runs out keyster?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        I do wish that the left leaning parties would put up some decent anti-corruption policies. A large chunk of National should be in jail right about now.

    • Tracey 1.2

      Of course we can…

      national claims to have some policies but their leader is a habitual liar so you cant actually believe any of their policies.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      The corruption of our democracy by National isn’t a sideshow.

    • Douglas 1.4

      How can you call this a “sideshow”? This is single-handedly the most important issue facing our country. Years from now we will look back at this five eyes scenario and realize just how important it was. We are at a turning point in the worldwide socio-political landscape: foreign policy; diplomacy; intelligence… and no, this is not a conspiracy. At best, it’s fact, at worst, it’s circumstantially evident. This isn’t just about a KDC v. JK vendetta: it deals with matters of integrity; sovereignty; and the very nature of politics and how we, as an informed public, perceive it.

      For the record, no, I am not a conspiracy theorist, no I did not vote Internet Mana, and no, this comment is not Anti-National. Surveillance is not an election issue, it is a New Zealand issue, and a global issue that we must acknowledge.

    • Hanswurst 1.5

      Apart from any of the points mentioned above, there is rather a lot of evidence (from TVNZ’s rather piecemeal and hodge-podge “vote-compass” coverage, for instance) that National has already lost the policy debate in the minds of most NZers, but that those NZers either don’t connect the (lack of) policies to National or for some peculiar reason don’t see policy as the most important tool of an elected government.

      Given that, I don’t see how there is much advantage for the Left in continuing to push policy. Key’s integrity is a legitimate target, and it appears that that may resonate more with voters.

    • Roy 1.6

      Isn’t the honesty and integrity of the incumbent PM seeking re-election an important issue?

  2. Tom Gould 2

    Why is Key incapable of proving there has been no mass surveillance on New Zealanders as he claims? He has all the power and access at his disposal. Yet he is unable to prove what he says it true. There is no evidence to back up his assurances. Surely we can expect better from him?

    • Roflcopter 2.1

      — Why is Key incapable of proving there has been no mass surveillance on New Zealanders as he claims? —

      For all the same reasons as all previous Prime Ministers state, going right back to WWII.

    • Bill 2.2

      Tom, ‘mass surveillance’ implies something very different to mass collection of meta data. ‘Mass surveillance’ would involve intruding into all the meta data. And data collection implies the collection of all the content associated with the meta-data.

      Journalists (on the back of my link in comment #3) really need to get focused and cut the crap.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Nah I think you’re wrong on this count, Bill.

        Is attaching a tracking device on to your car which records all your movements around town placing you under “surveillance”? I would say it is. Or is it (as you seem to be saying) only “surveillance” when someone finally looks through the readouts of your movements.

        Which to me is clearly nonsense.

        ‘Mass surveillance’ would involve intruding into all the meta data.

        All the metadata collected is processed, including being run through scanning algorithms to flag items of potential interest, and ordering/indexing the information for quick and orderly retrieval.

        Is that not enough “intruding” into the data, from your point of view?

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          If someone or their “automated investigative capability” is collecting/downloading all my electronic data then I am under surveillance.

          Then we have the issue of what key-word filter searches are done?

          Donations to the Green party? Donations to Greenpeace? Does that qualify?

          I have an Uncle who sincerely believes, never having read a word Hager has ever written, that it is right to spy on Hager because he holds “extreme views” and what he wants for NZ is dangerous.

          National, Key and Collins have shown, if nothing else, they cannot be trusted with secrets. Mr Key and Ms Collins have both misused their Ministerial warrants for personal/political purposes.

          Anyone who thinks that is not the case needs to read more widely, start examing ALL the documents released over the last 12 months, and put those odcument sunder the microscope. THEN go look at Key’s statements and how they change and change and change…

        • Bill 2.2.1.2

          Nah I think you’re wrong on this count, Bill.

          Yeah, maybe. What I was trying to do was highlight potential slippery wordsmithery on JK’s part – not suggest that mass collection of meta data was somehow or in any way acceptable or ‘neutral’ as far as activity goes.

      • Not a PS Staffer 2.2.2

        John Key used SIS files to knobble Phil Goff.

        Do you think John Key, knowing that the capability exists to access massive amounts of information on enemies, would not do so?

        It would be like taking a child to a chocolate factory and expecting it to not eat the stuff!

        • Local Kiwi 2.2.2.1

          Key stood in parliament near end of Parliament during debate and said glaring at Labour cross benches and said be careful I have a draw full of dirt on you so if you want I am happy to use it!
          Do you want this as your leader remembering he is harvesting all our documents and data as we speak now?

          Back to Pre-war Germany days of public fear and suppression again folks.

          Best we kick his rotten lot out and save our land from evil.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.2

          More like taking that greedy, mean fat boy to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory…

      • greywarbler 2.2.3

        Thinking about surveillance and snooping and information gathering.

        If someone is looking into my life and movements, and keeping records for a short or a long time, informing themselves of my doings to use sometime, or to possibly gossip about now or in the future to my embarrassment or harm, to twist and use to create a false impression about me, to show a true impression about me that I might not be wanting to reveal to others now or in the future, then my privacy and the essence of my life is being breached and stolen from me.

        Like the ideas that peoples in undeveloped countries are said to have – “Take my image (my life events and spoken and written thoughts) and you steal my life, my reality for your own use.”

        This is intrusion into people’s lives and cannot be categorised simply as bad, okay or inevitable.
        edited

        • Bill 2.2.3.1

          Yeah, I agree with you. But what I’m trying to get at is JK’s selective use of language to potentially obfuscate and maintain a degree of (thanks emergency mike) deniability.

    • JanMeyer 2.3

      You mean prove a negative? What exactly did you have in mind? What more can the government do to “prove” there was no mass surveillance? The onus is on those who claim there has been mass surveillance to produce the hard evidence to back that up.

      • Bill 2.3.1

        The evidence has been produced. And the government hasn’t engaged with the evidence.

        Or are you suggesting that the guys who did the physical work must be found and swear under oath that they were tapping the cable? Or that the guys who searched the meta-data that was compiled from non collection of meta-data….oh wait, we already have Snowdon to verify that one 😉

        I mean, what exactly would be required to clear the bar of your burden of proof?

        • karol 2.3.1.1

          John Key accuses the opposition of his own tactics:

          He said Mr Greenwald has miraculously turned up six days before an election “to try and bamboozle people and try to make all these claims which don’t stack up.
          […]
          “They’re a bunch of henchmen out here six days before an election trying to bamboozle people, making incorrect and false information.”

        • Local Kiwi 2.3.1.2

          1000%+++++ Key nis a gambler with our truth and soon it will confront him as it did Nixon, who’s’ favourite saying was “I have never lied”.

          Talk about deniability eh!

          Times up “Creepy-Key.”

  3. Bill 3

    What’s so difficult about the term ‘meta data’? Anyone listening to John Key would think the term doesn’t exist. What’s this shit he keeps spouting about ‘mass surveillance’ as though that somehow means there has been no mass and or indiscriminate collection of meta data?

    Video link here for anyone interested in hearing the whirr of spin.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11325598

    • emergency mike 3.1

      He did state in that interview that there is no mass ‘collection’ of NZer’s data. That’s more specific than ‘surveillance’.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        But doesn’t data refer to (say) the contents of this comment rather than any meta data concerning where the comment was sent from (IPS address for example), how many other communications have been sent from this location and to where/who and on what subject etcetera?

        What I’m suspecting is that by referring to data and absolutely avoiding the term meta-data, JK is being deliberately obtuse in order maintain a degree of honesty. (Honesty isn’t the correct word, but hopefully you get my meaning).

        Anyway, I’d just like to hear journalists shut him down when he makes announcements about data and pointedly ask him about meta data.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I would take data to mean anything being communicated (content, metadata) but I agree someone should be asking him to clarify what he means.

          Watching that, I can see how plausible he will come across to people who haven’t listened to/read any other sources. I’m also thinking he has nothing left to lose now and can just lie outright.

        • emergency mike 3.1.1.2

          “But doesn’t data refer to (say) the contents of this comment rather than any meta data…”

          To me and surely to any reasonable person, ‘meta data’ is a subset of ‘data’. So for me, to say you are not collecting any data when you are collecting meta data, would be wrong/lying. Meta data is a kind of data.

          “What I’m suspecting is that by referring to data and absolutely avoiding the term meta-data, JK is being deliberately obtuse in order maintain a degree of honesty. (Honesty isn’t the correct word, but hopefully you get my meaning).”

          However I do take your point, it’s John Key we are talking about here, (or his office perhaps). We have seen for years his uncanny ability to make words mean whatever he decides is convenient for them to mean at that particular time. You could well be right about his chosen understanding of the word ‘data’. And I think the word you are looking for is ‘deniability’.

    • weka 3.2

      Just watching now.

      Did Greenwald/Snowden say that the mass collection was being done by the GCSB (as opposed to the NSA)? Key seems to be saying that they aren’t doing that, but that doesn’t mean the NSA isn’t. Or is he suggesting that he is privy to what the US intelligences services do?

      • weka 3.2.1

        “GCSB doesn’t have the physical capability to do that” (mass surveillance). Well duh, isn’t that the point of being part of the Five Eyes?

        • Tracey 3.2.1.1

          and the other point of being part of 5 eyes is to share… but apparently we are neither capable or sharing…. could sum up the national party of course, but is a lie about our secret services (IMO)…

  4. NZJon 4

    Bunji,

    Can you provide any URLs for the places where Key said the following bits:

    But we’ve had a Prime Minister going from “there’s no mass surveillance” to “we made a business case, but I stopped it” to “yes we did tap into the Southern Cross cable, but we didn’t do anything once we’d done that” to “we implemented something narrower” (along with “we didn’t go for the full version because we couldn’t store it all”!)… and now we have Sir Bruce Ferguson describing XKeyScore and saying – essentially – we do hoover up the information, but we don’t look at it without a warrant.

    I’m just really interested to hear these bits… 🙂

    Jon

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Bit o’ basic searching is your friend.

      This one’s for free.

    • Tracey 4.2

      Hi Jon

      Take a close read of the documents that Key released yesterday. I think you will see that it doesn’t answer the core question of whether kiwis have been mass spied upon and their data mass collected in the past, or today.

      No mention in Key’s documents of Operation Spearhead or X-KEYSCORE, yet today he is claiming he proved he was right yesterday.

      • Local Kiwi 4.2.1

        “Take a close read of the documents that Key released yesterday. I think you will see that it doesn’t answer the core question of whether kiwis have been mass spied upon and their data mass collected in the past, or today.

        No mention in Key’s documents of Operation Spearhead or X-KEYSCORE, yet today he is claiming he proved he was right yesterday.”

        Where the hell is the Investigative journalism to go over these documents as no one has yet mentioned this?

        Talk about a corrupt press and media are we taken over by mafia here in NZ? Corruption corruption everywhere.

  5. exitlane 5

    “Sir Bruce Ferguson describing XKeyScore and saying – essentially – we do hoover up the information, but we don’t look at it without a warrant.”

    That may or may not have been the case under his watch which ended in 2011, but as this NZ Herald column by lawyer Denis Tegg points out – all this changed under the 2013 GCSB Act. Loopholes were deliberately placed in the Act to allow warrant-less surveillance of New Zealanders.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11308965

    And as Greenwald pointed out, Phase 2 of Operation Speargun for accessing the Southern Cross cable and carrying out mass surveillance – relied on that Act being passed – complete with its convenient and cynically placed loopholes

  6. Tracey 6

    IF Key said

    ““yes we did tap into the Southern Cross cable, but we didn’t do anything once we’d done that””

    how is that reconciled with

    “Earlier, the Prime Minister acknowledged that project did involve putting “a probe” across the Southern Cross cable but he said the probe was never used.”

    Is key saying the probe was put in but never used or the probe was never put in”?

    Then we have the twisting of the issue by Key and others to the issue of the GCSB doing stuff that is legal and therefore ok…


    US spies have two bases in New Zealand: Snowden

    By Adam Bennett, Rebecca Quilliam, Derek Cheng
    8:22 AM Tuesday Sep 16, 2014

    Bill Arkin, a US national security analyst, said he believed XKeyscore was being used in New Zealand, but that didn’t mean it was illegal surveillance.

    “Using XKeyscore and being a member of this [Five Eyes] partnership and being engaged in the collection of what is called raw, unselected, bulk traffic does not necessarily mean to me that people in New Zealand are illegally being surveilled,” he told Newstalk ZB radio this morning.

    Snowden had “very ably demonstrated” that mass collection of information was capable, but Mr Arkin said he was “still agnostic on the question as to whether or not innocent people are being surveilled”.

    “What I see is just a collection system that is out of control and I’m not quite sure at this point that there’s any evidence that indicates that a normal New Zealander who is not engaged in terrorism, crime, or some other illegality, that their communications would ever be looked at,” he said.”

    Then Mr Briscoe

    “The cables, which link New Zealand to Australia, the Pacific and the United States, are untouched, Mr Briscoe noted.

    “I can tell you quite categorically there is no facility by the NSA, the GCSB or anyone else on the Southern Cross cable network.”

    “Let’s be quite blunt. To do this, we would have to take the cable out of service and I can assure you there’s no way we are going to do that.

    “It is a physical impossibility to do it without us knowing. There is just no way it can be done. I can give you absolute assurances from Southern Cross – and me as a Kiwi – that there are no sites anywhere on the Southern Cross network that have to do with interception or anything else the NSA or GCSB might want to do.””

    • Tom Gould 6.1

      It’s the exact same ‘rolling maul’ as with Collins and Oravida, dripping out a bit of information as you get caught out in the last lie. Remember ‘dropping in for a cuppa on the way to the airport’?

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        had to edit my post above due to it putting in more than I wanted in my copy and paste…

        yWhich is why we need, butnever get, a journalist doing a timeline of John key’s statement son this… when you see them following in chronological order you see the lies and the flip flopping and the bamboozling and the light shows he accuses others of.

        A chronology of his statements would be so easy to do and yet, no MSM person is doing it…

    • weka 6.2

      Tracey, can you please link to the things you are cuting and pasting from? It makes it so much easier to understand what you and others are saying to be able to see it on context.

      For instance, the first part of your comment 6, I can’t tell what is actual quote of Key and what is speculation. Nor do I know where that came from (which all things considered is important).

    • Bill 6.3

      “Let’s be quite blunt. To do this, we would have to take the cable out of service and I can assure you there’s no way we are going to do that.

      Except the cable suffered a supposed catastrophic failure, and so was out of service, apparently due to an “unauthorised and un-notified software change” in Sept 2012. Oh well.

      (See comment 14 for link)

  7. Tracey 7

    Conbfidant from media coverage this morning that he has managed to fudge the press and NZers, Key now swings into his “Greenwald and Snowden should prove it” mode.

    Anyone who has read the documents released by Key yesterday should know by now they do not prove that NZ is not involved in mass surveillance…

    They raise more questions than they answer…

    It seems NZ is the only nation which has been able to prevent its cables being tapped… its people being surveilled. Canada, UK, Australia… all succumbed but not Mr key, that champion of independence from the USA

    • Rich 7.1

      Love that last bit of sarc. Thoroughly deseverd target.

    • Bill 7.2

      If I put up pretty convincing or damning evidence that points to you being a sheep shagger, it’s up to you to explain or demonstrably refute the evidence in order to convince me that, no, you’re not a sheep shagger.

      It isn’t up to me to somehow shove your feet back into the muddy gumboots and have you retrace your steps to the arse end of your last sheep, is it?

      And yet, it appears that’s the farce JK would have us engage in.

  8. Rich 8

    Yes and it’s pretty obvious that Key himself thinks this is a lolly jar he can stick his hand in anytime. Some of his comments to journalists before this blew were along the lines of “I know what you write in your emails’.

    • emergency mike 8.1

      Yep a moment in that infamous 20min standup he did straight after Dirty Politics was released stuck with me. Key said (from memory) “Probably if we looked at your emails they might be a bit rough Patrick Gower.” He delivered it with a nasty lingering grimace/stare and the recipient. That and the stating of Gower’s full name like that…

      • Local Kiwi 8.1.1

        Same for me when I felt a shiver down my spine when key had a strong threatening glare at Labour cross benches late July in Debate and said;
        “I have a draw full of dirt and if you want me to use it I am happy to”…. The shock resounded around parliamentary chamber then.

  9. Iron Sky 9

    Qutoe from “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold:

    “Alec Leamas: What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not! They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, hen-pecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong?”

    The illustration here, is that they are just human to. Like the rest of us a ragtag mob of good, bad and in-between.

    The problem, however, is here:
    “What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not!”

    I suspect a certain number have morals, do philosophize etc, however, in general are they just high functionalised trained attack dogs with too much power and not enough thinking. Thats what the HR vetting process is about. Because if you think too much, those wheels doth maketh crazy and suddenly black and white fades to grey.

    Note how on the News Oceania Gold is now suing El Salvador for $301 million

    Note how also the TPP was mentioned in The Moment of Truth with the majority of MSM overlooking this point (even RNZ)

    I apologize to the “spies” that are enabling this to happen in NZ to, but I have to say this.

    With your high intelligence, your disciplined life styles, well groomed clothes, deep pockets, loyalty to your master, EQs, the veneer of diplomacy hidden by a confident walk and softly spoken but authoritative words coupled with designer clothes

    I give you a white feather.

    • Tracey 9.1

      which is why Snowden is a hero. And rare

    • Local Kiwi 9.2

      MSM never mentioned at all questions raised over TPPA revelations that were released last night at “Moment of truth’.

      So because the media failed to raise this vital issue they will be afterward be held to account for their crimes as a complicit partner in the crime that is lose our sovereignty to a few corporate global elitists who will control us all after TPPA takes us.

      This is a taking over of countries without a shot fired.

      Key is a traitor to all New Zealanders.

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    Q. “Does the NSA have a base here?”

    A. “we don’t operate a base with NSA”

    That’s a yes, then.

    • Tracey 10.1

      it has a facility though…

      and then we cut to this tried and true measure of John Key

      Do you promise to answer questions even if journalists forget to ask them?

      JOHN KEY: I will do my best

  11. politikiwi 11

    The smoke and mirrors here are important: Key said “the GCSB has not illegally spied on New Zealanders.”

    That leaves the door wide open for another agency (NSA etc) to have spied on New Zealanders, and for the GCSB to know about it.

    It also leaves the door wide open for saying the GCSB have legally spied on New Zealanders, as they are allowed to do under the 2013 law.

    He’s extremely good at grey areas is John Key, and the media are shamefully bad at pointing that out.

    • Tracey 11.1

      it also leaves open the interpretation that under the new legislation he misleadingly rammed through, it is legal, or arguable that it is legal.

      • politikiwi 11.1.1

        Precisely.

        That’s the law they were waiting for before deploying the probes they considered but never planned. I mean, they planned but they never installed. I mean, they installed but they never used…

    • tricledrown 11.2

      so the GSCB didn’t spy on Dotcom didn’t need a warrant which John Key would have to have signed off!

  12. tricledrown 12

    their maybe some NSA operatives but their is no base well hello!
    Do they need a Base they can rely on the GSCB and the SIS along with 5 Eyes
    Key is saying yes no yes no yes no but at the end of the day in the end you know its a left wing conspiracy to hijack my knighthood,
    Keys hoodwinking as many people as he can con!

  13. just saying 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11

    Another slip

    Eminem is suing National for breach of copyright for using his song “lose yourself’ for their campaign.

    Beautiful, symmetrical even.

    • Tracey 13.1

      So that is twice the National party has flouted copyright laws and used a song that is remarkably similar to an International hit…

      Three strikes rule on copyright…. do we really have to wait for the next election to Act

  14. riffer 14

    This link is starting to appear all over facebook. Timing is interesting:

    http://www.zdnet.com/southern-cross-cable-hit-by-an-outage-7000007153/

    • tc 14.1

      “unauthorised and un-notified software change” and connecting the dots Pacific Fibre cable didn’t get too far given it’s well heeled backers and the need for diversity should stn cross fail.

    • Bill 14.2

      The 9th of Sept 2012 potentially dovetails with shit how closely? (Sorry to ask. Just too much flying around my head at the moment.) S’okay, found it. From ‘The Intercept’ article

      One top secret 2012 NSA document states: “Project Speargun underway.” Another top secret NSA document discussing the activities of its surveillance partners reports, under the heading “New Zealand,” that “Partner cable access program achieves Phase I.”

      and

      completion of Speargun was “awaiting new GCSB Act expected July 2013.”

      While the illegality of GCSB spying on Dotcom and others was apparently ‘discovered’ or ‘realised’ (or we were told about said ‘realisation’) in …Sept 2012.

      • emergency mike 14.2.1

        The zdnet article says November 9, 2012.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.2

        Using a Speargun to catch a big fish. Hollywood script much? Creative fingerprints all over this shit.

        When in the fuckety fuck did civil disputes about distribution paradigms become the purview of Military Intelligence?

        Around about the time Congress sold itself, or long before that?

  15. Tracey 15

    Cant be relevant cos CEO Briscoe would know about it… if NSA were tapping his probe… 😉

  16. dave 16

    The bastard has to resign

  17. Penny Bright 17

    Seeking TRUTH from FACTS – FYI
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    16 September 2014

    ‘Open Letter/ OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key regarding questions arising from the Edward Snowden GCSB/ NSA ‘revelations’

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Under the ‘urgency’ and ‘public interest’ provisions of the NZ Official Information Act, please provide answers to the following by 5pm Thursday 18 September 2014:

    Please provide the following information that explains:

    1) Why did you inform the public that the GCSB Amendment Bill would not lead to an expansion of powers when at the same time you were planning the Speargun mass surveillance initiative?

    2) Why was phase one of the Speargun project completed if it was, as you have claimed, something that never made it past the “business case”?

    3) Why New Zealanders were not informed about the Cortex project until the NZ Government’s hand was forced by disclosures based on documents from Snowden?

    4) How much data is collected on a daily basis by GCSB under the Cortex project, and how does the agency ensure this data does not “incidentally” include the content or metadata of citizens’ communications?

    5) What technology is this, referred to in the Cortex documents, that “has been around for some time”?

    6) Is any information collected by GCSB under Cortex — or any other program that accesses internet data — shared with the NSA and/or other Five Eyes agencies through systems such as XKEYSCORE?

    7) Does GCSB have access to XKEYSCORE and, if so, for how long has this been the case?

    8) Does GCSB use its access to internet data streams — under initiatives like Cortex or similar — to launch active/offensive cyber operations that involve hacking computer systems to collect information?

    9) When will you declassify documents detailing the Speargun project and showing that it was not completed?

    _________________________________________________________

    Please be advised that I have based this OIA request upon information contained in the following article:

    “THE QUESTIONS FOR NEW ZEALAND ON MASS SURVEILLANCE”

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/15/questions-new-zealand-mass-surveillance/

    I believe that these are fair questions to which the New Zealander voting public need true and accurate answers.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

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  • New Zealand bans military style semi-automatics and assault rifles
    Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles banned under stronger gun laws Immediate action to prevent stock-piling Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. ...
    2 days ago
  • Membership: Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board
    The Governments of Australia and New Zealand have announced the membership of the Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) today. This is an important step towards implementing e-Invoicing across both countries to help businesses save time and money ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An end to unnecessary secondary tax
    Workers who are paying too much tax because of incorrect secondary tax codes are in line for relief with the passage of legislation through Parliament late last night. The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018-19, Modernising Tax Administration, and Remedial Matters) ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chatham Islands pāua plan approved
    Efforts to reverse the decline in the Chatham Islands pāua fishery are the focus of a new plan jointly agreed between government, the local community and industry. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the plan was developed by the PauaMAC4 Industry ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill introduced for synthetics crackdown
    The Police will get stronger powers of search and seizure to crackdown on synthetic drugs under new legislation, which makes the two main synthetics (5F-ADB and AMB-FUBINACA) Class A drugs. The Government has today introduced the Misuse of Drugs Amendment ...
    3 weeks ago