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The circle is complete

Written By: - Date published: 4:16 pm, September 17th, 2014 - 138 comments
Categories: accountability, brand key, internet, john key, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

First:

Greenwald has had access to leaked documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, and he says he will release a report that would show the GCSB has been conducting mass surveillance on New Zealanders — a claim Mr Key strongly denies. “There’s no ambiguity. No middle ground. I’m right. He’s wrong,” Mr Key told reporters today.

then:

Mr Key said Cabinet signed off a proposal for the GCSB to investigate a business case for widespread cyber protection of New Zealand entities, but he personally stopped the work in March last year because he thought it was a step too far. “In the end, that never even got to a business case.”

then:

Mr Key today acknowledged the GCSB had indeed tapped into the cable, but for the purposes of a cybersecurity programme. However, Mr Key said concerns the project would be perceived as mass surveillance led to it being scaled back to a much narrower programme.

then:

”we don’t discuss the specific programmes the GCSB may, or may not use”

and now the circle is complete:

Prime Minister John Key acknowledged today that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s claim that New Zealanders’ data is accessible through the controversial XKeyscore system “may well be right”.


Hey – remember when

Prime Minister John Key says he and the head of GCSB would resign if the spy agency were found to have conducted mass surveillance.

138 comments on “The circle is complete”

  1. Zorr 1

    Can just imagine the Tui billboard now:
    “XKEYSCORE isn’t mass surveilance. Yeah, right”

    🙂

  2. Bob 2

    “Prime Minister John Key says he and the head of GCSB would resign if the spy agency were found to have conducted mass surveillance” does not correlate to “Prime Minister John Key acknowledged today that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s claim that New Zealanders’ data is accessible through the controversial XKeyscore system “may well be right”.”
    The fact that the US may have NZ data through XKeyscore doesn’t mean the GCSB uses it for NZ data, that is like saying Google holds metadata which it uses for its Android software, I say I don’t use Googles metadata and you say “but you use Google!” That is a long bow to draw.

    • Crunchtime 2.1

      Your reasoning is a much longer bow to draw.

      – The law change last year allows the GCSB to spy on NZers
      – Edward Snowden confirmed that overseas agencies such as the NSA are able to fully access all metadata AND CONTENT of NZer communications via xkeyscore.

      Therefore there IS mass surveillance of NZers, and naturally that will be by the GCSB, even if they don’t actually use it other spy agencies in the 5 eyes network.

      John Key, if he kept his word, would resign.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10913479

        Good explanation from back when key was reassuring us all, but not releasing his documents to prove it

      • Bob 2.1.2

        “– The law change last year allows the GCSB to spy on NZers”
        If they first obtain a warrant, and not before

        “– Edward Snowden confirmed that overseas agencies such as the NSA are able to fully access all metadata AND CONTENT of NZer communications via xkeyscore.”
        Yes, but John Key does not set or oversee the laws on overseas agencies, only the GCSB. IF the GCSB is collecting metadata and content of NZers, where are the databanks? They wouldn’t hold them offshore as that would be a massive security risk, there is simply no capability for NZ to hold the metadata and content, this is the biggest flaw in the whole arguement that no-one seems to be able to get their head around!!!

        • Tracey 2.1.2.1

          From john key you mean?

          • Bob 2.1.2.1.1

            And the commissioner of security warrants, yes.

            But don’t forget the amendments Dunne pushed through:

            * specific legislation to add any agencies allowed to request assistance from the GCSB. The current proposed bill only required an Order in Council, which is not voted on by Parliament

            * the watchdog overseeing the GCSB, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, must be informed when a warrant is put on the register relating to a New Zealander

            * an annual report from the GCSB on the number of times it has assisted other agencies

            * annual public hearing of Parliament’s closed door Intelligence and Security Committee to discuss financial reviews of the performance of the GCSB and the SIS

            * an independent review of the security services in 2015, and then every five to seven years

        • Cleangreen 2.1.2.2

          Bob with rocks in his head,
          You expect NZ citizens to believe/trust any agency who is required to operate with the element of secrecy and surprise to look after our privacy?

          And SIS with their leaks to Slater, and GCSB who spied on 88** NZ citizens causing National Key to change the law so they could?

          You want us to to trust all overseas intelligence operators of spy networks who can access the five eyes network of stall our stored history of communications?

          Or US based NSA storage facilities of all Five eyes global date of all?

          “Yeah right”

          With that logic you probably don’t believe that when I was a telephone technician a used to run intelligence gathering communication connections on citizens when asked by my employer, to do so, and for money I did so in 1990 so please wake up.

          Todays system can monitor by electronic messaging thousands of citizens at once and they get paid for it
          Get a life and grow some balls idiot, try selling somewhere else maybe north pole, don’t send us rather stupid statements such as that rather long bow.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      It’s a poor analogy, if only because Key has acknowledged that whatever system is in use (we know it’s Xkeyscore John you can stop being cute) requires a warrant to access it.

      If there’s data to access then data is being collected. Do I have to list the things Xkeyscore provides access to again, Bob?

      The article on it that helped win the Pulitzer Prize is here somewhere. Can you find it yourself or do I have to help you?

      • Bob 2.2.1

        “It’s a poor analogy, if only because Key has acknowledged that whatever system is in use (we know it’s Xkeyscore John you can stop being cute) requires a warrant to access it”
        Only if they are using it to view information held on NZers and as I said yesterday, every time you access a US server your metadata can be held by the US as part of the patriot act. If you don’t like your data being held stick to NZ sites exclusively.
        None of that information can be used by the GCSB against you unless they first apply for a warrant, so if what you are doing is bad enough that the GCSB feels they require a warrant you likely know you are doing something very wrong anyway! Remember, they have only done this 86 times in the past 9 years. Of course you could argue spying on 0.00001% of the population over 9 years is ‘mass surveilence’, but I still wouldn’t agree with you.

        “If there’s data to access then data is being collected. Do I have to list the things Xkeyscore provides access to again, Bob?”
        Agree, but is it being collected by the GCSB or other 5 eyes partners? And is it NZ based data, or data going through offshore servers? Remember, this is why Snowden shot to fame, he showed the US was spying on allies, he still hasn’t shown the GCSB is spying on NZers.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.1

          None of that information can be used by the GCSB against you unless they first apply for a warrant,

          Really? Snowden seemed to indicate that it was merely a checkbox the analyst ticks when running a query. Not exactly a robust protection of our rights and freedom.

          so if what you are doing is bad enough that the GCSB feels they require a warrant you likely know you are doing something very wrong anyway! Remember, they have only done this 86 times in the past 9 years.

          “this”? You mean they’ve only illegally operated against NZ residents and citizens 86 times.
          How many of the 86 illegal surveillance operations resulted in any legal action whatsoever?
          KDC was one, so that’s what – 1/86 success rate based on the illegal surveillance ops they ran? Where “success” is defined as “he might be extradited for something that is nopt a criminal act in New zealand”.

          Fuck terrorism – the GCSB seem to think that the biggest threats to NZ are illegal downloaders and nonviolent activists.

    • Tracey 2.3

      IF the GCSB had opened the door to enable mass surveillance would you consider that makes a lie of the PMs statement, or not?

      • Bob 2.3.1

        Not necessarily, if they opened the door to mass surveillance AND had data banks that allowed them to store the details then yes,I would consider it a lie.

        • Tracey 2.3.1.1

          What if having opened thedoor the NSA is storing the data… But GCSB opened the door to them

          • Bob 2.3.1.1.1

            Well that would be stupid, that would give the NSA the ability to spy on our businesses as well, do you really think National would open up their “rich prick mates” to US spying as well?

    • weka 2.4

      The GCSB lets the Americans have the data instead of using it themselves. Oh, that’s alright then, we can all go home now.

      • Bob 2.4.1

        No, the NSA collects NZ data going through their servers, have done since the Patriot Act was passed, nothing new here at all. If you don’t want the NSA spying on you stick to NZ sites only.

  3. Tracey 3

    john key says he canned spearhead in March 2013.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11324936

    The documents HE released indicate the rescinding of the business case in September 2013.

    • r0b 3.1

      The documents he released relate to CORTEX not Spearhead, it was a complete distraction. Keith Ng covers it best:

      http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/project-speargun-underway/

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        I understand that rOB.

        BUT

        He didnt rescind CORTEX.

        So what was rescinded in September 2013?

        And if Key canned Spearhead in March 2013….

        Key released the rescinding of Option 2 to support his claim he canned mass surveillance or Spearhead. But he canned it in September.

        I KNOW he is lying, I am just trying to walk folks through how I can claim that.

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          Ahh, apologies, I misunderstood.

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1

            I could have just confuddled myself.

            I have been through the docs released by Key which date from early 2012 throught to CORTEX

            And trying to keep Keys statement straight in my head is difficult to.

  4. Outofbed 4

    “The circle is complete”
    dancing on the head of a pin

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    And the NZ media establishment is doing a great job of pointing out all of Key’s flip flops.

  6. sockpuppet 6

    Throw him in the Waitemata if he drowns he’s innocent if he survives burn the witch !

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      No easy way out for John. The Royal Commission on his involvement in Cameron Slater’s criminal activities, The Parliamentary Inquiry into his misuse of the security services.

      Whatever criminal charges may flow from there. He is a flight risk, though.

  7. Ad 7

    Looks like he’ll be paying for it in the TV3 poll tonight.

    A great evening for a head to head TV leadership debate.

  8. Peter 8

    Nicky Hager defined mass surrvelience this morning, for the benefit of laymen like me, as “…….. the system ……. allows you to intercept …….. not intercepting peoples data all the time ……….. is the colection of millions of peoples data ….. the data is saved up ……… they can look back and get the specific data when required at any time.”

    “http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20149918

    So if collecting of NZ data on a mass scale is possible through XKeyscore within the 5 Eyes Network can we expect Mr Key to resign ? After all Mr Snowden may well be right.

    I must be missing something? Please help!

    • infused 8.1

      Yes you are.

      It may be caught overseas somewhere. Not in NZ, because we simply don’t have the money to pay for a system to do that.

      Like I’ve said over and over again. Capturing 480gbit of data isn’t exactly and easy task. You then need to analyse that data.

      The US captures this data overseas. So if you are using overseas sites, and someone searches your information using xkeyscore, then they may find something on you.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        Infused

        Is it possible that we allow them access but they hold the data thereafter, or not?

        That is, we open the door for them but they collect all the stuff?

        • infused 8.1.1.1

          No.

          They are capturing your data on their soil. IE you accessing foreign sites/services. This is why the whole debate about cloud computing rages on.

          So they can capture your data over there and search on it. It’s not captured here. Hence why he said ‘he may be right’ because who knows what they are capturing, or how they are using it.

          Once your data leaves the southern cross cable, it’s anyone to access.

          For example, if you goto http://www.facebook.com you will travel over many ‘hops’. These are other routers, routing your traffic overseas (bit simplified).

          Here’s my trace route

          Tracing route to facebook.com [173.252.110.27]
          over a maximum of 30 hops:

          1 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.2.1
          2 * * * Request timed out.
          3 96 ms 63 ms 97 ms lo0.internet.ivpn.pe25.telstraclear.net [218.101.61.124]
          4 44 ms 41 ms 37 ms ie2-g-0-0-0.telstraclear.net [203.98.50.2]
          5 86 ms 36 ms 33 ms ge-0-2-0-1.xcore1.acld.telstraclear.net [203.98.50.251]
          6 35 ms 31 ms 36 ms unknown.telstraglobal.net [134.159.174.37]
          7 191 ms 190 ms 204 ms i-0-6-4-0.tlot-core01.bx.telstraglobal.net [202.84.142.110]
          8 156 ms 167 ms 157 ms i-0-4-0-3.tlot02.bi.telstraglobal.net [202.84.251.242]
          9 160 ms 159 ms 158 ms ae16.pr01.lax1.tfbnw.net [103.4.96.160]

          There we more hops after this. But after hop 7, I was overseas. From there, god knows what's happening to your traffic.

          That's why you use secure sites (https) and encryption.

          • Tracey 8.1.1.1.1

            Thanks

          • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1.2

            Please explain infused. What is the National party line on this one?

            Anthony Briscoe still says,
            “But he was confident no spy agency had tapped into the Southern Cross Cable or its landing facilities.”
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/61280099/southern-cross-boss-still-denies-spytap

            Yet, Mr Key says,
            “Mr Key today acknowledged the GCSB had indeed tapped into the cable, but for the purposes of a cybersecurity programme. However, Mr Key said concerns the project would be perceived as mass surveillance led to it being scaled back to a much narrower programme.”

            It appears Mr Briscoe would not know if somebody tapped into his companies cable, even if that was the GCSB doing it in NZ.

            • phillip ure 8.1.1.1.2.1

              and key has now cited the ceo of the cable company as his authority on:..no..nobody has tapped into the cable..

              ..(this is reaching levels of high-farce..

              ..farce with the most ominous/scary overtones..)

              ..(i think key will soon confess/admit that it was him who killed opo the friendly dolphin..)

      • Kaplan 8.1.2

        Its not difficult at all, it’s just a question of money.
        A farm of around 8000 Quad Core CPU,s with 2-3 terrabytes of storage available per unit would probbaly be enough to do it. The data will not be stored in real time, it’ll be queued raw and processed into a compact analytical dataset. Basically an OLAP system tuned for high speed storage, with a tradeoff on retrieval times.
        Weta Workshops had around half that capacity back in 2008…
        http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/12/22/the-data-crunching-powerhouse-behind-avatar/

        And Niwa. well they have a very interesting, and very very powerful system. I see the chinese had a go at hacking it a while back…. I wonder why they would want to do that?
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/60075949/niwa-supercomputer-hacked.html

  9. jaime 9

    From San Francisco I am following how liars and politicians in behalf of corporations and the military security complex, do anything to mislead and connive, Brave people of New Zealand! stand up.

  10. adam 10

    It must be one hell of a rush this spying on the people. Otherwise, it’s just a group of violent self absorbed individuals giving us all the finger.

  11. cogito 11

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10508710/NSA-spying-can-t-be-ruled-out-PM

    Lost count of how many times Key says Greenwald is “wrong” in this clip…. so still in denial, still covering up, still misleading NZers. Enough.

    • infused 11.1

      Yes, because Greenwald has so much proof.

      • Paul 11.1.1

        spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin……

        • infused 11.1.1.1

          There’s nothing to spin.

          • Paul 11.1.1.1.1

            Sure.
            You must be a comedian then.
            Nothing at all, except trying to suggest that Key is more reliable with the truth than Greenwald.
            Probably best you get back to your bosses at Slater’s blog.

            • infused 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Solid post buddy.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You just don’t get it do you. Everything the Little Butt Henchman reports checks out and Key has changed his story four times in four days and done a 180° turn in the process.

                Now, I’m going to be gentle. Stop wittering about the cut of his cloth: he’s fucking naked, you dick!

                • infused

                  Dem facts…

                  He hasn’t changed his story four times. You don’t seem to be able to comprehend that he is actually talking about different things.

                  • Tracey

                    Did you read the documents Key released to prove he was right?

                    I ask cos they dont support his statement that he canned mass surveillance in March 2013 insofar as they only refer to a business plan rescinded in September 2013

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    1. We don’t do this.
                    2. We considered doing it.
                    3. We narrowed the focus.
                    4. He’s probably right.

                    Please try to see past your #teamloyalty

                    😳 – you’re right that’s only three times.

                  • I’m curious, do you find basic mathematics difficult as much as you appear to find logic difficult?

          • Hanswurst 11.1.1.1.2

            So why did Mr. Key go to the lengths of declassifying documents that *don’t* prove his version? It looks very much like an attempt to divert attention, and a rather desperate one at that. Greenwald and Snowden have what on the face of it seems to be very compelling evidence, and no record of being proven wrong. Key, on the other hand, made some unequivocal statements before retreating into obfuscation and producing phony evidence (at what purportedly should have been a risk to national security, no less). You may not be spinning (although the alternative of your just being a bit dense doesn’t seem much more flattering), but Key certainly is.

            • infused 11.1.1.1.2.1

              So when their evidence is presented that invalidates Keys, I’ll admit i’m wrong.

              • Tracey

                By key’s evidence do you mean the stuff he declassified? If you do, those documents do not show he canned a mass surveillance plan in March 2013 as he claimed yesterday

            • Tracey 11.1.1.1.2.2

              Declassifying documents that the GCSB said would threaten our security… They were not a slam dunk for Key as he claimed.. But you have to read them to know that.

  12. infused 12

    You do realize that he is talking about 3 different things there. The last part was about NSA, not GCSB.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Yes, this isn’t really grounds for him to resign because it still doesn’t show the GCSB were carrying out mass surveillance, which is his requirement for resigning.

      His later statements do completely contradict his first statement on GG though:
      “There’s no ambiguity. No middle ground. I’m right. He’s wrong,”

      Subsequent developments show there definitely is a middle ground and it is ambiguous.

      • infused 12.1.1

        See 8.1. It’s pretty clear.

        • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1

          ???

          Did you miss the bit where he said GCSB had tapped into the cable?

          Between:
          1. No mass surveillance or means of doing it at all
          and:
          3. Carrying out mass surveillance 24/7

          Lies the middle-ground:
          2. Tapping into the southern-cross cable in order to surveill it’s content

          If you can’t see how #2 is a middle-ground between #1 and #3, and that Key initially said “there is no middle-ground” and then contradicted himself by saying “#2 did happen” then I’m not sure what to say.

          • Tracey 12.1.1.1.1

            Is number two the analogy of we allowed the door to open and they take it from there?

          • infused 12.1.1.1.2

            They were going to, but never did. Did you miss that part?

            • Tracey 12.1.1.1.2.1

              It was a bit confusing cos it appeared that key was saying they put the probes in the cable but then didnt use thwm.

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.2.2

              lol
              at this rate, if that hasn’t changed already it’ll change this evening.

              • infused

                Well that was actually said a day or two ago. If the cable was actually tampered with, i’m pretty cretin southern cross would know.

                Something needs to be physically attached to do this.

                Google what these cables are made out of and what they look like. You still see it’s virtually impossible to intercept them undersea without someone knowing. It’s done at either end.

                • McFlock

                  yeah, the “probe” they spent money building before deciding to not use it.

                  Basically, in a few days we’ve gone from barely a business case to a “scaled back” active program. I reckon when the government eventually changes, be it this weekend or further away, we might finally discover the truth if the greens/imp put a bit of stick about..

                  • infused

                    He always said the first phase happened. He just never said what the first phase was.

                    I don’t know what the probe is meant to do… but from what I know, you can’t just shove something under the sea to capture data from these cables.

                    They have to be cut, or tampered with. So the ‘probes’ would need to be on the ends of the fiber somewhere.

                    • Tracey

                      Did he? He said they were preparing a business case. That doesnt require probes, let alone ones attached to the cable.

                      Can you show me where he said there was partial implementation of the strategy which was then narrowed back?

                • wtl

                  Well that was actually said a day or two ago. If the cable was actually tampered with, i’m pretty cretin southern cross would know.

                  But “Mr Key [the other day] acknowledged the GCSB had indeed tapped into the cable” so what exactly are you on about?

                  • infused

                    “The first stage, which was tapping into New Zealand’s main submarine data link – the Southern Cross Cable – was implemented at some point in 2012 or early 2013.

                    Mr Key on Monday acknowledged the GCSB had indeed tapped into the cable, but for the purposes of a cybersecurity programme.

                    However, Mr Key said concerns the project would be perceived as mass surveillance led to it being scaled back to a much narrower programme.

                    But Southern Cross’ chief executive Anthony Briscoe told Radio New Zealand he did not believe a test probe was ever put in place.”

                    Well yeah, I don’t know what to make of that. Until someone can clarify what the probe actually was.

                    • Tracey

                      Truly genuine question infused, have you read keys doc drop? Its only about 15 pages in all.

                      Id be interested in which aspect this phase one could be? Possibly what is called Option 1 which got implementation go ahead in April 2012, and which option was never rescinded and included automated investigative capability”.

                      The other problem is Key said he canned the further implementation in March 2013 but his documents dont support that claim.

                    • I find it charming that the Nats would pay someone to post on the Standard.

                      Or is it just Jason Ede posting from his Antarctic hideout?

                      [lprent: It seems unlikely. infused has been around forever (this was his first comment back in Feb 2008 – note the style hasn’t changed much). (S)he/it just seems to like it here. ]

                • Tracey

                  It is possible mr briscoe is telling porkies though isnt it? Maybe they got a payment ot just did it to be patriotic?

            • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1.2.3

              infused, did Key admit they tapped into the southern cross cable, yes or no?

              Is tapping into the southern cross cable, a (practical) necessity in order to do mass surveillance of NZ’s public, yes or no?

              It doesn’t matter *why* or for *what purpose* they did the tapping, the fact is, once the tap is in place, it can be used for mass surveillance.

              Key said there was no middle ground. Clearly, this is the middleground between absolutely no mass surveillance nor means to carry it out, and mass surveillance going on 24/7.

    • Paul 12.2

      Just wondering.
      What does John Key have to do for you to start questioning him?

  13. Outofbed 13

    He can resign on Friday and call an Election 🙂

  14. mickysavage 14

    Radio New Zealand is now reporting that Key admits we are probably under mass surveillance but not by the GCSB. Hear that? Everyone can now relax …

    So we have this tidy arrangement among the 5 eyes groups so that mass surveillance occurs but each organisation can deny breaching the law …

  15. so..we are under mass surveillance..(next question:..for exactly how long have our political-masters known new zealanders were/are being mass-surveiled..?..when did it start..?)

    ..but it’s ok..!

    ..’cos it’s only the americans subjecting us to mass-surveillance..

    ..and it’s the americans who hold all that information on all new zealanders..

    ..mm-kay..?

    ..just relax..!..

    ..be more like your great-leader..!

  16. Paul 16

    Events from New Zealand history and John Key’s response had he been P.M.
    Part 1.

    French nuclear testing in the South Pacific.
    ” I am comfortable that’s not happening”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      French conspiracy to murder.

      “I’m relaxed about it: I’m right and he’s wrong.”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2

      “It was fifty thousand shares yes that’s right one hundred thousand shares.”

    • McFlock 16.3

      MYSTERY SOLVED:
      Key must have been “comfortable” that the Springboks were not touring New Zealand in 1981. Hence he didn’t have an opinion on the Tour to recall, because he wasn’t aware it was happening

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1

        That’s a lie! His office knew about it, not him.

        • McFlock 16.3.1.1

          That’s because his office was in the stands while he was protesting outside – or maybe it was the other way around…

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1.1.1

            Now you’re implying that his office is an unthinking redneck and possibly a thug, and that’s a breach of national security.

    • tc 16.4

      Look at the end of the day does it really matter, well does it, do you feel lucky punk while I fish around in this drawer marked ‘Top secret – PM and Jason Only’

  17. politikiwi 17

    As much as I hate to admit it, the presence of NZers data in an NSA system doesn’t mean that data is being captured by the GCSB. We don’t know where it was captured. The data could have come from any source which is legitimately able to spy on New Zealanders (that is, any of the other five eyes partners**).

    I’m prepared to believe that the GCSB is spying on New Zealanders. It’s reasonable to conclude that Snowden is credible on the basis that he is public enemy #1 in the world’s most powerful nation, and if there was anything to discredit him they would’ve released it long before now.

    I think the evidence produced to date shows, at the very least, an intention to conduct mass metadata harvesting by GCSB, either directly or by turning a blind eye to the NSA. There is precedent for leaders to lie about these issues: James Clapper lied to a Congressional hearing. John Key has lied to the NZ public – if not outright, than by omission. But trying to say that the presence of NZers data in an NSA database proves the GCSB intercepted it is way too long of a bow to draw and does no favours, and the more this happens, the more confusing it becomes for the average “punter out in punterland.”

    ** Can the GCSB legally access data obtained on New Zealanders by third parties, or do they need a warrant for that as well?

    • Paul 17.1

      Do you trust a word the PM says?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      So the GCSB criminally spies on Kiwis when it accesses the database, and/or is criminally derelict or complicit in its failure of duty by knowingly allowing the NSA to do so in violation of the law and as-yet undocumented “understandings”.

    • infused 17.3

      They need a warrant. Was stated last night.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.3.1

        …a warrant to access a database the existence of which is a massive human rights violation and by the way, a crime in law.

        • infused 17.3.1.1

          citation and evidence please.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 17.3.1.1.1

            Please help yourself get up to speed by reading the Pulitzer prize winning material on Xkeyscore. The Little Butt Henchman led the team of journalists that authored it , so you may have to combat bias-induced imbecility.

            Sorry about that.

          • phillip ure 17.3.1.1.2

            @..infused..

            ..now you are just being silly..

            ..follow the loop-de-loops from key over the past 4-5 days..

            ..and the evidence from a man..snowden..

            ..who has a 100% record for being accurate in the whistle-blowing he does..

            ..that’s all ya need..

      • Tracey 17.3.2

        Signed by?????

      • Tracey 17.3.3

        Do you think spy agencies would ever be involved in deceptive practices?

    • Treetop 17.4

      Just after 9 am this morning Key said on Nine to Noon “GCSB need a warrant to get NSA information on New Zealanders.”

      Who or what talks to Key/GCSB from NSA about intercepting?

  18. CRobinson 18

    As far as I can see the circle isn´t fully complete. The PM appears to be saying that, yes, the capability is there, but as the GCSB doesn´t dig into the content without a warrant, there is no mass surveillance taking place. OK, it´s a bit nitpicky, but maybe the PM can claim he is still sticking to the same story. However by acknowledging that Snowden is right, he is admitting (correct me if I am wrong here) that the other 5eyes partners have unrestricted (no NZ warrant required) access to all electronic communications in NZ, both metadata and content. Is that right? And of course if your partners don´t need a warrant, then that might be a backdoor way of getting the data if a NZ warrant is inconvenient. What is the oversight on how this capability is used by GCSB and the partners? (And please don´t tell me it is the PM.)

    • infused 18.1

      See 8.1 about capturing NZ’s data overseas. I’m betting that’s how it’s happening.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1

        Then why did the NSA require the GCSB for phase one of SPEARHEAD (with Bruce Willis and Miley Cyrus)?

        • Tracey 18.1.1.1

          Apparently they needed us but john key said “no”

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.2

          Then why did the NSA require the GCSB for phase one of SPEARHEAD (with Bruce Willis and Miley Cyrus)?

          To capture local internal NZ internet traffic which doesn’t head out over the Southern Cross Cable.

          As an eg. now The Standard is hosted on shore, metadata surveillance of the Hawaii end of the cable won’t pick up who is commenting on The Standard from within NZ.

          • Bob 18.1.1.2.1

            Thank you CV! Someone who understands how the interwebby thing works!
            Comments here (from within NZ) won’t be collected by ANYONE, GCSB doesn’t have the capability, NSA doesn’t have the capability, the only way anyone might be able to spy on us is if you believe Huawei send data back the China (John Key’s fault personally if the do, Dotcom has an email).

            This is what people don’t seem to understand, if you browse outside of NZ, John Key has no say whatsoever in what gets collected, if you stay in NZ you aren’t being spied on.

          • Puddleglum 18.1.1.2.2

            Well a lot of New Zealanders’ internet traffic apparently spews into the US:

            We know from Snowden’s disclosures that the NSA, with assistance from its Five Eyes spy partners – the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, now intercepts (and in some cases stores) emails, calls and internet activity on a global basis.

            Some 95 per cent of all New Zealand’s internet traffic passes, via the Southern Cross undersea cable, to the US, where it may be lawfully intercepted as “foreign intelligence”.

            In many cases this will include communications between two people in New Zealand.

            The NSA has Network Security Agreements with scores of cable companies worldwide, including Telstra in Australia. These agreements compel the cable companies to grant access to all the data on their cables when they land on US territory. The company previously known as Telecom New Zealand, which half owns the Southern Cross cable, has confirmed that once its cable entered US territory, it is legally obliged to co-operate with US laws.

            It’s an article that is well worth the read.

            • Bob 18.1.1.2.2.1

              “Some 95 per cent of all New Zealand’s internet traffic passes, via the Southern Cross undersea cable, to the US, where it may be lawfully intercepted as “foreign intelligence”.”
              Exactly, this article just backs up what I have been saying, the US can collect data on 95% of our internet traffic as that is where most of us store our data!
              Gmail, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google+, XtraYahoo the list goes on, this from what I understand would all be loaded into XKeyscore and the NSA can use it to spy on you. There is nothing our Government can do about any of this, this is what Snowden’s leaks reveal.
              When it come to the GCSB (which our Government does control) they would need a warrant to view any detail on NZers as set out in section 15a on the GCSB bill: http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0009/latest/DLM5650721.html?search=ta_act_G_ac%40ainf%40anif_an%40bn%40rn_25_a&p=1

  19. Dont worry. Be happy 19

    TICS anyone? TICS.

    Passed bout the same time as the GCSB Act….

  20. Richard Christie 20

    When you understand that NSA = GCSB, all is explained

    [lprent: Shouting at length is a privilege reserved for the moderate amongst us. The ones with editorial privileges and a volume control 😈 ]

    • Richard Christie 20.1

      My sincere apologies. I thought allcaps was shouting, In the future
      I shall revise my webiquette so as to regard bold as shouting too.

      So, to repeat, in italics, ,

      When you realise that NSA = GCSB then all is understood.

  21. Paul Campbell 21

    The thing is that tapping a cable is not an effective cyber security measure. If you are building a giant Norton antivirus you need to be able to kill packets and shutdown bad connection by injecting packets. That’s not something you do with a fibre tap.

    The only reason you build a fibre tap is to listen in without anyone noticing is mass surveillance

  22. NZJester 22

    The tricky thing about all this is how they might have defined mass surveillance as written down in the secret laws and GCSB legal advice we are not allowed to see. Key is most likely claiming the GCSB are not conducting mass surveillance because as only the computers are collecting the data, but the GCSB are not looking at it until they get a warrant to go searching through it that it is not mass surveillance.
    We claim it is mass surveillance, but under their warped definition it might not legally be classed as that because it was not looked at by human eyes so they are doing nothing wrong. Key as someone who knows what their legal definitions are is saying publicly no mass surveillance is taking place obviously in the knowledge he is legally right due to laws he helped pass.
    It is impossible to prove someone is cheating at a game if they know all the rules to it and you are forbidden from seeing those rules.
    The other thing to is that although our GCSB must get a warrant to look at it, any of the other 5 eyes partners do not have such a roadblock.

  23. Sable 23

    Keys is running interference for himself and his government. Claim the opposite and then make a different statement at a later date when people have either forgotten or are so confused they stop taking notice. This tactic would not work were it not for the collusion of the mainstream media who refuse to catch Keys out when he contradicts himself.

  24. KPC 24

    You might want to check this out. There is another cable, it recently hooked up at a small town on the Oregon Coast and could easily be the one they are using to Fek us with.

    http://www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/new-zealand-cable-company-signs-two-new-internet-service-providers/

    Sorry guys I’m not tech smart so hopefully this link will be usable…

  25. LeaVai 25

    I have learnt loads since I started reading the different blogs on both sides and I have to say there is more sense coming out over the issues that really matter on this side of the divide so, thank you to all the contributors on here. I love the debates because I’m learning all the time. Cheers all.

    [lprent: While this reads like a spambot, it doesn’t appear to be one. ]

    [Malo Leavai – MS]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1

      Thanks LeaVai.

      This is the strength of democracy: many voices are heard.

    • Theodora 25.2

      Same here, this election has politically galvanized me like no other. I feel like I’m studying Politics 101 reading all the blogs. So grateful to long-timers offering examples from the past too, knowing history really helps shape your views.

  26. yeshe 26

    this would be NZ under TPPA … must read in our current dilemma !!

    ‘For an illuminating glimpse of government power in action, it’s hard to beat the fines the US Justice Department threatened to level against Yahoo if it didn’t comply with a secret and sweeping surveillance request in 2008.

    News coverage of the case, for which documents were unsealed last week, reported the proposed fines as $250,000 a day. But there was also a clause that called for a doubling of the amount each week if Yahoo refused to comply. It was more than enough to bankrupt the company after just a few months.

    Yahoo’s longtime outside counsel, Marc Zwillinger, who was lead attorney in the unsuccessful fight against the government’s data demand, calculated the cost of resistance at more than $25 million after the first month and $400 million in the second month.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11326405

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