- Date published:
7:05 am, August 1st, 2013 - 39 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, john key, news, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, winston peters - Tags: andrea vance, david carter, david henry
Andrea Vance is mad as hell that revelations that her phone calls where passed to the Henry inquiry.
In other circumstances, I could probably find something to laugh about in revelations that the journalist who broke a story about illegal spying was snooped on by Parliament’s bureaucrats.
Let alone, the irony that the reporter in question previously worked for the News of the World, the tabloid at a centre of a privacy violation scandal.
But I am that journalist and I’m mad as hell. Anyone who has had their confidential details hacked and shared around has the right to be angry.
My bold. Yes, anyone who potentially has their confidential details shared with authorities, should be mad about it, not just journalists. But with the state surveillance agencies, how would any of us know?
This is why the changes to the GCSB and related legislation should be opposed all the way.
Vance outlines the way the details of the intrusions on her privacy became publicly known. Then she says:
Now the Speaker and Prime Minister John Key claim cock-up (by a low-level contractor) over conspiracy. Forgive me if those assurances ring hollow. Details of inquiry head David Henry’s intrusive and outrageous behaviour have had to be dragged from all parties. (He, curiously, omitted any reference of the swipe card records from his report.)
Can I, and my sources, be confident the records weren’t viewed? They were held on a Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet server up until Tuesday night. Why – if they had acted so properly – did the Henry inquiry not notify me of this intrusion? It rankles that Key was told days before I was.
I don’t know who had access to my records. And I’m suspicious why on June 5, less than a week after the unauthorised release, NZ First leader Winston Peters was making some startling allegations about phone records in the House. Neither the prime minister’s office, the Speaker or Parliamentary Service have been able to offer a guarantee that there was no leak to Peters.
Yes, the Peters’ question is an important one. And Vance is not the only one who thinks the Speaker and John key’s claims of “cock-up” ring hollow.
However, all this is not really what’s got me fizzing. What has got my goat is the casting aside of something us journalists hold very precious: press freedom.
Yes press freedom is important. But forgive me if such claims ring a little hollow for me, after decades of subservience to the powerful corporates and wealthy elites on the part of too many MSM journalists. Vance is one of the better journalists. But too many just keep re-framing John Key’s spin lines as news. And too many follow the lead of the US government, as does our PM, especially when it somes to state spying agencies.
Maybe now more of the MSM will wake up and start truly fulfilling their fourth estate role, and justifying the need to have press freedom.
The democratic rights of all of us are at stake.
Stop the GCSB Bill!